The Hornets learned their starting point guard, , would not play about 10 minutes before the game when the sophomore suffered a back injury during pregame warmups. Garrity had started all 16 games prior to tonight and is averaging 12.3 points and 5.1 assists per game. The injury did not deter the Hornets, however, as senior filled in admirably, finishing with two points, three rebounds, five assists, two blocked shots and two steals without a turnover in a career-high 35 minutes. In fact, Demalleville had never played more than 22 minutes in a game prior to tonight.
Sacramento State started the game sluggishly, missing nine of its first 13 field goal attempts while committing six turnovers over that span. That allowed North Dakota (7-11, 4-5) to jump out to a 24-12 lead with 9:01 to play. However, it was all Sacramento State after that. The Hornets closed the final 8:36 of the half on an 18-6 run to go into halftime tied, 30-30.
Sacramento State then opened the second half on a 12-2 run and took a 42-32 lead with 10:18 remaining. In fact, the Hornets went on a 30-8 run over parts of both the first and second halves to take control of the game. North Dakota missed 10 of its first 11 field goal attempts of the second half and didn't score until Josh Schuler sunk a jumper with 12:25 remaining in the game.
After McKinney converted on a four-point play to give the Hornets the 42-32 lead, Sacramento State led by at least six points the rest of the way. That included a game-high 13-point advantage on a pair of occasions late in the second half. Sacramento State went 11-for-14 from the free throw line over the contest's final 2:17 to help seal the victory.
With the win, the Hornets improved to 9-8 overall and 4-5 in the Big Sky. The team will reach the midway point of the conference season on Saturday night with a home game against Northern Colorado at 7:05 p.m. The victory also allowed Sacramento State to move into a four-way tie for fourth place in the league standings with North Dakota, Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. The 9-8 overall record is the team's best mark after 17 games since the 2005-06 squad was 12-5.
The Hornets, who outscored North Dakota in the second half, 37-28, finished the game shooting 45.5 percent (20-44) from the field, 50.0 percent (6-12) from the three-point line and 75.0 percent (21-28) from the free throw line. They also controlled the glass, outrebounding North Dakota by a whopping 39-22 margin, and limiting UND to just four offensive rebounds.
North Dakota shot below 40 percent from the field in both halves, and finished the game at 37.3 percent (19-51) from the field. Nineteen of the Hornets' 67 points came off the bench.
Eberhard shot 5-of-10 from the field for his season-high 15 points while also grabbing five rebounds in a game-high 36 minutes. Dickson picked up his second career double-double with 11 points and a career-best 12 rebounds, McKinney went 6-for-8 from the free throw line over the final 2:17 of the contest, and Demps' 10 points were a career high as he shot 3-for-6 from the field and 4-for-5 from the free throw line.
Center added seven points and five rebounds, and posted career highs in both rebounds (8) and minutes (30). Demalleville, Demps and Quigley all recorded career highs in minutes.
For North Dakota, Troy Huff (24) and Aaron Anderson (14) combined for 38 of the team's 58 points. Huff also grabbed nine rebounds, and Schuler added nine points. Mitch Wilmer and Lenny Antwi both fouled out late in the second half.
Tonight began a stretch that will see Sacramento State play five of six games at home.
NOTES -- The Hornets improved to 3-0 when wearing their gold jerseys this year, and are now 30-13 when wearing the gold dating back to 2003…the team also wore gold in 2003-04, 2004-05, and 2005-06.
(15), (13), (11) and (10) all scored in double figures to help lead the Hornets to a 67-58 home win over North Dakota in a Big Sky Conference men's basketball game Thursday evening at the Nest.