PORTLAND, Ore. — Sacramento State shot just 36% (19-53) from the field, including 2-for-11 from the 3-point line, while losing at Portland State, 65-57, on Saturday evening at Viking Pavilion.
The Hornets' 57 points and field goal percentage were both their third lowest outputs of the season. Still, Sacramento State hung around all game, trailing by single digits for a large chunk of the second half. In fact, the Hornets trailed by five points on a pair of occasions during the final minute of the game, and had a chance to make things a one-possession game with under 30 seconds to play, but could not get over the hump.
After trailing by five points (36-31) at halftime, Sacramento State shot 32% (8-25) from the field in the second half and 1-for-6 from distance. Complicating matters was Portland State grabbing nine offensive rebounds in the second half and scoring nine points on those second chance opportunities.
Sacramento State's largest lead was six points at 26-20 with 6:40 to play in the first half after a Osi Nwachukwu layup capped a 12-0 run. However, Portland State would go on a 27-9 run over the next 11:37 (spanning both halves) to take its largest lead of the game at 12 points (47-35) with 14:37 remaining. Sacramento State would cut that deficit to four points points on two occasions (12:48 and 8:19), but was never able to make things a one-possession game.
Portland State finished the game shooting 40% (22-55) from the field, 38% (6-16) from the 3-point line and 68% (15-22) from the free throw line. Sacramento State was 17-for-23 (74%) from the charity stripe. The Vikings' 65 points were their third lowest output against a Big Sky team as PSU entered the game averaging 78.5 points per contest.
Sacramento State, which recently completed a 3-1 homestead, dropped to 12-13 overall and 6-10 in the Big Sky. The Hornets have just four regular season games left on the schedule (two at home, two on the road) before playing in the Big Sky Tournament in Boise on March 13-16. The Hornets and Vikings split the season series as Sacramento State won the Nest, 78-67, just 12 days ago.
Portland State won its sixth straight home game while improving to 13-14 overall, 8-8 in the Big Sky and 10-4 at home. Tonight's victory gave the Vikings a perfect 4-0 homestead which included wins over Northern Arizona, Southern Utah and Idaho State. Overall, PSU has won four straight and seven of its last 10 games.
The Vikings outrebounded the Hornets, 40-33, while also finishing with a 14-7 advantage in second chance points. Sacramento State only had 10 turnovers but PSU held a 17-14 edge in points off miscues.
For Sacramento State, Joshua Patton had a team-high 12 points to go along with four rebounds and two blocks. Patton fouled out with 28 seconds to play on a huge call that did not go the Hornets' way. With the Hornets trailing by five points, Rashaad Goolsby crashed into Patton, who appeared to be stationary and all but certain a charge call was coming in favor of the Hornets. However, officials called Patton for the block, and the Vikings got two points to push the lead back to seven.
Marcus Graves had 11 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals but finished just 2-for-15 from the field and 1-of-7 from distance. Graves, who went 6-for-8 from the free throw line, entered the game averaging 19 points on 49% shooting from the 3-point line over the last 10 games. Ethan Esposito finished with 11 points and Bryce Fowler had nine points, three assists, two blocks and three steals. Nwachukwu tallied six points, eight rebounds and two blocks, and Izayah Mauriohooho-Le'afa had four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals.
Sal Nuhu led the way for Portland State with 12 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks while Jamie Orme had 11 points, four rebounds and two steals.
Sacramento State warps up its three-game road trip next week for games on Thursday at Eastern Washington and Saturday at Idaho.