SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Four Hornets scored in double figures, and Sacramento State outscored Utah, 29-13, over the final 12 minutes to defeat the Utes, 74-71, in a non-conference men's basketball game Friday evening at the Huntsman Center.
With the win, the Hornets improved to 3-0 for the first time since the 1999-00 season and defeat a Pac-12 opponent for just the third time in school history. In addition, Sacramento State has now beaten two Pac-12 opponents over a three year span as the team knocked off Oregon State on Nov. 21, 2009, in Corvallis. Coupled with the football team's win over Colorado in September, the Sacramento State athletics program has now defeated a Pac-12 opponent twice in three months.
The Hornets had four players score in double figures, comprised of point guard (game-high 19), forward (16), shooting guard (13) and swingman (10). Garrity and McKinney are both sophomores, and they combined for 15 of the team's points during the 29-13 run.
In fact, Garrity had 11 of his 19 points during the final 9:07, including a high-arching jumper that gave the Hornets a 72-71 lead with 1:29 to play. That marked Sacramento State's first lead since midway part of the first half when a Dickson three-pointer gave the Hornets a 21-20 lead.
Trailing, 68-64, with 3:45 remaining, a lay-up started a run that would see Sacramento State score on each of its final five possessions. That included a pair of free throws by Garrity that cut the Utah lead to 70-68 with 2:34 left, followed by another Veteto layup that tied the score at 70-70 with a little under two minutes remaining. The Utes retook the lead on a Dallin Bachynski free throw, but Garrity's jumper at the 1:29 mark put the Hornets in front for the first time in nearly 29 minutes of game clock.
Utah (1-1) had three chances to score on its next possession as two missed jumpers were followed by offensive rebounds, and an eventual foul by Garrity. However., Bachynski missed the front end of the 1-and-1 free throw situation, and Eberhard pulled the rebound. After being fouled, Eberhard calmly stepped to the free throw line and buried both his attempts to give the Hornets a 74-71 lead with 12 seconds left.
On the ensuing possession, Utah's Glen Dean, who had a team-high 16 points, had his three-point shot blocked by McKinney into the stands. The inbounds pass came back to Dean with four seconds left and he was forced into an off balance three-point attempt that failed to draw iron and fell into Eberhard's arms as the buzzer sounded. Eberhard scored eight of his 10 points during the 29-13 run, which included pulling the rebounds that ended the Utes' final two possessions. The senior narrowly missed a double-double as he also finished with a game-high nine rebounds (six in the second half).
Sacramento State, which led by as many as five points early in the first half, finished the game shooting 42.4 percent (25-59) from the field, 43.5 percent (10-23) from the three-point line and 73.7 percent (14-19) from the charity stripe. That included going 6-for-6 from the free throw line during the game's final five minutes. The Hornets committed just 12 turnovers and 14 personal fouls while outrebounding the bigger Ute squad by a 38-34 advantage and outscoring them in second-chance points, 14-11.
The Hornets outscored Utah in the second half, 40-33, and limited the Utes to just five three-pointers in 21 attempts (.238) during the game. In fact, excluding Dean's 4-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc, the rest of the Utah squad shot just 1-of-12 from the three-point line.
Garrity has now scored 40 points over his last two games, and the reigning Big Sky Freshman of the Year finished the day shooting 5-of-7 from the field, 3-of-4 from the three-point line and 6-of-6 from the free throw line. He also had five assists and two steals in 36 minutes. McKinney, who is currently sharing the team lead with Dickson in scoring (16.3 ppg), had six rebounds, four assists and two steals in a game-high 38 minutes.
Dickson had 16 points, six rebounds and a blocked shot, and is now just nine points shy of becoming the 10th player in school history to score 1,000 points. Veteto finished with eight points and three rebounds, and played a role in limiting Utah's massive front court players (7-foot, 248-pound Bachynski, 6-foot-10, 242-pound Jason Washburn and 6-foot-9, 221-pound Renan Lenz) to a combined nine points and three rebounds in the second half.
Three Utah players scored in double figures, including Dean (16), Jarred DuBois (13) and Lenz (10). The Utes finished the game shooting 47.5 percent (28-59) from the field, but just 62.5 percent (10-16) from the free throw line, including 5-of-9 in the second half.
Sacramento State will look to improve to 4-0 on Tuesday when the team hosts rival UC Davis for the basketball version of the Causeway Classic. The game will start at 7:35 p.m. as it is part of a doubleheader that will see the women's team host Utah Valley at 5:05 p.m.
NOTES -- Sacramento State has now attempted 45 more free throws than the opposition this year, converting its freebies at a 70.7 percent clip (70-for-99)…Garrity is 19-for-20 from the stripe, including a perfect 14-for-14 during the final five minutes of a game…the 1999-00 team began the season 4-0 before its first loss.