SACRAMENTO -- Idaho shot 52% (24-46) from the field, and rode a hot first half to a 67-53 win over Sacramento State on Monday evening inside the Nest.
The Hornets forced 20 Idaho turnovers and took 22 more shots from the field, but struggled shooting the basketball all evening. Sacramento State finished the game 32% (22-68) from the field, including 6-for-26 (23%) from the 3-point line. The Hornets missed 11 layups and shot below 34% in both halves.
In addition, Idaho, which connected on 4-of-6 3-point attempts, went to the free throw line 24 times compared to just four opportunities for the Hornets. The Vandals also controlled the glass, outrebounding the Hornets, 41-33. Sacramento State did have 15 offensive rebounds and turned those into 12 second chance points.
Idaho, which never trailed, shot 67% (16-24) in the first half and eventually took a 39-23 lead into halftime. The Hornets cut the deficit to eight points in the second half, but would get no closer. Sacramento State had a pair of chances to cut the deficit to six points with three minutes to play but missed both opportunities.
The Vandals went 10-for-12 from the free throw line over the final 2:55 to put the game away. Idaho's field goal percentage (52%) was the highest yielded by Sacramento State's defense this season. The Hornets entered the game ranked third in the nation allowing just 56.7 points per contest.
Sacramento State suffered just its second home loss of the season, and dropped to 11-9 overall, 4-7 in the Big Sky, and 8-2 at home. Just two days ago, the Hornets fell at home to first place Eastern Washington, 59-54.
Idaho snapped a six-game losing streak while improving to 6-15 overall and 2-8 in league. The Vandals had been 0-4 on the road against conference competition, but each of those losses came by five points or less.
Although the Hornets forced 20 Vandal turnovers (including 15 in the second half), Sacramento State scored just 14 points off those miscues.
Junior swingman Bryce Fowler was the only Hornet in double figures as he finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and a steal. He also played a team-best 30 minutes.
William FitzPatrick posted season highs in points (9) and 3-pointers made (3), Osi Nwachukwu had seven points and three steals, and Ethan Esposito finished with seven points and four rebounds.
Senior center Joshua Patton, the team's leading scorer, was limited to two points, two rebounds and three blocked shots. The two points (1-for-4 shooting) were the lowest single-game total for Patton since his freshman year.
Brandon Davis had four points and four assists, and Elijah McCullough added four points, two rebounds and two steals.
For Idaho, Trevon Allen, who is the conference's second leading scorer, finished with 27 points, eight rebounds, eight turnovers and three steals. He shot 9-for-18 from the field, 2-of-4 from the 3-point line and 7-for-8 from the charity stripe.
Sacramento State, which is in the midst of four games over an eight-day stretch, returns to action on Thursday at Weber State at 6:05 p.m. PST. The Hornets defeated Weber State earlier this season in the Nest by a 71-57 score.
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