RED HOT SHOOTING FROM DISTANCE KEYS PORTLAND STATE’S WIN OVER MEN’S BASKETBALL
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland State buried eight of its nine three-point attempts in the second half, including a three-pointer on seven consecutive possessions, on the way to a 47-point half and an 87-69 victory over Sacramento State in a Big Sky Conference men's basketball game Thursday evening at the Stott Center.
No team led by more than nine points the first 25 minutes of the contest, and Sacramento State found itself down just four points (47-43) after a jumper at the 15:37 mark. That's when the Portland State three-ball onslaught began. The seven straight three-pointers came from four different Viking players, and the run lasted for a grueling four minutes and 20 seconds. Martin Whitmore hit three three-pointers, Michael Harthun had a pair, and Gary Winston and Lateef McMullan each had one. Whitmore's long balls came on back-to-back-to-back possessions to conclude the run.
By the time the three ball clinic ended, Portland State had gone a 21-7 run to take a commanding 68-50 lead with 11:17 to play. The Hornets would get no closer than within 15 points of that lead the rest of the way. The Vikings opened up an advantage as large as 22 points before settling for the 18-point victory.
For the game, the Vikings shot 56.1 percent (32-57) from the field and 66.7 percent (12-18) from the three-point line. The field goal percentage, three-point percentage, 12 made three-pointers and 25 assists were all Sacramento State opponent highs this season. Coming into the game, Big Sky opponents were shooting just 35.2 percent from the field against the Hornets and four of the last five opponents had been limited to shooting percentages of .323 or worse.
The Stott Center continues to be a House of Horror for Sacramento State as the team is now 1-17 when playing the Vikings on PSU's home floor. That includes seven straight losses with the Hornets' lone win at the Stott Center coming on Feb. 4, 2006. Tonight marked the first of a season-long four-game road trip that will see the Hornets play at Eastern Washington on Saturday, followed by games next week at Idaho State and Weber State.
The loss dropped the Hornets to 7-6 overall and 2-3 in the conference. Each of Sacramento State's first four Big Sky games prior to tonight had been decided by seven points or less. With the victory, Portland State improved to 4-8 overall and 2-3 in the conference.
Sacramento State did get its offense going in tonight's contest, scoring 69 points on 44.3 percent (27-61) shooting from the field. The 69 points were the most since scoring 70 on Dec. 1 at Arizona State. The Hornets shot 35.3 percent (6-17) from beyond the arc and 75.0 percent (9-12) from the free throw line. Sacramento State held a 33-31 advantage on the glass, outrebounding its fifth straight opponent while also holding a 19-8 advantage in second-chance points.
The Hornets had three players score in double figures, comprised of forward (16 points, five rebounds), center (14 points, six rebounds) and point guard (14 points, four assists). Veteto, who shot 6-of-9 from the field, scored 10 of those points during the first 11 minutes of the contest. Garrity and Dickson both went 2-for-4 from the three-point line. added eight points and had six points. All 12 healthy Sacramento State players made an appearance in tonight's game.
Portland State had five players score in double figures, comprised of Harthun (18 points, 4-of-5 from distance), Aaron Moore (16 points, six rebounds), McMullan (14 points, nine assists, 3-of-5 from distance), Whitmore (11 points, 3-of-3 from distance) and Renado Parker (10 points and two blocks).
The Hornets' game on Saturday at Eastern Washington will be a 6:05 p.m. start.