MOSCOW, Idaho -- Idaho used a 14-3 run over the game's final 4:06, and outrebounded the Hornets by a wide margin (38-22) to defeat Sacramento State, 69-58, in a Big Sky Conference men's basketball game Saturday evening at Cowan Spectrum.
The loss dropped the Hornets to 16-8 overall and 10-3 in the Big Sky. Sacramento State lost both its road games this week, including 64-61 at Eastern Washington on Thursday, and has suffered its first losing streak since the middle of December. The good news is that Eastern Washington lost earlier today to Portland State, but the bad news is that Montana was victorious in triple overtime over Northern Colorado.
That means only a half game separates the top three teams in the Big Sky standings, as Eastern Washington (10-2) remains in first place with both Sacramento State and Montana (10-3) a half game back. The Hornets and Grizzlies have five games remaining on the regular season schedule while the Eagles have six games left. The winner of the Big Sky regular season championship will host the conference tournament on March 12-14. The winner of the conference tournament will secure the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Of the Hornets' five regular season games remaining, the final two home games will come next week on Thursday against Northern Colorado and Saturday vs. North Dakota. Sacramento State's final three regular season games will come on the road at Portland State, Southern Utah and Northern Arizona, respectively.
Idaho improved to 11-12 overall, 6-6 in the conference and 9-3 at home. The Vandals are now 15-2 all-time against the Hornets and have defeated Sacramento State in Moscow on eight straight opportunities.
In tonight's game, after a Cody Demps' jumper allowed the Hornets to pull even at 55-55 with 4:43 to play, Idaho proceeded to go on its game-clinching 14-3 run. After the Demps jumper, Sacramento State missed nine of its final 10 shots from the field, and of the Vandals' 14 points, six came via second-chance opportunities after an offensive rebound.
Idaho never trailed the first 31:32 of the contest before a Dylan Garrity 3-pointer gave the Hornets their first and largest lead of the night at 51-48 with 8:28 left. That lead was short lived as Idaho scored four straight before a Mikh McKinney jumper gave Sacramento State what would be the team's last lead of the evening at 53-52 with 6:08 left. A jumper from Idaho's Mike Scott put the Vandals back on top with 4:54 to play, a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way.
Uncharacteristically, Sacramento State had a bad shooting night, finishing just .411 (23-56) from the field and .217 (5-23) from the 3-point line. One of the nation's top 3-point shooting teams, the Hornets percentage from distance was easily the team's worst mark of the season. Sacramento State also went to the free throw line just eight times compared to 20 opportunities from the stripe for Idaho. In fact, the Hornets were whistled for eight more fouls during the contest (18-10) and never got into a bonus situation.
Conversely, Idaho shot .563 (27-48) from the field, the second highest output by a Sacramento State opponent all season. The Vandals didn't shoot particularly well from distance (4-14), but converted on 23 of their 34 two-point opportunities (.676). Idaho, which is the Big Sky's top rebounding team, crushed the Hornets on the glass by a wide margin (38-22). The Vandals also had 22 points off the bench compared to just six for Sacramento State.
The Hornets were outscored in both the first (37-33) and second (32-25) halves, and held a lead for just 3:26 of the contest.
Four Sacramento State players scored in double figures, comprised of McKinney (15 points, five assists, three steals in 39 minutes), Garrity (15 points), Demps (12 points, two steals, 6-of-9 shooting) and Nick Hornsby (10 points, three assists and four steals). Uncharacteristically, both Garrity (5-13, 2-9 3PT) and McKinney (6-15, 3-11 3PT) had tough shooting nights as the senior co-captains combined to shoot 11-of-28 from the field and 5-for-20 from the 3-point line. Amazingly, the .400 overall field goal percentage tied for the third worst shooting night of the season for McKinney, who entered the game shooting .535 from the floor.
No Hornet had more than four rebounds, and the foursome of Demps, Garrity, McKinney and Hornsby combined for all but six of the team's points. Demps was the only Sacramento State player to shoot better than 50 percent from the field.
Four Vandals scored in double figures, comprised of Arkadiy Mkrtychyan (16 points, six rebounds, 7-of-8 shooting), Scott (15 points, six rebounds, four assists), Sekou Wiggs (12 points) and Connor Hill (11 points). Four different Idaho players had at least six rebounds, led by Paulin Mpawe's game-high nine boards.
Both home games next week for Sacramento State will begin at 7:05 p.m. Prior to Saturday's game against North Dakota, Hornet seniors Zach Mills, Alex Tiffin, McKinney and Garrity will be honored for their contributions to the program.
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