OREM, Utah -- Sacramento State senior guard Dylan Garrity scored a career-high 28 points and the Hornets used a 34-10 run over parts of the first and second halves on the way to a 74-49 victory at Utah Valley in a non-conference men's basketball game Saturday evening at the UCCU Center.
The 25-point margin of victory was the Hornets' second largest in a road game during the program's Div. I era (1991-pres.). That mark trails only a 77-49 victory at Southern Utah on Jan. 11, 2014. In addition, the 25-point margin of victory was the largest in a non-conference road game since winning at Chaminade, 79-45, during the 1989-90 season.
Tonight marked the final non-league game of the season as the Hornets will begin Big Sky Conference play on Thursday at home against Northern Arizona. Sacramento State (6-5) will enter league play with a record above .500 for just the fourth time since joining the Big Sky in 1996-97.
Making the blowout win even more impressive is it came against a Utah Valley squad that won the Western Athletic Conference regular season title and advanced to the NIT last season. The win also allowed Sacramento State to complete a season sweep of Utah Valley (4-8) as the Hornets defeated the Wolverines in Sacramento earlier this year by a 65-56 score.
Prior to this evening, Utah Valley's only home loss of the season came against Utah State, 50-47, on Dec. 13.
Garrity put on a shooting display tonight as the 28 points surpassed his previous career high of 26, set last year on the road at Idaho State. A senior co-captain, Garrity was 8-of-9 from the field, 6-of-7 from the 3-point line and 6-for-6 from the free throw line while also grabbing three rebounds and dishing out a pair of assists. In addition, the Hornets outscored Utah Valley by 25 points while Garrity was on the floor.
Garrity was not the only Hornet who shot well from the field as Sacramento State shot .558 (24-43) from the field, .588 (10-17) from the 3-point line and .842 (16-19) from the free throw line. The 3-pointers made and 3-point field goal percentage were both season highs.
Meanwhile, Sacramento State used a zone defense that limited Utah Valley to .327 (18-55) shooting from the field and 5-for-27 from beyond the 3-point line. The Hornets outrebounded the Wolverines, 32-29, and head coach Brian Katz used all 14 players on the roster in tonight's game.
Trailing, 30-22, with 6:40 remaining in the first half, Sacramento State finished the half on a 16-2 run, and proceeded to outscore Utah Valley, 18-8, during the first 10:42 of the second half. Overall, it was a convincing 34-10 run which spanned 16:58 of both halves. Seven different Hornets scored during the game-clinching run, including nine points from Garrity, seven points from Zach Mills, and six points from Mikh McKinney.
The Hornets led by double figures the final 11:52 of the contest, opening up a lead as large as 26 points.
Joining Garrity in double figures for the Hornets was McKinney, who finished with a well-balanced line of 13 points, six rebounds, eight assists and four steals in 35 minutes. The rebounds, assists and steals were all game highs.
Cody Demps added eight points, Dreon Barlett had eight points and a career-high tying five rebounds, Mills had seven points, and Eric Stuteville added four points and three rebounds.
For Utah Valley, Chad Ross was the only player in double figures as he finished team highs in both points (10) and rebounds (5) while coming off the bench. Mitch Bruneel added nine points and four rebounds, and Marcel Davis had seven points.
Sacramento State's first two conference games will come at home next week on New Year's Day against Northern Arizona, and Saturday, Jan. 3, vs. Southern Utah. Both games will begin at 7:05 p.m.
NOTES -- Garrity moved into 10th place on the Hornets' all-time scoring list, and now has 1,090 career points. He is 40 points shy of moving into ninth place…Sacramento State outscored Utah Valley in the first half, 38-32, and in the second half, 36-17…the Hornets improve to 2-4 on the road this year, and snapped a four-game losing streak on the road…Sacramento State's other road win came at UC Riverside on Nov. 17 by a 70-69 score…the 74 points tied for the third highest output of the season by the Hornets, and the most scored on the road…the 2012-13, 2005-06, and 1999-00 squads also entered Big Sky play with a record above the .500 mark.
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