SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento State shot 59% (32-of-54) from the field, four Hornets scored in double figures, and the team never trailed on the way to a 78-67 home victory over Portland State on Monday evening at the Nest.
There were three ties during the first seven minutes of the contest and Sacramento State never led by more than seven points the majority of the first half. The Hornets were able to gain some separation with a 17-7 run spanning the final five minutes to take a 43-31 lead into halftime. Sacramento State, which converted 10 of its first 12 field goal attempts of the game, finished the half a blistering 71% (17-24) from the field. One of those shots was a half court buzzer beater by Chibueze Jacobs which sent Sacramento State into halftime with the 12-point advantage.
Portland State got no closer than nine points of the Hornet lead the entire second half despite the Vikings being in the bonus at the 13:39 mark. Sacramento State opened up a lead as large as 17 points with 7:11 remaining before eventually settling for the 11-point victory.
The Hornets' field goal percentage was their highest against a Div. I opponent this year, and the Hornets had big advantages in points in the paint (48-14) and fast break points (14-3). Sacramento State finished the game with 20 made layups and a dunk against Portland State's overmatched defense.
With the victory, the Hornets, who have split their last eight games, improved to 10-11 overall and 4-8 in the Big Sky. Tonight marked the first of a four-game homestand, and a stretch that will see the team play six of its final nine regular season games at home. Sacramento State is 6-3 inside the Nest, and each of those three losses have come by five points or fewer.
Portland State dropped its third straight while falling to 9-14 overall and 4-8 in the conference. Sacramento State has won four of the last five meetings between the two schools dating back to the 2016-17 season.
The Hornets were able to win comfortably despite Portland State converting on five more 3-pointers and 10 more free throws. PSU finished shooting just 36% (19-53) from the field, but made 9-of-24 from long range and 20-for-24 from the free throw line. Sacramento State had 16 assists on its 32 made buckets while shooting 4-of-9 from the 3-point line and 10-for-15 from the charity stripe.
Osi Nwachukwu had a season-high 15 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting from the field to go with a block and a steal. Nwachukwu had 13 of those points on 6-for-6 shooting in the first half. Ethan Esposito (6-10 FG) had 16 points and six rebounds despite playing 19 minutes, Marcus Graves (7-12 FG) had 16 points and five assists, and Bryce Fowler had 10 points, four assists and a game-high three steals.
Joshua Patton had nine points, seven rebounds and a pair of blocked shots, Jacobs had six points, four rebounds and two blocks, and Izayah Mauriohooho-Le'afa had six points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal.
All but two Hornets shot at least 50 percent from the field, and the two that didn't were both 3-for-7 from the floor.
Michael Nuga led Portland State with a game-high 19 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the 3-point line while Holland Woods had 11 points and five assists.
Tonight was the first of a stretch that will see the Hornets play three home games over a six-day span. That includes games on Thursday vs. Southern Utah and Saturday vs. Northern Arizona. Both games will tip at 7:05 p.m.
March 2, 2019 MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS IN SHOOTOUT AT IDAHO, 94-90
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