SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State held UC Davis without a point the final 4:49 of the game, and closed on a 9-0 run to beat the Aggies, 58-55, on Tuesday evening at the Golden 1 Center.
The Aggies took their largest lead of the game at 55-49 with 4:50 remaining after back-to-back 3-pointers from Siler Schneider, but UC Davis would miss its final six shots with three turnovers over that span. Meanwhile, Sacramento State's game-sealing 9-0 run occurred over the final 4:26 of the contest, which included a 3-pointer from Bryce Fowler (4:26), a tip-in from Osi Nwachukwu (2:01), a contested layup from Marcus Graves (0:11) and a pair of free throws from Joshua Patton (1.4 seconds left).
The Graves layup with 11 seconds remaining gave the Hornets their first lead (56-55) since the 14:21 mark of the second half. During UC Davis' ensuing possession, Schneider missed an off-balance 15-footer with seven seconds left before Patton grabbed the rebound and was eventually fouled with 1.4 seconds left on the clock. Patton drained both free throws, and the Aggies' TJ Shorts' desperation halfcourt heave was off the mark and came after the final buzzer.
The 9-0 run was part of a Hornet defensive effort that held UC Davis to 37% (22-59) shooting from the field while forcing 19 Aggie turnovers. In fact, Sacramento State outscored the Aggies, 19-11, in points off miscues, with two of those points coming on Nwachukwu's tip-in at the 2:01 mark.
Sacramento State, which was playing for the first time since opening the season on Nov. 9 with a win over Simpson, improved to 2-0 on the young season. The Hornets had their previous game (Nov. 16 vs. Cal Poly) canceled because of poor air quality related to the Camp Fire. Sacramento State also posted its first win at the downtown Golden 1 Center since the arena's opening in September of 2016.
The two teams were playing each other for the 117th time in a series that dates back to 1948, and Sacramento State improved to 67-50 all-time against UC Davis. Hornet head coach Brian Katz is now 6-5 against the Aggies since taking over the head coaching duties in 2008.
The Hornets have won their first two games of the season for the first time since the 2015-16 team started with a 4-0 record. UC Davis dropped to 1-5.
In a game where neither team led by more than eight points, Sacramento State held a 30-27 halftime lead and both teams scored 28 points in the second half. The Hornets finished the game 39% (22-57) from the field, including four 3-pointers and 10-of-14 from the free throw line. Sacramento State made each of its final six free throw attempts spanning the last 6:50. The Hornets held a 41-37 edge in the rebounding department, including 14 offensive boards which resulted in 10 second-chance points.
Six different Hornets had at least seven points, led by three players with 11. One game after posting the program's first triple-double, Graves finished with 11 points, six rebounds, eight assists and four steals in 34 minutes. The senior co-captain played the final eight minutes with four fouls. Patton had 11 points, seven rebounds, four blocks and two steals in 35 minutes. Nine of those points and three blocks came in the second half. Sophomore Ethan Esposito chipped in 11 points and four rebounds in 17 minutes.
Nwachukwu played the defense all evening while also recording nine points, six rebounds and two steals, and Fowler had seven points, five assists and a pair of steals. Fowler hit one of the biggest shots of the night, a 3-pointer from the corner at the 4:26 mark, 24 seconds after UC Davis had taken its six-point lead. Izayah Mauriohooho-Le'afa had seven points and three steals, and Calvin Martin had seven rebounds (five on the offensive glass).
For UC Davis, which shot 7-of-16 from the 3-point line, Schneider had a game-high 15 points, including 13 of UC Davis' 28 points in the second half. Shorts added 11 points, six rebounds and four steals, but had five turnovers.
The Hornets will play their third consecutive game in Sacramento this Saturday when they host Cal State Fullerton at the Nest at 7:05 p.m. Sacramento State began the year with a 76-52 victory over Simpson on Nov. 9.
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