MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS AT HOME TO IDAHO

MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS AT HOME TO IDAHO

SACRAMENTO -- Idaho opened the game on a 24-10 run, and never looked back, eventually beating Sacramento State, 81-58, on Saturday evening inside the Nest.

For the second straight game, Sacramento State saw its opponent begin the game on a large run. On Thursday night, it was Eastern Washington racing to a 20-2 lead in the opening stretch of the contest. Tonight, it was Idaho burying 11 of its first 15 attempts from the field to take a 24-10 lead at the 9:23 mark of the first half. Idaho would continue to build on that lead, and a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Jordan Scott gave the Vandals a 40-20 halftime advantage.

Sacramento State trimmed the deficit to nine points at the 7:10 mark of the second half but would get no closer. During that first half, Idaho buried nine more field goals than Sacramento State and shot 17-of-29 from the floor and 5-for-10 from the 3-point line. In comparison, Sacramento State was 8-for-23 from the field in the first half, 0-for-9 from the 3-point line and was outrebounded, 17-11.

Coupled with Thursday's loss to Eastern Washington, the Hornets lost both games of a Big Sky home stretch for just the second time in six years. Sacramento State saw its record fall to 6-17 overall, 3-7 in the Big Sky Conference, and 5-4 at home. The Hornets have just eight games remaining on the regular season schedule, with four of those coming at home, and four on the road.

Idaho, which was selected to win the Big Sky in both the preseason coaches and media polls, improved to 16-7 overall and 8-3 in league play. The Vandals were able to sweep the season series against the Hornets, which included a 69-68 win in Moscow earlier this year.

Idaho finished the game shooting 54% (31-57) from the field, 48% (10-21) from the 3-point line and 69% (9-13) from the free throw line. The Vandals outrebounded the Hornets, 36-27, and held a massive 32-3 edge in points off the bench. Sacramento State shot 43% (23-54) from the field, 27% (4-15) from the arc and 57% (8-14) from the free throw line. Idaho never trailed, and held a lead for all but 37 seconds of the contest.

For Sacramento State, sophomore Joshua Patton led the way with 16 points (two shy of his career high) on 6-of-7 shooting to go along with eight rebounds before fouling out with 6:15 remaining. Senior Justin Strings added 13 points, six rebounds, a season-high four blocked shots and career-high four steals. Strings has now scored in double figures in 43 straight games, the fifth longest active streak in the nation. Jeff Wu rounded out the three Sacramento State players in double figures with 11 points, five assists and just one turnover in 33 minutes.

Izayah Mauriohooho-Le'afa had nine points and four assists, and Bryce Fowler added six points and three rebounds.

Idaho had four players score in double figures, led by Perrion Callandret's game-high 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field. Brayon Blake had 16 points and seven rebounds, and Jordan Scott had 11 points and eight rebounds. Idaho senior guard Victor Sanders saw his streak of 48 straight games in double figures come to an end after scoring eight points.

Sacramento State will hit the road next week for games on Thursday at Montana State, and Saturday at Montana. The Hornets beat Montana State, and lost to Montana earlier this year at home. Montana remains the lone unbeaten team in the Big Sky with a perfect 11-0 conference record.