SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Portland State shot a blistering .642 (34-of-53) from the field, and never trailed on the way to an 81-63 victory over Sacramento State on Saturday evening at the Nest.
The Vikings, who led by as many as 21 points, jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the first 4:20 of the game, and never looked back. In fact, the Vikings led by at least eight points the final 25:21 of the contest. Portland State was proficient from the inside (48 points in the paint) and outside (.500, 6-of-12 from the 3-point line) in a rare blowout of Sacramento State at home.
In fact, tonight marked the Hornets' worst loss to a conference foe at home since falling to Northern Arizona nearly five years ago, 63-42, on Feb. 24, 2011. It was the worst loss at home to a conference or non-conference team since a 79-53 defeat to UC Irvine on Nov. 30, 2013. After winning 11 straight regular season games at home against a Big Sky opponent, the Hornets have dropped two straight, including an 85-74 loss to Weber State last Saturday.
The Hornets (8-9, 1-5) dropped to 0-6 when playing on Saturday, and the team is 8-3 on every other day of the week. Sacramento State was also playing its fifth straight game without team leader and fourth-year senior Cody Demps. Including his eight-minute game at Portland State when he re-aggravated his lower body injury and played just eight minutes, the Hornets are now 1-5 without his services.
A convincing loss is rare inside the Nest for Sacramento State as the team had won 27 of its last 32 games inside the friendly confines prior to tonight. The Hornets dropped to 6-3 at home this year, and 40-12 at the Nest dating back to the 2012-13 season.
For Portland State (7-10, 3-3), it was an impressive win as the Vikings sweep the season series, including a 76-68 win in Portland earlier in early January. Sacramento State had won four straight against Portland State entering the season.
After falling behind early, 19-6, the Hornets were able to claw back and get within, 19-14, on a layup from Nick Hornsby with 9:16 left in the first half. Sacramento State kept it close until a stretch that saw Portland State convert on 11 of its final 12 field goal attempts of the first half to go into halftime with a convincing 44-27 lead.
Sacramento State would cut the deficit to eight points (58-50) with 8:03 remaining in the second half, but Portland State immediately answered with a 3-pointer from Calaen Robinson. Sacramento State again got the deficit to single digits (61-52) on a layup from Dreon Barlett with 6:48 left, but PSU got two free throws on its next possession and led by double figures the final 6:27 of the contest.
Portland State shot at least 58 percent from the field in both halves, including a robust 69 percent (20-of-29) from the floor in the first half. The Vikings held large advantages in points in the paint (48-28), points off turnovers (21-13) and bench points (39-19). A big indicator of how well Portland State moved the ball was the Vikings' 26 assists on 34 made buckets while committing just 11 turnovers.
Sacramento State shot a very proficient 49 percent (25-of-51) from the field, including .556 (15-of-27) in the second half, marks that will usually get the Hornets a win at home. However, that proficient shooting was no match for Portland State, which seemingly scored on nearly every possession.
The Hornets, who converted on 7-of-23 shots (.304) from the 3-point line, converted on just 6-of-15 (.400) attempts from the free throw stripe.
Four Portland State players scored in double figures, led by Cameron Forte who came off the bench to tally 26 points, 12 rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes. He was joined in double digits by Robinson (13 points, three steals), Zach Gengler (13 points, eight assists, zero turnovers) and Isaiah Pineiro (10 points in 19 minutes).
For Sacramento State, it was sophomore Justin Strings leading the way with a team-high 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and 3-of-7 from distance. Strings has now scored in double figures in 11 straight games, and has a team-high 15 double-figure efforts this season. Fellow sophomore Marcus Graves pumped in 12 points to go along with five rebounds, four assists and three steals in 36 minutes.
Forward Nick Hornsby had nine points and nine rebounds, and sophomore Jiday Ugbaja played 22 spirited minutes, finishing with career highs in points (7) and minutes (22) while also recording three assists. True freshmen Grant Dressler and Jeff Wu both had six points and Barlett finished with five points, three rebounds and three assists.
The Hornets hit the road next week for games at Idaho on Thursday, and Eastern Washington on Saturday. Thursday's game is a 7:05 p.m. tip while Saturday's contest at Eastern Washington begins at 12:05 p.m.
NOTES -- Tonight's attendance was 1,058, the Hornets' second sellout of the season…Sacramento State's win over UC Davis on Nov. 24 drew 1,472 spectators…capacity at the Nest is 1,012.
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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
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February 4, 2016 HUGE 2ND HALF HELPS MEN’S BASKETBALL BEAT FIRST-PLACE MONTANA, 83-79
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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
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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
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November 6, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL CRUSHES SIMPSON, 103-63, IN EXHIBITION GAME
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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