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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Senior forward John Dickson scored a career-high 29 points, and Sacramento State used a 10-0 run late in the second half to defeat Dominican, 77-68, in a non-conference men's basketball game Tuesday evening at the Nest.

With the victory, the Hornets (5-1) matched the best start after six games in school history (1948-pres.), as the 1952-53, 1987-88, 1988-89 and 1999-00 squads also began the year with a 5-1 record. Sacramento State will have a chance to start 6-1 for the first time in school history when it travels to Tempe on Saturday to face Pac-12 Conference opponent Arizona State at 5:35 p.m. PST. The game will be aired live on the Pac-12 Network.

Tonight's contest featured nine ties and 11 lead changes, and no team led by more than four points for nearly 19 minutes of the first and second halves. Sacramento State never trailed during the final 7:40 of the contest, but the pesky Dominican squad kept things close with its offensive rebounding that resulted in a 17-4 advantage in second-chance points over the Hornets.

With the score tied at 61-61 with 4:22 to play, point guard Dylan Garrity began the 10-0 run with a pair of free throws followed by a Konner Veteto lay-up to put the Hornets up four points with 3:39 left. Dickson was fouled on the Hornets' next possession on a three-point attempt and buried all three free throws, and an emphatic Veteto dunk and subsequent free throw proved to be the dagger, giving the Hornets a 71-61 lead with 1:00 remaining. Sacramento State went 7-for-7 from the free throw line during the final minute to help ice the game.

Free throws proved to be the difference as the Hornets went 19-of-21 (.905) from the line while Dominican finished 8-of-8 from the charity stripe. Dominican had one more make from the field, and both teams finished with six three-pointers. Sacramento State went 15-of-16 from the free throw line in a second half which saw the team outscore the Penguins, 45-38.

Dominican, which is an NCAA Div. II squad from San Rafael, Calif., dropped to 2-3 with the loss. Sacramento State is now 5-0 all-time against the Penguins in a series which dates back to 1984-85 season.

The Hornets shot 47.3 percent (26-55) from the field and 46.2 percent (6-13) from the three-point line while outscoring Dominican, 10-0, in fast break points. Dominican attempted 10 more shots from the floor, finishing the game 41.5 percent (27-65) from the field. Both teams finished with 34 rebounds, and just 10 turnovers.

Dickson's 29 points surpassed his previous career high of 26, set at home against Portland State on Feb. 23, 2012. The fourth-year senior and team co-captain went 10-of-15 from the field, 2-of-4 from the three-point line and a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. He also added team highs in rebounds (6) and blocked shots (3). Dickson's season average of 17.3 points per game leads the Big Sky Conference, and the forward has now scored at least 15 points in all but one game this season.

Joining Dickson in double figures for the Hornets was Garrity, who had 16 points and three assists while shooting 5-of-10 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Garrity, who entered the game 13th in the nation in free throw percentage, extended his streak of consecutive makes from the line to 28, and is now shooting 96.9 percent (31-32) this year. The school record for most consecutive free throws made is 41, set by Laurence Houston during the 1975-76 season.

The Hornets' Mikh McKinney finished with nine points, six assists, four rebounds and one steal. The transfer from Ohlone College had scored in double figures in every game this year prior to tonight. Freshman Cody Demps added a season-best eight points and four rebounds, Veteto had seven points, and Joey Quigley had five points, four rebounds and a game-high three steals.

For Dominican, four players scored in double figures comprised of Jacob Noisat (12), Devin Golston (12), Myles Carrillo (11) and Ricky Wofford (10).

The Hornets will not play at home again until their Big Sky opener against Montana State on Wednesday, Dec. 19. Sacramento State has just two non-conference tune-ups remaining before league play begins, including Dec. 1 at Arizona State and Dec. 8 at San Jose State.