POCATELLO, Idaho -- After Sacramento State missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw situation, Idaho State's Tomas Sanchez banked in a 10-foot runner with four seconds to play and gave the Bengals a 60-59 victory over Sacramento State in a Big Sky Conference men's basketball game Thursday evening at Holt Arena.
The Hornets, who led for over 36 minutes of game clock, took a three-point lead (59-56) on a layup with 21 seconds remaining. That capped off a 4-0 Sacramento State run after Idaho State had taken its first lead of the second half at 56-55 with 2:26 to play.
After the Dickson layup, ISU scored 10 seconds later on a Sanchez layup to cut the Hornet lead to 59-58 with 11 seconds remaining. The Hornets' was then fouled after catching the ensuing inbounds pass with nine seconds to play. Demalleville, who had just three free throw attempts all season, missed the front end of the 1-and-1 situation and Sanchez grabbed the rebound.
The Bengals wasted no time dribbling up the floor, and Sanchez, who led all players with 22 points, scored his biggest points of the game with a running 10-footer near the right side of the key with four seconds left. Sacramento State quickly threw the inbounds pass to point guard , who drew contact from an ISU defender as he tried to loft a half court shot before the final buzzer sounded. The ball didn't travel more than a few feet out of the hands of Garrity because of the contact, and the Bengals walked away with the victory.
Making the loss more excruciating was Idaho State's Chris Hansen hit an 85-footer as the first half buzzer sounded, and the Hornets walked into halftime with a 29-21 lead instead of an 11-point advantage. In addition, Sacramento State was whistled for 12 fouls in the second half, and ISU was already in the bonus with 11:18 remaining in the contest. The Bengals took advantage, hitting 13-of-14 free throws in the second half.
The Hornets led by 10 points (43-33) with 13:02 to play, but ISU immediately responded with a 10-3 run to cut the lead to 46-43 with 10:03 left. No team led by more than five points the remainder of the contest. Sacramento state scored just four points during the game's final five minutes. The loss also marked the first time all season the team had lost when holding a lead with five minutes to play (6-1).
With the loss, the Hornets dropped to 8-7 overall and 3-4 in the Big Sky. The team's season-long four-game road trip will finally come to an end on Saturday at Weber State. Sacramento State also missed an opportunity to move into third place in the conference standings. Instead, the Hornets find themselves in a five-way tie for fourth place. Weber State and Montana are both 7-0, and only 1.5 games separate places 3 through 11 in the conference standings.
Idaho State has now won three of its last five games while improving to 4-12 overall and 3-4 in the conference. Seven of the last 10 meetings between the Hornets and Bengals have been decided by five points or less.
The Hornets finished the game shooting 41.7 percent (20-48) from the field, 35.0 percent (7-12) from the three-point line and 70.6 percent (12-17) from the free throw line. Sacramento State outrebounded Idaho State, 34-28, and has now outrebounded all seven conference opponents it has faced thus far. Idaho State had similar numbers, shooting 40.4 percent (19-47) from the field and 31.8 percent (7-22) from the three-point line, but also converted on three more free throws than the Hornets (15-of-19, .789).
Sacramento State had three players score in double figures, led by 's 19 points and career-high 11 rebounds. The double-double was the first of Dickson's career as he shot 7-of-15 from the field while four of those 11 rebounds came on the offensive glass. Joining Dickson in double figures were (14) and (13). McKinney also had eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and no turnovers in a game-high 38 minutes. Veteto was 5-for-6 from the field for his 13 points, and added six points, six rebounds and three assists. Dickson, McKinney, Veteto and Eberhard combined for all but seven of the team's 59 points.
For Idaho State, 16 of Sanchez's 22 points came in the second half as he also finished with six rebounds while burying four three-pointers. He was joined in double figures by Hansen (15 points), Melvin Morgan (11 points) and Andre Hatchett (10 points, six rebounds). The Bengals outscored the Hornets in the second half by a 39-30 margin.
After the Hornets' game at Weber State on Saturday, five of the team's next six games will come at home, including next week's contests against both North Dakota and Northern Colorado.