SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento State trailed by just five points with under four minutes to play, but 21st-ranked Colorado closed the final 3:42 on a 14-5 run to beat the Hornets, 59-45, on Saturday evening at the Coors Events Center.
The loss was the first of the season for Sacramento State (4-1), which hadn't played since winning on the road at Pepperdine seven days ago. Colorado, ranked 21st in the country in the Associated Press top 25 poll, improved to a perfect 6-0 on the young season.
As has been the case all season, Sacramento State used a stingy defensive effort to limit Colorado to just 20 made field goals, including 2-for-9 from the 3-point line. However, the Hornets were whistled for a massive 26 fouls leading to a 17-for-26 performance from the free throw line by the Buffaloes.
Conversely, Colorado was whistled for just 14 fouls, and the Hornets were 10-of-14 from the charity stripe. Three Hornets - Joshua Patton, Brandon Davis and Chibueze Jacobs all fouled out of the contest. No Colorado player had more than three fouls, and only one had more than two fouls.
The nationally ranked Buffaloes were forced into 19 turnovers and Sacramento State had eight steals, including three from Davis. However, the Hornets shot just 28% (17-60) from the field and 1-for-8 from the 3-point line. All three of Sacramento State's blocked shots came from Patton, and the senior center became the program's all-time leader (1948-pres.) in career blocks. He now has 154 stuffs, surpassing the previous record of 152, held by Cassius Kelleybrew.
Colorado's largest lead of the game was also the final score. A Patton layup cut the Hornets' deficit to five points (45-40) with 4:04 remaining, but Colorado proceeded to score on each of its final eight possessions of the game to put things away. Both teams combined for just 40 points at halftime (CU 24, SAC 16), and the score was 8-8 with 10 minutes to play in the first half.
Ethan Esposito led the way with 12 points, six rebounds and a pair of steals, and Izayah Mauriohooho-Le'afa had 10 points, seven rebounds and a steal. Davis had eight points (4-of-8 shooting) and three steals, and was also the only Hornet to shoot 50% or better from the field.
Patton, who fouled out with 3:42 to play (which coincided with the beginning of Colorado's run), had four points, three rebounds, three blocks and a steal. Jacobs, who fouled out with nine minutes to play, had seven rebounds (five offensive) in just 21 minutes of action.
Bryce Fowler had nine points and a pair of assists and Spencer Monteiro played nine minutes in his first action in a Sacramento State uniform.
Tyler Bey led Colorado with 11 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks, and Evan Battey finished with 11 points, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
Sacramento State will play two home games inside the Nest during the month of December, beginning with a matchup against UC Merced on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.
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