MEN’S HOOPS KICKS OFF SEASON WITH 68-45 EXHIBITION WIN OVER HOLY NAMES

MEN’S HOOPS KICKS OFF SEASON WITH 68-45 EXHIBITION WIN OVER HOLY NAMES

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Twelve different Sacramento State players cracked into the scoring column, led by sophomore Eric Stuteville's 14 points and six rebounds, as the Hornets defeated Holy Names, 68-45, in the first of two home exhibition games Tuesday night at the Nest.

Sacramento State, which returns all five starters and nine players overall from a year ago, will play its second and final exhibition game at home on Friday night against Menlo at 7:05 p.m. The Hornets begin the regular season on Friday, Nov. 14, at 13th-ranked Gonzaga.

All 14 players on Sacramento State's roster made an appearance in tonight's game as fans got a glimpse of all five freshmen. Everyone contributed in a contest that saw the Hornets go on a 17-2 run spanning over seven minutes of game clock in the first half. Prior to the run, the Hawks had taken their lone lead of the evening at 7-6 with 16:13 left in the first half. Once the run had finished after Dreon Barlett sunk a jumper to give the Hornets a 23-9 lead, Sacramento State led by at least 12 points the rest of the way.

Six different Hornets scored during the run, including Cody Demps who had six points on 3-of-3 shooting. Sacramento State would eventually push its advantage to 33-17 at halftime, and led by at least 17 points the final 18:06 of the contest. The Hornets opened up a lead as large as 24 points before settling for the 23-point victory.

Sacramento State shot .554 (31-56) from the field, held a commanding 42-27 advantage in the rebounding department and had 15 assists on 31 made baskets. The Hornets also had seven steals and scored 18 points off 12 Holy Names' turnovers. Sacramento State attempted just eight three-pointers, getting one make apiece from Dylan Garrity and Trevis Jackson.

Stuteville finished the game 7-for-12 from the field, posting 14 points, six rebounds and a steal in 22 minutes. Fellow big man, senior Alex Tiffin, finished with eight points on 3-of-5 shooting to go along with four rebounds and an assist in 15 minutes.

"I thought our guys came out with good intentions and played hard," Sacramento State seventh year head coach Brian Katz said. "I was very encouraged by our inside play as Eric (Stuteville) and Alex (Tiffin) are much improved since last year. We only attempted eight three-pointers, and I like the way our guys decided to drive it inside for better looks. However, we need to defend better as Holy Names had way too many uncontested shots tonight."

Despite the open looks for the Hawks, Holy Names was limited to just .309 shooting from the field (17-for-55) and .160 (4-for-25) from beyond the three-point line.

Demps, who started at swingman tonight, finished with nine points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in a team-high 31 minutes. Senior back court and team co-captains Garrity (five points, five assists) and Mikh McKinney (nine points, three assists) combined for 14 points and eight assists as both players were on the court for 28 minutes.

Hornsby added four points, two assists, two steals and a game-high seven rebounds in 24 active minutes. Jackson finished with five points in five minutes, senior Zach Mills had four points, three rebounds and a blocked shot, and Barlett had two points, two rebounds and a pair of assists. Freshmen Marcus Graves (two points, two rebounds), Jiday Ugbaja (one steal), Justin Strings (four points, three rebounds), Mason Stuteville (two points) and James Herrick (one rebound) all factored in statistically.

For Holy Names, Joshua Crum led the way with 14 points, five assists and three rebounds in a game-high 34 minutes. Nick Simi and Jamarae Moss both added six points. There were no Hawks who finished with more than four rebounds.

NOTES -- Holy Names hails from Oakland, Calif., and is a candidacy member of NCAA Div. II as it transitions from NAIA status…the Hawks are members of the Pacific West Conference…tonight marked the first time Sacramento State and Holy Names have faced each other.