STANFORD, Calif. -- Stanford used a 14-4 run spanning the final 5:08 and the Cardinal went on to defeat Sacramento State, 70-60, on Monday evening at Maples Pavilion.
The 14-4 run coincided with Hornet junior center Eric Stuteville's fifth and final foul. Stuteville had a career-best 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field before fouling out at the 5:08 mark. He scored 12 of those points in the second half. Stuteville was one of two Hornets to foul out during the later stages of the game, as team co-captain and fourth-year senior Cody Demps picked up his fifth foul with 3:45 remaining.
Sacramento State had used a 14-4 run to erase a 52-42 deficit and tie the game at 56-56 with 5:47 to play. Stuteville scored nine points during the run, including three layups and a dunk. However, Stuteville was whistled for his fifth and final foul on a three-point play from Stanford's Rosco Allen, thwarting the Hornets' momentum.
The Cardinal (6-4) would never trail again as the Hornets cut the deficit to one point at 59-58 with 4:43 remaining, and had the score at 63-60 with 3:39 left, but would get no closer. Stanford scored each of the game's final seven points as the Hornets were held without a point the final 3:38 of the contest.
With the loss, Sacramento State dropped to 6-4 and has its first losing streak of the season, a modest two-gamer which includes an 81-73 defeat at Portland on Dec. 12. The Hornets had not played since that Dec. 12 matchup at Portland because of Finals Week. The Hornets have just one remaining non-conference game this season, and that will come at home on Dec. 28 against Pacific Union. Sacramento State opens league play with three straight road games, including the Big Sky opener at Portland State on Jan. 2.
The Hornets were very close to securing their fourth win over a Pac-12 Conference team since 2009, but fell just short. Sacramento State is now 0-5 all-time against Stanford with each of those losses coming on the road. Tonight also marked the Hornets' largest margin of defeat this season.
Sacramento State was whistled for 26 fouls in the contest (compared to just 13 called on Stanford), and four of the Hornets' five starters picked up at least four fouls. That foul disparity loomed large as the loss of Stuteville and Demps hurt Sacramento State, and Stanford would go to the free throw line 13 more times than the Hornets. Nick Hornsby and Marcus Graves also had four fouls, with Hornsby picking up that fourth with 17:27 left in the game.
Stanford, which was held to just .385 (25-of-65) shooting from the field, also held healthy advantages over Sacramento State in second-chance points (20-9) and points off turnovers (16-6). The Cardinal had 19 offensive rebounds while turning the ball over just six times, the lowest amount by a Hornet opponent all season.
"Tonight was a good test, and it was a physical fist fight where every possession was contested," Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz said. "I loved the way our guys fought through the whole game. We stayed right with them the whole way, but their offensive rebounding was probably the difference.
"They were tough all night under the boards, especially in the second half. They made some adjustments that worked well for them after halftime. We got into some foul trouble and that also was a factor."
The Hornets, who had a 19-10 lead midway through the first half, finished the game shooting .404 (23-57) from the field and .833 (10-12) from the free throw line, but knocked down just 4 of 19 3-point attempts (.221). Both the 3-pointers made and 3-point percentage were season lows. Sacramento State was outrebounded, 43-36, while being outscored in both the first (36-33) and second (34-27) halves.
Stanford, which enjoyed its largest lead of the game at 10 points, shot .385 (25-65) from the field, .231 (6-26) from the 3-point line and .560 (14-25) from the free throw stripe. A combined 41 of Stanford's 70 points came from Michael Humphrey (21 points, 9-of-15 shooting) and Dorian Pickens (20 points, five assists, three 3-pointers).
For Sacramento State, Stuteville finished with 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 from the free throw line as the junior center also added five rebounds and two blocks in 28 minutes. He was joined in double figures by Graves (11 points, three assists, two steals) and forward Justin Strings (10 points, nine rebounds in a career-high 38 minutes). Strings made his first career start in place of Dreon Barlett, who was injured during Saturday's practice. Prior to tonight, the Hornets had used the same starting five in each game this season.
Hornsby added eight points and eight rebounds in 27 minutes, and Demps had eight points and a game-high eight assists in 32 minutes. The teams combined for just seven points off the bench, including four for the Hornets.
Joining Humphrey and Pickens in double figures for Stanford was Allen who had 11 points and 12 rebounds. Marcus Allen added nine points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals in 37 minutes.
Sacramento State will play its final non-conference game of the season on Monday, Dec. 28 at home vs. Pacific Union. The Hornets and Pioneers will tip-off at 7:05 p.m. Pacific Union is an NAIA program from Angwin, Calif.