SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Junior point guard Dylan Garrity's free throws with eight seconds remaining broke a 67-67 tie and proved to be the game's final points in Sacramento State's 69-67 victory over UC Riverside in a non-conference men's basketball Sunday afternoon at The Nest.
In the Hornets' final non-conference game of the season, it was Sacramento State which hung on late after UC Riverside stormed back from a 38-28 halftime deficit. After the Highlanders took their only lead of the second half at 61-60 with six minutes remaining, the Hornets were able to close the game on a 9-6 run spanning the final 5:48 of the contest.
During that last 5:48, the Hornets went 7-for-8 from the free throw line, and Garrity provided the lone field goal with just under two minutes to give the home team a 67-63 lead. A pair of free throws from the Highlanders' Nick Gruninger on back-to-back possessions eventually tied the game at 67-67 with 29 seconds to play.
With the last possession in hand, Garrity whittled 20 seconds off the clock, and slashed towards the bucket with just under 10 seconds to play. After gaining a step on the Riverside defender, he was fouled by Steven Thornton with eight seconds remaining and calmly sunk both free throws of the double bonus situation.
The Highlanders then raced up the floor, and eventually settled for a Steven Jones jumper that fell short as time expired. Jones' jumper was highly contested by Hornet defender Joey Quigley and Nick Hornsby was able to secure the rebound to give Sacramento State a 4-5 record heading into Big Sky Conference play.
The game featured 49 fouls, 63 free throws and three players fouled out of the game, including Sacramento State's Cody Demps and Jordan Salley. The Hornets finished 25-of-33 (.758) from the free throw line, including 9-of-10 over the game's final 7:06. Conversely, UC Riverside went 21-of-30 from the charity stripe (.700).
The Highlanders dropped to 4-8 with the loss while Sacramento State improved to 2-2 against Big West Conference teams, including a victory at rival UC Davis in November.
"We've been having trouble holding leads in the second half lately, and we've got to do a better job protecting those leads," Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz said. "However, after our halftime advantage evaporated and Riverside eventually took a lead, I liked the way our guys fought hard and pulled out the win."
UC Riverside used a 20-10 run during the opening seven minutes of the second half to eventually tied the score at 48-48. No team led by more than four points the final 11:51 of the contest, and over that span, the game was tied on six different occasions.
Sacramento State finished the game shooting .455 (20-44) from the field and .333 (4-12) from the 3-point line. UC Riverside shot .396 (21-53) from the floor, and converted just 4 of its 16 shots from beyond the arc. The Hornets held a slim 34-33 advantage in the rebounding department.
Garrity scored each of the Hornets' final five points of the contest and finished with 14 points and four assists in 34 minutes. Junior Mikh McKinney had a team-high 15 points to go along with five rebounds in a game-best 36 minutes. McKinney went 8-for-8 from the free throw line and improved his season free throw percentage to .941 (32-34). He entered the game as the nation's eighth best free throw shooter by percentage.
Hornsby finished with eight points as well as a game and season-high nine rebounds, Zach Mills had eight points (including a pair of 3-pointers), and Demps had seven points and six rebounds before fouling out with 1:04 to play. Alex Tiffin had six points, and both Salley and Eric Stuteville chipped in four points.
For UC Riverside, the trio of Sam Finley (20), Gruninger (12) and Chris Patton (11) combined for 43 of the team's 67 points. All 11 points and seven rebounds for Patton came in the second half. Lucas Devenny added eight points and eight rebounds.
Sacramento State will begin Big Sky play next week with a pair of road games on Thursday at Montana State, and Saturday at Montana. Each of the Hornets' first four league games will be on the road.
NOTES -- The Hornets were playing for the first and only time this season on a Sunday…Sacramento State had just two home games during the entire month of December…the Highlanders outscored the Hornets, 39-31, in the second half of today's game, and Sacramento State is being outscored by an average of 6.1 points in the second half of games this season.
May 23, 2014 HORNET HOOPS GOLF TOURNAMENT SET FOR MONDAY, JUNE 9
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February 24, 2014 VOTE GARRITY’S 75-FOOT SHOT FOR GEICO PLAY OF THE YEAR
February 24, 2014 McKINNEY NAMED BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR A SECOND TIME
February 22, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL CONTINUES TO ROLL AFTER CRUSHING NORTHERN COLORADO
February 21, 2014 FREE WHITEOUT SHIRTS TO THE FIRST 500 FANS AT SATURDAY’S HOOPS GAME
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February 19, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS 6TH STRAIGHT HOME WIN THURSDAY VS. NORTH DAKOTA
February 14, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO PORTLAND STATE ON SATURDAY
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January 31, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL’S SIXTH-ANNUAL ALUMNI GAMES TAKE PLACE SATURDAY
January 31, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS HOST BIG SKY-LEADING WEBER STATE ON SATURDAY NIGHT
January 29, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS OPENS LONG HOMESTAND THURSDAY VS. IDAHO STATE
January 25, 2014 BIG DISPARITIES HURT IN MEN’S HOOPS LOSS AT NORTHERN COLORADO
January 24, 2014 ROAD WEARY MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS AT NORTHERN COLORADO ON SATURDAY
January 23, 2014 NORTH DAKOTA USES LATE RUN TO BEAT MEN’S BASKETBALL
January 21, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL BACK ON THE ROAD THURSDAY AT NORTH DAKOTA
January 18, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL KNOCKS OFF EASTERN WASHINGTON AT HOME, 75-64
January 17, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS EASTERN WASHINGTON ON SATURDAY NIGHT
January 15, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS FINALLY RETURNS HOME, HOSTS PORTLAND STATE ON THURSDAY
January 11, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS CRUSHES SOUTHERN UTAH, ENDS ROAD TRIP IN A BIG WAY
January 10, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS ROAD TRIP COMES TO AN END SATURDAY AT SOUTHERN UTAH
January 8, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS CONTINUES ROAD TRIP THURSDAY AT NORTHERN ARIZONA
January 2, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL DROPS BIG SKY OPENER AT MONTANA STATE
December 31, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL OPENS BIG SKY PLAY THURSDAY AT MONTANA STATE
December 29, 2013 LATE FREE THROWS HELP DELIVER 69-67 MEN’S HOOPS WIN OVER UC RIVERSIDE
December 27, 2013 AFTER LONG LAYOFF, MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS UC RIVERSIDE SUNDAY AFTERNOON
December 21, 2013 BIG SECOND HALF FUELS CAL STATE FULLERTON TO VICTORY OVER MEN’S HOOPS
December 19, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYS AT CAL STATE FULLERTON ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON
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December 12, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS WILLIAM JESSUP ON SATURDAY AT 7 P.M.
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December 4, 2013 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO EL PASO FOR FIRST EVER MEETING WITH UTEP
November 30, 2013 UC IRVINE USES BIG SECOND HALF TO DEFEAT MEN’S BASKETBALL
November 29, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS UC IRVINE SATURDAY NIGHT AT 7 P.M.
November 26, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL COMES THROUGH WITH CLUTCH WIN AT UC DAVIS, 73-67
November 25, 2013 MEN'S HOOPS AND UC DAVIS TO PLAY FOR THE 112TH TIME ON TUESDAY
November 18, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS TO #22 UCLA
November 15, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO #24 UCLA ON MONDAY
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November 12, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL BEGINS ROAD TRIP WEDNESDAY AT CSU BAKERSFIELD
November 8, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL BEATS UC SANTA CRUZ, 73-43, IN SEASON OPENER
November 6, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL GETS UNDERWAY FRIDAY NIGHT VS. UC SANTA CRUZ
November 5, 2013 2013-14 MEN’S BASKETBALL MEDIA GUIDE NOW AVAILABLE
October 28, 2013 2013-14 MEN'S BASKETBALL SEASON OUTLOOK
October 17, 2013 BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL COACHES AND MEDIA PRESEASON POLLS RELEASED
September 24, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON COMING FAST, FIRST OFFICIAL PRACTICE ON FRIDAY
July 23, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL RELEASES ITS 2013-14 SCHEDULE