SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Five Hornets scored in double figures, led by senior Cody Demps' game-high 15 points, as Sacramento State cruised to a 96-56 victory over Holy Names in a non-conference men's basketball game Friday evening at the Nest.
Coupled with road wins over Arizona State and Seattle last week, Sacramento State is now 3-0 for just the third time in school history (1948-pres.). The Hornets had started 3-0 previously during the 1999-00 and 2012-13 seasons. The best start in program history was 4-0 during the 1999-00 season.
The Hornets continued to display a home court dominance that saw the team go 13-2 at the Nest last year, and the team is now 35-9 inside the friendly confines dating back to the 2012-13 season. Today was also the beginning of a season-long four-game homestand that includes games next week against UC Davis (Nov. 24), South Dakota (Nov. 28) and Pacific (Nov. 29).
With the loss, Holy Names, which is a Div. II school from Oakland, Calif., dropped to 1-3. The Hornets have now won 29 straight games at home against non-Div. I schools dating back to the 1999-00 season.
The Hornets started the game off slowly as the Hawks jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes of the contest. However, Sacramento State immediately responded with a 16-2 run over the next five minutes of game clock to take a 16-9 advantage, and the Hornets cruised the rest of the way. In fact, the Hornets, who led by 49 points late in the second half, held a double-digit advantage the final 24:35 of the contest.
Sacramento State shot .610 (36-59) from the field, a blistering .526 (10-19) from the 3-point line and .636 (14-22) from the free throw line. The Hornets shot at least 58 percent from the field in both halves and had six different players convert at least one 3-pointer. Sacramento State also had 26 assists on 36 made buckets and finished with 11 blocks and seven steals. The 11 blocks tied for the highest single-game mark in the program's Div. I era (1991-pres.). In addition, the 26 assists were one shy of Div. I single-game record.
The Hornets finished just four points shy of the program's first 100-point game since a 104-71 victory against Simpson during the 2007-08 season. Sacramento State got huge production from its bench again (48 points) and held large advantages in fast break points (28-4) and points in the paint (46-24). The only real blemish in tonight's game was Sacramento State committing an uncharacteristic 19 turnovers which led directly to 24 Hawk points.
"We didn't have a good start to the game, but I liked the way our guys fought back," Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz said. "We had some sloppy turnovers, but overall, I thought we played pretty well. Any time you can shoot better than 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from the 3-point line, you feel pretty good about that effort.
"We always love to play at home and hope to create that same kind of atmosphere we had last year (when the team sold out each of its last six games of the season)."
All 12 active players on Sacramento State's roster not only played in tonight's game, but all 12 cracked into the scoring column and played at least eight minutes. Of those 12 players, nine shot 50 percent or better from the field. Five Hornets finished in double figures, comprised of Demps (15 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals), Justin Strings (14 points, 5 rebounds), Eric Stuteville (13 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks), Mason Stuteville (career-high 13 points, 5 rebounds) and Marcus Graves (13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals).
The double-double for Eric Stuteville was the second of his career. In addition, Strings shot 6-of-7 from the field and is now shooting better than 60 percent (.609, 14-for-23) from the field this year. Mason Stuteville's previous career high was three points before the sophomore broke out with 13 points, including three 3-pointers, five rebounds and two blocks. In fact, four different Hornets had at least two blocks, including the Stuteville brothers, Nick Hornsby (3) and Demps (2).
In his first career appearance in a Hornet uniform, true freshman Grant Dressler had six points, two assists and two rebounds in eight minutes while Jeff Wu had six points, four rebounds and four assists, and Dreon Barlett added six points and four rebounds. Ten different Sacramento State players had at least one assist, including Trevis Jackson who finished with four. Jiday Ugbaja had two steals in 12 minutes and James Herrick added three points and four rebounds in eight minutes.
Holy Names used 15 players in the game, and none finished with more than eight points. Dante Robinson had eight points and seven rebounds, but finished shooting 3-of-12 from the field, and Jonathan Cortex had eight points and four rebounds.
Sacramento State will now turn its attention to the basketball version of the Causeway Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 24, inside the Nest at 7:05 p.m. The Hornets are 65-47 all-time against UC Davis, and have won four of the last six meetings between the two rivals.
NOTES: Ernest Tschannen, the philanthropist who donated $750,000 to the Power of 1,000 Hornets was honored at halftime and received a standing ovation.