BOISE, Idaho — Boise State connected on 13 3-pointers and led for all but 84 seconds of game clock on the way to a 77-54 victory over Sacramento State on Saturday afternoon at Taco Bell Arena.
After the Hornets took an early 2-0 lead on a Justin Strings layup, the Broncos immediately responded with a 9-0 run and never trailed the rest of the way. Boise State, which continued its dominance at home, led by as many as 30 points midway through the second half before settling for the 23-point win.
The victory allowed the Broncos to move their record to 9-1 overall and 6-0 at home. Each of those six home victories have come by at least 20 points. The Hornets have never defeated Boise State (0-7) since the teams' first meeting in 1970. The two teams were playing each other for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
Today's loss put an end to a ruthless stretch that saw Sacramento State play eight of its first 10 games away from home. The Hornets (2-8), who were playing their third game in six days, will now play four straight games in Sacramento. That includes three games inside the Nest and one at the Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento. The Hornets will now get a season-high nine days of rest for Finals Week before returning to host Cal State Northridge at the Nest on Dec. 19.
After missing its first five 3-point attempts of the game, Boise State would make 13 of its final 25 attempts on the way to shooting the ball 43% (13-30) from beyond the arc. It was easily the most 3-balls the Hornets have allowed all season, and the Broncos also held a 35-29 rebounding advantage. The Broncos finished the game 49% (28-57) from the field overall and 67% (8-12) from the free throw line. Boise State converted on seven more field goals, eight more 3-pointers and one more free throw than the Hornets.
Sacramento State finished 38% (21-55) from the field, 26% (5-19) from the 3-point line and 78% (7-8) from the free throw line. Points in the paint were even at 30-30, and points off turnovers were also even at 19-19.
For Sacramento State, junior Jeff Wu led the Hornets in scoring for the second straight game, finishing with 16 points, three rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals in 29 minutes. He shot 6-of-11 from the field and 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. The four 3-pointers were a career best. For the 30th straight game, Strings scored in double figures as the fourth-year senior had 15 points and a team-best 10 rebounds. The double-double was the 12th of Strings' career, the second best mark in Sacramento State's Div. I era (1991-pres.).
Wu and Strings were the only Hornets with more than seven points, as sophomore Joshua Patton had seven points, a block and a steal before fouling out with 9:57 to play. Guard Jordan Tolbert had seven points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal in a game-high 33 minutes while true freshman Bryce Fowler added five points in 14 minutes.
The Hornets, who have played all season without their starting back court of Marcus Graves and Jiday Ugbaja because of injury, used all 11 healthy bodies on the roster today.
Boise State had six different players stripe 3-balls today, including Justinian Jessup who had 18 points on 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. Chandler Hutchison had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Chris Sengfelder added 13 points for a Boise State squad that has now won five games in a row.
Sacramento State's game against CSUN on Dec. 19 opens a stretch of four straight games in Sacramento, including a game vs. Portland on Dec. 21 at the Golden 1 Center, and two more games inside the Nest vs. UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 23) and Portland State (Dec. 30). The game against Portland State is the Hornets' Big Sky Conference opener.
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