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MEN’S BASKETBALL CRUSHES SIMPSON, 103-63, IN EXHIBITION GAME

MEN’S BASKETBALL CRUSHES SIMPSON, 103-63, IN EXHIBITION GAME

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Playing its lone exhibition game, Sacramento State saw all 13 players that appeared in tonight's contest crack into the scoring column as the Hornets defeated Simpson, 103-63, on Friday evening at the Nest.

Not only did all 13 score, but eight of those players recorded at least seven points in a balanced attack for the Hornets. Sacramento State jumped out to a 23-2 lead during the game's first seven and a half minutes, and cruised the rest of the way. In fact, the Hornets led by double figures for all but 2:24 of the contest, and led by as many as 46 points late in the second half.

Sacramento State shot .515 (34-66) from the field, .400 (10-25) from the 3-point line and .758 (25-33) from the free throw line while tallying 24 assists compared to just 11 turnovers. The Hornets held a massive 55-24 edge in the rebounding department, and 20 of those boards came on the offensive glass leading to 23 second-chance points. Sacramento State also had nine blocked shots and limited Simpson to just .373 shooting (22-59) from the field.

Tonight marked the only exhibition tuneup for Sacramento State as the team opens the regular season a week from today (Nov. 13) at Arizona State. Simpson, which is an NAIA member school from Redding, Calif., was playing the Hornets for the fifth time ever. Sacramento State has won all five of those meetings, with three of those victories coming during exhibition play.

"What I really liked about tonight's game was our assist-to-turnover ratio, the way we crashed the offensive glass, our shooting proficiency and the nine blocks," Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz said. "We played well tonight in spots, and I liked the effort from the team.

"We set a tone early and that's something we always stress to our players. I thought our guys were aggressive, the ball was moving well and we took care of the ball. We still have a lot to work on, but every team in the nation has a lot to work on this early in the season."

The Hornets had five players score in double figures, comprised of Justin Strings (15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks), Nick Hornsby (14 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks), Mason Stuteville (11 points, 5 rebounds), Jeff Wu (11 points, 3 assists) and Marcus Graves (10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists). Of those five players, four are underclassmen including three sophomores (Graves, Strings, Stuteville) and one true freshman (Wu).

Hornsby finished four assists shy of a triple-double and shot 5-of-7 from the field and 4-for-6 from the free throw line. Graves played a team-high 24 minutes.

Center Eric Stuteville finished with eight points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes, Dreon Barlett had eight points (including a pair of triples) in just six minutes and Cody Demps finished with six points, five rebounds and four assists. Barlett took a hard spill midway through the first half, and did not play in the second half as a precaution. Seven different Hornets buried a 3-pointer, including two apiece from Strings, Graves and Barlett.

Other Hornets to crack the scoring column included James Herrick (7 points), Trevis Jackson (4 points, 2 assists, 2 steals), Grant Dressler (4 points, 2 rebounds), Joshua Patton (3 points, 4 rebounds) and Jiday Ugbaja (2 points, 1 steal). Patton, a true freshman from Manteca, will redshirt this year.

For the Red Hawks, Josh Brakkee had 13 points while Marcus Brown (12) and Joseph Bosetti (10) also scored in double figures. Simpson used 10 players in tonight's game.

Sacramento State opens the regular season next week with a pair of road games at Arizona State (Nov. 13) and Seattle (Nov. 15). The Hornets then begin a season-long four-game homestand on Nov. 20

NOTES -- The Hornets wore brand new gold uniforms, the first time the team has put on the gold in two years.