MISSOULA, Mont. — Montana used a 9-2 during the final 2:37 of the first half, and cruised in the second half on the way to a 77-58 victory over Sacramento State on Saturday evening at Dalhberg Arena.
In a game that Montana never trailed, the Hornets were able to stay within six points or fewer during the first 17 minutes of the first half, but the Grizzlies scored nine of the half's final 11 points to go into the locker room with a 37-28 lead. Montana scored the first four points of the second half and led by double figures the final 18:13 of the game.
The Grizzlies buried 13-of-30 (.433) shots from the 3-point line while the Hornets were just 1-for-6. Sacramento State posted season lows in points (58), 3-pointers made, 3-pointers attempted, 3-point percentage (.167), assists (7), steals (2) and free throw percentage (.440). The Hornets went just 11-for-25 from the free throw line and were outrebounded by a 42-30 margin. Montana outscored the Hornets by nine points in the first half, and 10 points (40-30) in the second half.
Fourth-year senior and team co-captain Cody Demps missed his second straight game with injury. Sacramento State has now been without a starter because of injury in four of the last five games as Nick Hornsby missed the Portland State game and Dreon Barlett was absent for the Stanford game. The Hornets are now 0-4 this season when they don't play with a healthy roster.
Sacramento State (7-7, 0-3) lost its third straight game, the program's longest losing streak since the 2013-14 season. The Hornets, who are the only team in the Big Sky Conference without a league victory, have played just twice at home in the last 40 days. During that stretch, Sacramento State has posted an 0-6 mark on the road after beginning the season with road wins at Arizona State and Seattle.
Meanwhile, Montana continues to roll, winning its fifth straight while improving to 9-6 overall, 4-0 in the Big Sky and 7-0 at home. The Grizzlies sit all alone in first place in the Big Sky standings as the only 4-0 squad in the league. Sacramento State dropped to 6-37 all-time against Montana, which includes a 12-game losing streak against the Griz in Missoula. The Hornets' last win in Missoula came in a Big Sky Tournament quarterfinal game on March 8, 2003.
Tonight's loss was the first blowout defeat for the Hornets as the team's previous six losses all came by 10 points or less. Tonight marks just the second time all season in a Hornet loss that Sacramento State did not have an opportunity to pull out a victory during the later stages of the game.
Sacramento State begins a season-long three-game homestead next week with games against Idaho State on Thursday and Weber State on Saturday at the Nest. Both games will tip at 7:05 p.m.
Overall, the Hornets shot well from the field (.469, 23-for-49) and committed just eight turnovers, but Sacramento State could not overcome a lack of 3-point shooting, poor free throw shooting and a red-hot Montana offense that produced 39 points from beyond the 3-point line. The Hornets also had just seven offensive rebounds, resulting in a 10-4 disparity in second chance points.
For Sacramento State, true freshman Jeff Wu had a team-best 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 from the free throw line. Sophomore Justin Strings scored in double figures for the eighth straight game, and team-best 12th time this year, finishing with 12 points (5-of-9 shooting) and four rebounds in a team-high 35 minutes. Strings started for the fourth time this season, taking the place of Demps in the starting lineup.
Junior Nick Hornsby had eight points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals in 32 active minutes, Marcus Graves posted seven points, four rebounds and three assists, and Eric Stuteville had seven points, three rebounds and three blocked shots. All 11 healthy and active players on Sacramento State's roster played in tonight's game, including sophomore Mason Stuteville scoring four points in the game's final 18 seconds.
Montana had three players score in double figures, comprised of Jack Lopez (21 points, five rebounds), Martin Breunig (15 points, 16 rebounds) and Walter Wright (16 points, 12 assists, 39 minutes). Lopez (5-of-8), Wright (3-of-4) and Michael Oguine (3-of-6) combined to shoot 11-for-18 from beyond the 3-point line.
Besides beginning a three-game homestead next week, the Hornets will also play five of their next seven games inside the Nest, beginning on Thursday night against Idaho State at 7:05 p.m.
March 10, 2016 MEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON COMES TO AN END WITH LOSS TO MONTANA
February 26, 2016 MEN'S BASKETBALL TO PLAY SATURDAY MATINEE AT NORTH DAKOTA
February 25, 2016 MEN’S BASKETBALL GOES COLD LATE, FALLS AT NORTHERN COLORADO, 72-67
February 24, 2016 FINAL REGULAR SEASON ROAD TRIP; MEN'S HOOPS AT NORTHERN COLORADO
February 20, 2016 MEN’S BASKETBALL BEATS IDAHO AT HOME, 68-65; SWEEPS THE SEASON SERIES
February 19, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS IDAHO ON SATURDAY NIGHT AT 7 P.M.
February 19, 2016 FORMER MEN'S BASKETBALL ASSISTANT COACH DWAYNE CANADA PASSES AWAY
February 18, 2016 BIG FIRST HALF PROPELS EASTERN WASHINGTON TO 93-88 WIN OVER MEN’S HOOPS
February 16, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT THE NEST ON THURSDAY, HOSTS EASTERN WASHINGTON
February 13, 2016 MEN’S BASKETBALL’S LATE RUN FALL SHORT IN 66-64 ROAD LOSS AT IDAHO STATE
February 12, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO POCATELLO FOR SATURDAY GAME AT IDAHO STATE
February 11, 2016 MEN’S HOOPS HELD TO SEASON LOW IN POINTS IN 63-50 LOSS AT WEBER STATE
February 9, 2016 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO WEBER STATE FOR THURSDAY NIGHT GAME
February 5, 2016 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS MONTANA STATE SATURDAY EVENING AT THE NEST
February 4, 2016 HUGE 2ND HALF HELPS MEN’S BASKETBALL BEAT FIRST-PLACE MONTANA, 83-79
February 3, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS WELCOMES MONTANA TO THE NEST ON THURSDAY NIGHT
February 1, 2016 ANTICIPATION BUILDING ON THE ROAD TO RENO FOR BIG SKY TOURNAMENT
January 29, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO EASTERN WASHINGTON FOR SATURDAY MATINEE
January 28, 2016 MEN’S BASKETBALL GETS BIG ROAD WIN AT IDAHO, 65-63
January 27, 2016 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO IDAHO FOR THURSDAY EVENING MATCHUP
January 23, 2016 RED-HOT PORTLAND STATE RACES PAST MEN’S BASKETBALL
January 21, 2016 ROAD TO RENO PRIZE PACKAGE TO BE GIVEN AWAY AT SATURDAY'S MBB GAME
January 15, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS WELCOMES WEBER STATE TO THE NEST ON SATURDAY NIGHT
January 13, 2016 MEN'S BASKETBALL FINALLY BACK AT HOME ON THURSDAY VS. IDAHO STATE
January 9, 2016 MEN’S HOOPS FALLS ON THE ROAD AT MONTANA
January 8, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS WRAPS UP ROAD TRIP ON SATURDAY EVENING AT MONTANA
January 7, 2016 LATE MONTANA STATE RUN DOOMS MEN’S BASKETBALL IN 71-64 LOSS
December 30, 2015 MEN'S BASKETBALL OPENS BIG SKY PLAY SATURDAY AT PORTLAND STATE
December 28, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS IMPROVES TO 7-4 AFTER 78-49 VICTORY OVER PACIFIC UNION
December 27, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS PACIFIC UNION ON MONDAY IN FINAL NON-LEAGUE GAME
December 21, 2015 LATE STANFORD RUN SPOILS MEN’S BASKETBALL’S UPSET BID
December 20, 2015 MBB PLAYS AT STANFORD ON MONDAY; 1ST GAME VS. CARDINAL SINCE 2007
December 12, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS TO 6-3 AFTER 81-73 LOSS AT PORTLAND
December 10, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS BEGINS ROAD STRETCH ON SATURDAY EVENING AT PORTLAND
December 8, 2015 JUSTIN STRINGS NAMED BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
December 7, 2015 MEN'S BASKETBALL MAKES BIG PLAYS LATE IN WIN OVER INCARNATE WORD
December 6, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS TO PLAY FIRST OF JUST TWO DECEMBER HOME GAMES ON MONDAY
December 2, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS HAS CHANCES TO WIN LATE, BUT FALLS AT UC DAVIS, 66-61
December 1, 2015 MEN'S BASKETBALL LOOKS FOR SEASON SWEEP OF UC DAVIS ON WEDNESDAY
November 29, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS PACIFIC FOR 1ST TIME SINCE 2009 AT THE NEST TODAY
November 29, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL IMPROVES TO 5-1 AFTER A 79-71 HOME WIN OVER PACIFIC
November 28, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS DROPS FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON TO SOUTH DAKOTA, 96-90
November 27, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS OPENS HOME TOURNEY SATURDAY VS. SOUTH DAKOTA AT 3:30 PM
November 24, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL IMPROVES TO 4-0 WITH AN 84-79 WIN OVER UC DAVIS
November 23, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS AND UC DAVIS HOOK UP FOR 113TH TIME ON TUESDAY AT THE NEST
November 20, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS IMPROVES TO 3-0 AFTER A 96-56 VICTORY OVER HOLY NAMES
November 19, 2015 HOME OPENER FOR MEN'S HOOPS THIS FRIDAY VS. HOLY NAMES AT 7 PM
November 17, 2015 GRAVES NAMED BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
November 16, 2015 NATIONAL WEEKLY AWARDS POURING IN FOR MEN'S HOOPS' MARCUS GRAVES
November 15, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS 2ND ROAD GAME IN 3 DAYS ON SUNDAY AT SEATTLE
November 15, 2015 HUGE SECOND HALF PROPELS MEN’S HOOPS TO A 77-65 WIN AT SEATTLE
November 13, 2015 LATE RUN GIVES MEN’S BASKETBALL A 66-63 UPSET WIN AT ARIZONA STATE
November 11, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL SIGNS BEYER HIGH SCHOOL GUARD GEORGE DANCER
November 9, 2015 GAME NOTES: MEN'S HOOPS OPENS SEASON FRIDAY AT ARIZONA STATE
November 6, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL CRUSHES SIMPSON, 103-63, IN EXHIBITION GAME
November 2, 2015 DICKSON BECOMES 2ND PLAYER IN SCHOOL HISTORY DRAFTED IN NBA D-LEAGUE
October 27, 2015 ERNEST TSCHANNEN DONATES $750,000 TO POWER OF 1,000 HORNETS
September 30, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS SEASON QUICKLY APPROACHING, 1ST OFFICIAL PRACTICE ON FRIDAY
September 3, 2015 HEAD COACH BRIAN KATZ RECEIVES FIVE-YEAR COMMITMENT THROUGH 2020
June 29, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL ANNOUNCES ITS 2015-16 SCHEDULE