SACRAMENTO -- Seven different Hornets scored at least six points, led by senior Marcus Graves' 14 points and 10 assists, as Sacramento State cruised to a 69-48 victory over Idaho in a Big Sky Conference matchup Thursday evening inside the Nest.
The Hornets led for more than 35 minutes of game clock, and held a double-digit advantage the final 27:42 of the contest. Sacramento State raced out a 37-19 lead at halftime, and led by at least 15 points the entire second half. That includes opening up a lead as large as 25 points in the second half before settling for the 21-point victory.
Sacramento State broke things open with a 26-4 run during the opening half. When the run began, the Hornets trailed, 9-4, and by the time the 11-minute barrage finished, Sacramento State led, 30-13, with 4:57 left in the half. The Hornets buried three 3-pointers during the run, capped by a Graves' 3-ball to put the Hornets up 17 points.
Sacramento State held sizable advantages in points in the paint (38-20), rebounds (34-24), assists (21-13) and second chance points (12-5). The Hornets shot 52% (27-52) from the field, the fourth best mark of the season. The team also buried six 3-pointers and went 9-for-13 from the free throw line. By comparison, Idaho shot 39% (17-44) from the field and was limited to just four offensive rebounds.
With the victory, Sacramento State improved to 8-8 overall and 2-5 in the Big Sky Conference. Tonight marked the first of a stretch that will see the Hornets play six of nine games at home, including a date with Eastern Washington on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Sacramento State moved its home recored to 5-2 this season, and 63-27 (.700 winning percentage) inside the Nest dating back to the 2012-13 season.
Tonight's win was the first at home against a conference opponent after a five-point loss to Northern Colorado and two-point loss to Idaho State over the last month.
Idaho dropped its fourth straight while falling to 4-14 overall and 1-6 in the Big Sky. The Vandals lost four starters and seven players from last season's team which finished 22-9 overall and 14-4 in conference play. Sacramento State is now 3-8 at home against Idaho, but three of those victories have come over the last four years.
Graves' double-double was the fourth of the season for the team co-captain and he was proficient from the field, shooting 5-for-9 overall, including 3-of-4 from distance and making his only free throw attempt. He also had just two turnovers in 32 minutes, finishing with a 5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Joining Graves in double figures were Joshua Patton (13 points, eight rebounds, two steals) and Ethan Esposito (11 points, five rebounds). Patton was 5-for-6 from the floor, and Esposito 4-of-6.
Bryce Fowler had seven points, seven assists and one steal, Chibueze Jacobs seven points, four rebounds and two steals, and both Osi Nwachukwu and Izayah Mauriohooho-Le'afa had six points and three rebounds. James Bridges added five points, four rebounds and a steal.
Idaho was led by Jared Rodriguez's 11 points and nine rebounds while Cassius Smits-Franci finished with seven points and five boards.
Sacramento State will play again on Saturday night against Eastern Washington at 7:05 p.m. The Hornets and Eagles will be playing the first of two games against each other, including a matchup in Cheney, Wash., on Feb. 28.
NOTES -- The Hornets used the following starting lineup - Graves and Fowler at guard, Nwachukwu and Jacobs at forward, and Patton at center - for the first time all season…Calvin Martin did not play because of injury…Mauriohooho-Le'afa had started the first 15 games until coming off the bench to play 24 minutes tonight.
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February 23, 2019 MEN’S HOOPS SHOOTING GOES COLD IN 65-57 ROAD LOSS AT PORTLAND STATE
February 20, 2019 MEN'S HOOPS CONCLUDES HOMESTAND THURSDAY NIGHT VS. WEBER STATE
February 16, 2019 MEN’S HOOPS FALLS AT HOME TO NORTHERN ARIZONA
February 14, 2019 MEN'S HOOPS CONTINUES HOMESTAND THURSDAY NIGHT VS. SOUTHERN UTAH
February 11, 2019 MEN’S BASKETBALL NEVER TRAILS IN 78-67 HOME WIN OVER PORTLAND STATE
February 9, 2019 LATE SURGE DOOMS MEN’S HOOPS IN 65-59 ROAD LOSS AT NORTHERN COLORADO
February 1, 2019 MEN'S HOOPS CONTINUES ROAD TRIP SATURDAY NIGHT AT WEBER STATE
January 30, 2019 MEN'S HOOPS OPENS THREE-GAME ROAD TRIP ON THURSDAY AT IDAHO STATE
January 25, 2019 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT HOME SATURDAY NIGHT VS. EASTERN WASHINGTON
January 24, 2019 MEN’S HOOPS CRUISES TO 69-48 HOME WIN OVER IDAHO
January 23, 2019 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT HOME; HOST IDAHO ON THURSDAY NIGHT AT 7 PM
January 18, 2019 MEN'S HOOPS TO PLAY ROAD MATINEE ON SATURDAY AT SOUTHERN UTAH
January 15, 2019 MEN'S HOOPS BEGINS BRIEF ROAD TRIP THURSDAY AT NORTHERN ARIZONA
January 12, 2019 MEN’S HOOPS DROPS LAST SECOND HEART BREAKER TO IDAHO STATE, 72-70
January 10, 2019 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS IDAHO STATE ON SATURDAY FOR KIDS NIGHT
January 4, 2019 MEN'S HOOPS GETS SET FOR SATURDAY MATINEE AT MONTANA STATE
December 27, 2018 MEN'S HOOPS OPENS BIG SKY PLAY ON SATURDAY AT HOME VS NORTHERN COLORADO
December 21, 2018 MEN’S BASKETBALL LEADS AT HALFTIME, BUT EVENTUALLY FALLS AT WASHINGTON
December 19, 2018 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO WASHINGTON FOR FRIDAY NIGHT GAME AT 6 PM
December 11, 2018 MEN’S BASKETBALL USES LATE 29-2 RUN TO BEAT HOLY NAMES, 81-56
December 10, 2018 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT HOME TUESDAY NIGHT VS. HOLY NAMES AT 7 PM
December 8, 2018 MEN’S HOOPS DROPS TO 4-2 AFTER 76-67 LOSS AT PORTLAND
December 6, 2018 MEN'S BASKETBALL WRAPS UP ROAD TRIP ON SATURDAY AT PORTLAND
December 5, 2018 MEN’S BASKETBALL ADDS HOME GAME ON THURSDAY, DEC. 13
November 27, 2018 HUGE WEEK LANDS GRAVES BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
November 24, 2018 MEN’S HOOPS NOW 3-0 AFTER 87-82 OVERTIME WIN AGAINST CAL STATE FULLERTON
November 16, 2018 FRIDAY NIGHT’S MEN’S BASKETBALL HOME GAME AGAINST CAL POLY POSTPONED
November 14, 2018 SECOND GAME OF THE SEASON: MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS CAL POLY
September 26, 2018 MEN’S HOOPS SEASON ON THE HORIZON, FIRST OFFICIAL TEAM PRACTICE IS FRIDAY
September 12, 2018 FORMER MEN’S BASKETBALL HEAD COACH DON NEWMAN PASSES AWAY
July 24, 2018 MEN’S BASKETBALL RELEASES THE 2018-19 SCHEDULE
July 19, 2018 THE NEST RECEIVES A BRAND NEW FLOOR DESIGN