OGDEN, Utah - Sacramento State played well enough to win on most nights, but was undone by Jerrick Harding's record-setting 44 points as Weber State defeated the Hornets, 70-66, on Thursday evening at the Dee Events Center.
Harding was a one-man show for Weber State, single-handedly beating the Hornets with an array of layups, midrange jumpers and 3-pointers from nearly everywhere on the floor. Some shots were spinning, off balance, twisting, and some were downright circus quality as the senior guard set the Dee Events Center record with 44 points. Harding, who scored 10 of the Wildcats' final 12 points, finished 14-for-21 from the field, 5-for-10 from the 3-point line and 11-for-11 from the free throw line.
Amazingly, the Wildcats finished with just three assists on their 23 made buckets as Harding routinely created his own shot on multiple Sacramento State defenders. Harding entered the game as the Big Sky's leading scorer (ninth in the nation) with an average of 21.7 points per game, and that average spiked after a game Weber State likely loses handily without his services. In the process, Harding became Weber State's all-time leading scorer and now has 2,099 career points.
The Wildcats did not have a deficit the final 25:21 of the contest, but the Hornets kept things close throughout, never trailing by more than 10 points. After the Wildcats took a 58-49 lead, the Hornets went on a 15-6 run over the next 5:37 to tie things at 64-64 with 2:05 to play. After Harding buried a pair of free throws, Joshua Patton answered with two free throws to once again tie the score at 66-66 with 1:42 left.
However, the Patton free throws were the last points the team scored as Sacramento State would miss two free throws and a contested dunk opportunity in the final minute. A Harding jumper in the paint with 1:25 left allowed Weber to take a 68-66 lead and a pair of Wildcat free throws with 14 seconds remaining provided the final score. Sacramento State missed a two 3-point attempts in the final 10 seconds.
The Hornets dropped their fourth straight while falling to 11-10 overall and 4-8 in the Big Sky. Sacramento State lost for the first time all year when scoring 60 points or more as the team had been 10-0. Earlier this season, the Hornets defeated Weber State inside the Nest by a 71-57 score.
The Wildcats won for the third time in the last four games and improved to 9-14 overall and 5-7 in league play. The Hornets dropped to 2-24 all-time when playing on Weber State's home floor.
Sacramento State shot 42% (23-55) from the field and 40% (8-20) from the 3-point line, but had trouble at the free throw line, connecting on just 57% (12-21) of its freebies. The Hornets held a big edge in rebounding (31-23) and second chance points (20-5). The Wildcats finished at 54% (23-44) from the floor, 44% (7-16) from long range and 90% (17-19) from the free throw line. Sacramento State went to the free throw line two more times than Weber State, but the Wildcats scored five more points from the charity stripe.
For the Hornets, guard Izayah Mauriohooho-Le'afa was impressive, finishing one point shy of his career high. The fourth-year senior scored 22 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, 5-for-7 from the 3-point line and 5-of-6 from the free throw line while adding two steals. Fourteen of those points came in the second half.
Patton finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, James Bridges had seven points on 2-of-3 shooting from distance, and Bryce Fowler added six points, five rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. Fowler, who has served as the team's sixth man the majority of the season, started his third game of the year.
Osi Nwachukwu had four points, three rebounds and a steal, Chibueze Jacobs five points, and Ethan Esposito five rebounds.
Harding was the only Weber State player to score in double figures, while Tim Fuller finished with 10 rebounds and two blocked shots.
Sacramento State will play for the fourth time in eight days when the team travels to Pocatello to take on Idaho State on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. PST.
February 21, 2020 MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS AT IDAHO SATURDAY AFTERNOON
February 14, 2020 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS NORTHERN COLORADO ON SATURDAY AT 7 PM
January 27, 2020 MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS ON THE ROAD AT NORTHERN ARIZONA
January 17, 2020 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO SOUTHERN UTAH FOR SATURDAY MATINEE
January 16, 2020 WINNING STREAK SNAPPED, MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS AT NORTHERN COLORADO
December 30, 2019 MEN’S BASKETBALL DROPS 52-50 ROAD HEARTBREAKER AT MONTANA
December 29, 2019 GAME NOTES: MEN'S HOOPS TO PLAY AT MONTANA ON MONDAY NIGHT
December 28, 2019 MEN’S BASKETBALL DROPS BIG SKY OPENER AT MONTANA STATE
December 22, 2019 MEN'S BASKETBALL OPENS BIG SKY PLAY SATURDAY AT MONTANA STATE
December 14, 2019 MEN’S BASKETBALL DROPS HEARTBREAKER ON THE ROAD AT SANTA CLARA, 60-58
December 3, 2019 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT HOME TUESDAY NIGHT VS. UC MERCED AT 7 PM
December 3, 2019 MEN’S BASKETBALL IMPROVES TO 5-1 AFTER 72-36 WIN OVER UC MERCED
November 30, 2019 LATE RUN PROPELS 21ST-RANKED COLORADO TO WIN OVER MEN’S BASKETBALL
November 27, 2019 MEN'S HOOPS LOOKS TO STAY UNBEATEN SATURDAY AT 21ST-RANKED COLORADO
November 26, 2019 PATTON NAMED BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
November 22, 2019 MEN'S BASKETBALL LOOKS TO REMAIN UNBEATEN SATURDAY AT PEPPERDINE
November 20, 2019 MEN’S HOOPS NOW 3-0 AFTER 61-51 WIN OVER UC DAVIS AT THE GOLDEN 1 CENTER
November 18, 2019 MEN'S BASKETBALL SET FOR GOLDEN 1 CENTER MATCHUP WEDNESDAY VS. UC DAVIS
November 15, 2019 MEN’S BASKETBALL IMPROVES TO 2-0 AFTER 62-49 WIN OVER UC RIVERSIDE
November 8, 2019 MEN’S BASKETBALL CRUSHES SIMPSON, 76-27, IN SEASON OPENER
October 30, 2019 MEN’S BASKETBALL BEATS WESTCLIFF, 88-60, IN LONE EXHIBITION GAME
August 6, 2019 MEN’S BASKETBALL RELEASES ITS 2019-20 SCHEDULE