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MENâ€™S BASKETBALL FALLS AT HOME TO NORTHERN COLORADO, 61-53
Center Josh McCarver finished with seven points and a career-high 11 rebounds, but it was not enough in a 61-53 loss
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- After the two teams went into halftime with the score tied, Northern Colorado began the second half on 12-4 run and never trailed the rest of the way as the Bears went on to defeat Sacramento State, 61-53, in a Big Sky Conference men’s basketball game Saturday evening at the Nest.
A three-pointer from Sacramento State’s Joe Eberhard as the first half buzzer sounded tied the score at 27-27 at intermission. However, Northern Colorado held the Hornets to just four points during the first six minutes of the second half, and during that time, managed 12 points of its own to secure at 39-31 lead. Highlighting the run for the Bears were three-pointers on back-to-back possessions by Tevin Svihovec. Sacramento State would close to within two points of Northern Colorado’s lead on a pair of occasions later in the half, but would not get closer the rest of the way.
A free throw from the Hornets’ Konner Veteto drew the Hornets to within, 41-39 with 8:39 left, but Elliott Lloyd answered with a layup. A bucket from Veteto again the cut the lead to two points (43-41) with 8:16 remaining, but Connor Osborne answered with a free throw, Tim Huskisson had a putback dunk, and Lloyd buried a three-pointer to put Northern Colorado back up eight points (49-41) with a little over six minutes left.
Sacramento State would eventually cut the lead to four points on a pair of John Dickson free throws with 42 seconds left, but the Bears made each of their final four free throw attempts during the last 31 seconds to ice the victory.
With the loss, the Hornets dropped their fourth straight and fell to 5-9 overall and 0-3 in the Big Sky. Sacramento State also fell to 4-3 at home, and lost its seventh straight game to Northern Colorado dating back to the 2007-08 season. Northern Colorado, which won both the Big Sky’s regular season and tournament championships last season, improved to 5-9 and 2-1 in league play. The Bears also picked up their first win of the season when playing on an opponent’s home floor (1-4).
In a game which featured just eight combined offensive rebounds and two fast-break points, it was Northern Colorado that shot the ball better from the field (.468), especially from the three-point line where the Bears connected on 6-of-11 from distance (.545). Conversely, Sacramento State shot just 38.8 percent (19-49) from the field and 31.8 percent (7-22) from distance. Usually a strong rebounding club, the Hornets were outrebounded by a 34-26 margin and were limited to just one second-chance point.
Sacramento State had open looks throughout the evening, especially from beyond the three-point line, but could not convert with any kind of consistency. Heath Hoffman, who entered the game 12th in the nation with a .531 three-point field goal percentage, went 0-for-6 from distance. Only one Sacramento State player shot better than 50 percent from the field - Josh McCarver 3-for-5.
The Hornets did outscore the Bears in points off turnovers (15-8), but Northern Colorado held an advantage in points in the paint (28-18) and second-chance points (7-1).
Sacramento State was led by Dickson’s 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 from the free throw line. It marked the fifth time in the last seven games the junior forward has led the Hornets in scoring. He was joined in double figures by Eberhard (11 points and four rebounds in 37 minutes) and shooting guard Jackson Carbajal (11 points in 18 minutes). Center Josh McCarver added seven points and game highs in both rebounds (career-high 11) and blocked shots (2). Veteto finished with seven points and freshman point guard Dylan Garrity led all players with six assists.
Northern Colorado was led by Svihovec’s career-high 16 points as he finished the game 4-of-6 from the field, 3-of-3 from distance and 5-of-7 from the free throw line. Emmanuel Addo had 10 points off the bench, and Huskisson added nine points. All nine Northern Colorado players that appeared in tonight’s game scored at least two points, including Lloyd’s eight points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Tonight marked the first of a season-high tying three-game homestand for the Hornets as Sacramento State will host both Eastern Washington (Jan. 12) and Idaho State (Jan. 14) next week.
NOTES -- Sacramento State drew a season-best five charges tonight, including three from Julian Demalleville, and one each from Hoffman and Eberhard…the Hornets have now allowed opponents to shoot at least 48.0 percent from beyond the three-point line in three of the last four games.
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