MISSOULA, Mont. -- Sacramento State shot 50.0 percent (26-52) from the field and buried seven second-half 3-pointers, but it was not enough in an 82-70 loss at Montana in a Big Sky Conference men's basketball game Saturday evening at Dahlberg Arena.
While the Hornets' .500 field goal percentage was their best mark of the season against a Div. I squad, Montana was even better, shooting a blistering .580 (29-50) from the floor and .826 (19-23) from the free throw line. The Grizzlies made three more field goals and eight more free throws than the Hornets to help account for the 12-point margin of victory.
Sacramento State got off to a fast start, converting on six of its first seven shots of the game to take what turned out to be a team-best six-point lead (12-6) with 15:07 remaining. After retaking a six-point lead at 14-8 with 12:43 left, Montana closed the final 12 minutes of the half on a 29-13 run to take a 10-point halftime lead (37-27). During the run, six different Grizzlies scored, including Jordan Gregory who accounted for 12 of his game-high 20 points over the final 10:54 of the first half.
After a Mike Weisner three-point play gave Montana a 20-18 lead at the 6:51 mark of the first half, the Grizzlies never trailed again. Sacramento State cut into the halftime deficit, trailing by just six points at both the 13:14 and 7:05 marks of the second half, but each time, Montana responded with points on its next possession.
The loss dropped Sacramento State to 4-7 overall, 0-2 in the Big Sky and 1-6 on the road. The Hornets, who play their first four Big Sky games on the road, opened league play with a loss at Montana State on Thursday night.
Montana, which is the defending Big Sky regular season and tournament champions, improved to 6-5 overall and 1-1 in the conference. The Grizzlies have now defeated the Hornets on 14 straight occasions.
Montana shot .519 (14-27) in the first half, and .652 (15-23) in the second half, which helped overcome Sacramento State's 13-4 advantage in second-chance points. The Hornets put up one of their best second half outputs of the season, scoring 43 points, including knocking down 7-of-17 chances from beyond the 3-point line. The Hornets were held without a 3 ball in the first half, and their long streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer looked to be in jeopardy. However, Sacramento State got hot in the second half, and has now converted at least one 3-pointer in 559 consecutive games, a streak which dates back to 1993.
The Hornets finished the game shooting .304 (7-23) from the 3-point line and .611 (11-18) from the free throw line. Tonight marked the first time all season Sacramento State lost a game when scoring at least 69 points as the team is now 4-1 on those occasions.
Junior forward Zach Mills had another strong performance for the Hornets, finishing with a team-high 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field and five rebounds. Mills has now led the team in scoring in both conference games and is averaging 16.5 points and 6.0 rebounds on .565 (13-23) shooting from the field and .500 (5-10) from the 3-point line in league play. Entering the week, Mills, who is a transfer from Irvine Valley College, was averaging just 3.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
Joining Mills in double figures for Sacramento State was junior Mikh McKinney (11 points, four rebounds) and senior Jordan Salley (10 points, team-high six rebounds, 4-of-4 shooting). McKinney entered the game as the nation's third best free throw shooter at 94.1 percent, but went just 3-of-7 from the charity stripe tonight.
Eight different Hornets had at least five points, including sophomore Case Rada who tallied a season-high nine points on 3-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Junior point guard Dylan Garrity added nine points, two steals and four assists, and senior Joey Quigley chipped in a season-best seven points.
For Montana, Gregory's 20 points came on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, 2-of-5 from the 3-point line, and 6-for-6 from the free throw stripe. Keron DeShields added 17 points, including what perhaps was the biggest play of the game when he converted a three-point play with 6:46 left after the Hornets had cut the Montana lead to six points. Rounding out the four Grizzlies in double figures were reigning Big Sky MVP Kareem Jamar (14 points, six assists) and Chris Kemp (10 points, game-high seven rebounds).
Sacramento State concludes its four-game road trip with a pair of games next week at Northern Arizona on Thursday and Southern Utah on Saturday. The NAU game will begin at 5:35 p.m. PST and the Southern Utah game will begin at 6:05 p.m. PST.
May 23, 2014 HORNET HOOPS GOLF TOURNAMENT SET FOR MONDAY, JUNE 9
April 28, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS TO HOST SEASON WRAPUP/SIGNING PARTY ON MAY 8
March 10, 2014 TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR BIG SKY MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
February 28, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS FINAL REGULAR SEASON ROAD GAME SATURDAY AT IDAHO ST.
February 27, 2014 WINNING STREAK SNAPPED, MEN'S BASKETBALL FALLS AT WEBER STATE, 79-67
February 26, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO WEBER STATE ON THURSDAY, SEEKS 4TH STRAIGHT WIN
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
February 21, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS 7TH STRAIGHT HOME WIN SATURDAY VS. NORTHERN COLO.
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
February 13, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL HAS WINNING STREAK SNAPPED AT EASTERN WASHINGTON
February 12, 2014 WINNERS OF FOUR STRAIGHT, MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO EASTERN WASHINGTON
February 10, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS BEATS SOUTHERN UTAH, COMPLETES HOMESTAND WITH 4-0 RECORD
February 9, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS 4TH STRAIGHT WIN, HOSTS SOUTHERN UTAH ON MONDAY
February 6, 2014 WINNING STREAK AT THREE AFTER MEN’S HOOPS DISMANTLES NAU, 87-70
February 5, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT HOME THURSDAY NIGHT VS. NORTHERN ARIZONA
February 3, 2014 McKINNEY NAMED BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
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
December 14, 2013 MEN’S HOOPS CRUISES TO 85-54 WIN OVER WILLIAM JESSUP
December 12, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS WILLIAM JESSUP ON SATURDAY AT 7 P.M.
December 7, 2013 UTEP USES HEALTHY FREE THROW ADVANTAGE TO BEAT MEN’S BASKETBALL
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
November 13, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL SIGNS MIRA COSTA HIGH SCHOOL FORWARD JUSTIN STRINGS
November 13, 2013 BAKERSFIELD HOT FROM DISTANCE IN 74-66 WIN OVER MEN’S BASKETBALL
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