SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State junior Alex Tiffin posted game and career highs in both points (21) and rebounds (9) to lead the Hornets to an 85-54 victory over William Jessup in a non-conference men's basketball game Saturday evening at The Nest.
In a game that saw Sacramento State lead by double figures the final 33:48 of the contest, the Hornets posted season highs in points (85), field goals made (32), field goal percentage (.593, 32-of-54), assists (25) and fewest turnovers (8). In fact, the 25 assists were just two shy of the school single-game record.
The Hornets were also proficient from the 3-point line where they buried 50 percent of their attempts (8-of-16). In addition, all but seven of the team's buckets came off assists. Seven different Hornets had at least two assists, including five apiece from the back court of Dylan Garrity and Mikh McKinney, and four from Zach Mills.
There was some doubt over whether Garrity would play tonight after injuring his ankle last Saturday, but the junior co-captain was able to tally eight points, five assists and no turnovers in 23 minutes. With the game well in hand, he only played five minutes in the second half. Amazingly, Garrity has committed just one turnover in his last four games despite being a point guard, and now has a ridiculous 3.7-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio this year (22 assists, six turnovers).
For Tiffin, the 21 points eclipsed his previous career high of 10, and the nine rebounds surpassed his former best of four. The junior went 8-of-11 from the field while also recording two assists, a block and a steal in 28 minutes. He was joined in double figures by McKinney (14 points, five assists). Cody Demps had nine points, Jordan Salley chipped in seven points and Ryan Okwudibonye added a career-high seven points in just six minutes.
The Hornets received 31 points off their bench tonight, two shy of a season high. Five different Hornets came off the bench to score at least five points, comprised of Salley, Okwudibonye, Eric Stuteville (6), Case Rada (6) and Dreon Barlett (5).
With the victory, Sacramento State, which was playing the first of just two home games during the month of December, improved to 3-4. The Hornets improved to 2-1 at home, and have just two non-conference games remaining on the schedule consisting of Dec. 21 at Cal State Fullerton and Dec. 29 at home vs. UC Riverside.
William Jessup, which is an NAIA program from Rocklin, dropped to 5-8 with the loss. The Hornets have now won all eight meetings between the two schools.
"I really liked the way we moved the ball tonight," Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz said. "Any time you can rack up 25 assists with just eight turnovers, you have to be happy with the effort. It was nice to see Alex (Tiffin) really break out tonight, and I thought we got good contributions from the bench as well."
Sacramento State outscored William Jessup in points in the paint (38-10), points off turnovers (15-7) and second chance points (13-7). The Hornets used all 14 players in tonight's game, and 10 cracked the scoring column. Sacramento State outscored the Warriors in the first half (50-28) and second half (35-26).
William Jessup was limited to .302 (13-43) shooting from the field and .278 (5-18) from beyond the 3-point line. The Warriors did go to the free throw line 34 times because of 25 Sacramento State fouls, and converted on 23 of those freebies (.676). William Jessup had two players score in double figures, comprised of Kelton Newman (14 points, 3-of-3 from distance) and Corey Clement (11 points, 6 rebounds).
The Hornets will get some time off for Finals Week before returning to action in exactly one week to play on the road at Cal State Fullerton at 3:05 p.m.