SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State received a game-high 21 points from senior guard Mikh McKinney and the Hornets closed the contest on an 11-0 run to defeat Cal State Fullerton, 73-59, in a non-conference men's basketball game Thursday evening at the Nest.
With the victory, the Hornets improved to 5-3 overall and a perfect 4-0 at home. Each of those four home victories have come by at least nine points and Sacramento State has defeated the opposition by an average of 22.3 points per game on the home floor. The Hornets are now 25-7 at the Nest dating back to the beginning of the 2012-13 season.
With the loss, Cal State Fullerton dropped to 3-7 this season, and Sacramento State now owns a 7-6 advantage in the all-time series with the Titans.
The Hornets went into halftime with a 33-24 lead, but Fullerton opened the second half on a 16-6 run, punctuated by a Moses Morgan 3-pointer which gave the Titans a 40-39 lead with 15:01 to play. That marked Cal State Fullerton's first lead since the 8:15 mark of the first half. However, the Hornets immediately responded with back-to-back jumpers from junior Cody Demps to retake the lead at 43-40 with 14:12 to play.
Sacramento State held a lead the final 14:45 of the contest, but there were some nail biting moments as the Titans stayed within striking distance, including a jumper from Morgan to draw the Titans within, 62-59, with 2:56 remaining. However, that was the last point of the game for Fullerton as Sacramento State went on its game-clinching run which included four points from both Demps and senior Zach Mills, and a 3-pointer from Dylan Garrity at the 1:23 mark to put the Hornets up eight points at 67-59.
Six of those 11 points during the game-clinching rally came at the free throw line as the Hornets went 6-of-6 from the charity stripe over the final 1:09 to help ice the victory. The Titans went 0-for-4 from the field with two turnovers during the game's final two minutes.
Although Fullerton finished the game shooting .500 (22-44) from the floor, the Hornets had a season-high 11 steals, including a career-best six from McKinney. The Hornets turned 15 Titan turnovers into 15 points, five of which came during the final two minutes. Sacramento State outscored Fullerton, 33-24, in the first half and 40-35 in the second half. The 73 points were the most scored by the Hornets this season against a Div. I opponent.
Sacramento State shot .472 (25-53) from the field, .333 (5-15) from the 3-point line and .947 (18-19) from the free throw line. In fact, the Hornets converted on each of their final 17 free throw attempts of the contest. The free throw percentage wasn't far off the school record of .955, set in 2003 when the Hornets went 21-of-22 against Lipscomb.
The Hornets held advantages in rebounding (29-25), points off turnovers (15-9) and bench points (23-11). Both teams had just four second-chance points and neither squad registered a fast break point. Sacramento State also committed a season-low nine turnovers.
"We had trouble making shots early in both the first and second halves, and I liked the way we didn't get down on ourselves," Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz said. "We continued to defend, the shots started to fall, and we did a nice job of taking care of the basketball. Defending the home floor is a must, and in my opinion, you should win every home game and hopefully that continues the rest of the season."
McKinney's 21 points came on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Already the Big Sky Conference's leader in steals, McKinney's six swipes inched his average to 3.0 steals per game. In addition, the third-year senior now has 971 career points and is just 29 shy of becoming the 13th player in school history to score 1,000 points. Thirteen of McKinney's 21 points tonight came in the second half.
McKinney was one of four Hornets to score in double figures, including senior Alex Tiffin (season-high 15 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the floor and 7-of-7 from the charity stripe), Demps (14 points, four assists, 10 points in the second half) and Garrity (11 points, five assists and a season-best three steals).
Tiffin has now converted on 13 straight free throw attempts and has healthy season shooting percentages of .567 from the field and .933 from the free throw line. It was Tiffin and Mills (seven points, team-high five rebounds) that combined for 22 of the Hornets' 23 bench points tonight. The 14 points for Demps were two shy of his season high and Garrity went 3-for-6 from distance to improve to .435 from the 3-point line this season.
Four Titans scored in double figures, comprised of Morgan (15 points, all 15 in the second half), Alex Harris (12 points, seven assists and five turnovers), Josh Gentry (11 points) and Steve McClellan (10 points, game-high seven rebounds).
The Hornets have just three remaining non-conference games on the schedule, including a home game on Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. against Portland. Sacramento State will be facing the Pilots for the first time since 2000.
April 24, 2015 BIG SKY, RENO ANNOUNCE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS AGREEMENT
March 26, 2015 McKINNEY NAMED A FINALIST FOR MID-MAJOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
March 17, 2015 FIRST ROUND OF CIT - MEN'S HOOPS AT PORTLAND ON WEDNESDAY
March 10, 2015 BRIAN KATZ NAMED THE BIG SKY CONFERENCE CO-COACH OF THE YEAR
February 28, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS ONE WIN AWAY FROM LEAGUE TITLE AFTER WIN AT PORTLAND STATE
February 24, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS BEGINS FINAL ROAD TRIP ON SATURDAY AT PORTLAND STATE
February 21, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS BACK IN 1ST PLACE AFTER BEATING NORTH DAKOTA ON SENIOR NIGHT
February 20, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS FINAL REGULAR SEASON HOME GAME SAT. NIGHT AT 7 PM
February 19, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS IMPROVES TO 17-8 WITH A 66-59 VICTORY OVER NORTHERN COLO.
February 17, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS NORTHERN COLORADO THURSDAY NIGHT AT 7 P.M.
February 14, 2015 LATE RUN SPARKS IDAHO TO 69-58 VICTORY OVER MEN’S BASKETBALL
February 13, 2015 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO IDAHO FOR SATURDAY EVENING MATCHUP
February 12, 2015 LATE RUN FALLS JUST SHORT IN MEN’S HOOPS’ 64-61 LOSS AT EASTERN WASH.
February 10, 2015 FIRST PLACE ON THE LINE IN MEN'S HOOPS GAME THURS. AT EASTERN WASHINGTON
February 7, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS WINS 7TH STRAIGHT, DOWNS PORTLAND STATE, 64-60
February 4, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS POSTS HIGHEST TERM GPA IN SCHOOL HISTORY
February 2, 2015 McKINNEY NAMED BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR THE 3RD STRAIGHT WEEK
January 27, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT HOME THURSDAY NIGHT VS. MONTANA STATE
January 23, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN SATURDAY AT WEBER STATE
January 21, 2015 McKINNEY SELECTED AS ONE OF THE BEST MID-MAJOR PLAYERS IN THE NATION
January 21, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS BACK IN ACTION THURSDAY NIGHT AT IDAHO STATE
January 19, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS RANKED IN THE TOP 25 MID-MAJOR POLL FOR FIRST TIME EVER
January 19, 2015 McKINNEY RECEIVES SCHOOL-RECORD 4TH BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD
January 17, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS TAKES OVER FIRST PLACE, BEATS EASTERN WASHINGTON 90-77
January 16, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS EASTERN WASHINGTON ON SATURDAY FOR FIRST PLACE
January 13, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT HOME THURSDAY VS. LEAGUE NEWCOMER IDAHO AT 7 PM
January 10, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL’S WINNING STREAK ENDS IN LOSS AT NORTHERN COLORADO
January 2, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS SOUTHERN UTAH ON SATURDAY AT 7 P.M.
December 30, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS OPENS BIG SKY PLAY AT HOME THURSDAY VS. NORTHERN ARIZONA
December 29, 2014 GARRITY NAMED BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
December 27, 2014 GARRITY'S CAREER-HIGH 28 POINTS LEADS MEN'S HOOPS TO 74-49 ROAD WIN
December 24, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS FINAL NON-LEAGUE GAME SATURDAY AT UTAH VALLEY
December 21, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL CAN’T FIND THE RANGE IN ROAD LOSS AT SEATTLE
December 20, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO SEATTLE FOR SUNDAY EVENING MATCHUP
December 15, 2014 McKINNEY RECEIVES THIRD CAREER BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD
December 14, 2014 BIG NIGHT FOR McKINNEY, BUT MEN’S HOOPS LOSES THRILLER TO PORTLAND
December 12, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS PORTLAND ON SUNDAY AT 5 P.M.
December 11, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS REMAINS PERFECT AT HOME WITH A 73-59 WIN OVER CS FULLERTON
December 10, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS CAL STATE FULLERTON THURSDAY NIGHT AT 7 PM
December 6, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS CONCLUDES ROAD TRIP WITH 74-62 LOSS AT UC IRVINE
December 5, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO UC IRVINE FOR SATURDAY EVENING GAME
December 3, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS LOOKS FOR 5TH STRAIGHT WIN THURSDAY AT ABILENE CHRISTIAN
December 1, 2014 HORNSBY SCORES A CAREER-HIGH 20 AS MEN’S HOOPS WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT
November 30, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS UTAH VALLEY ON MONDAY; GARRITY NEARS MILESTONE
November 25, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS IMPROVES TO 3-1 WITH 97-63 VICTORY OVER BRISTOL
November 24, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS RESUMES HOMESTAND TUESDAY NIGHT VS. BRISTOL
November 19, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTS A 74-42 VICTORY OVER SIMPSON IN HOME OPENER
November 18, 2014 SACRAMENTO STATE TO HOST 2017 NCAA MEN’S TOURNEY 1ST AND 2ND ROUNDS
November 17, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO UC RIVERSIDE FOR MONDAY EVENING GAME
November 17, 2014 McKINNEY LEADS MEN’S HOOPS TO FIRST-EVER ROAD WIN AT UC RIVERSIDE
November 14, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS IN SEASON OPENER AT #13 GONZAGA
November 12, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL SIGNS GUARD JEFF WU AND FORWARD JOSHUA PATTON
November 10, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL OPENS SEASON FRIDAY NIGHT AT #13 GONZAGA
October 23, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS PICKED FOURTH IN BIG SKY COACHES AND MEDIA POLLS
September 30, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS SEASON COMING FAST, FIRST OFFICIAL PRACTICE ON FRIDAY
September 5, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS POSTS HIGHEST TERM GRADE POINT AVERAGE IN SCHOOL HISTORY
August 15, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL RELEASES ITS 2014-15 SCHEDULE