SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Montana State freshman Tyler Hall scored a game-high 25 points, and the Bobcats led for over 39 minutes of game clock on the way to a 79-76 victory over Sacramento State on Saturday evening at the Nest.
The Hornets, who never led in the game, hit three 3-pointers in the final 17 seconds of the game to make things interesting, but a length of the court pass with 0.9 seconds remaining was batted away as time expired. Sacramento State trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half, but made a second half charge that saw the team stay within five points or less of MSU's for a good chunk of the final 13 minutes of the contest.
Despite keeping things close late, Sacramento State had just one opportunity to take the lead, but Marcus Graves' 3-point attempt fell off the mark with the Hornets trailing, 56-55, and 7:48 remaining. The Bobcats immediately hit a 3-pointer on their next possession to keep things at a two-possession game.
Montana State eventually took what looked like a comfortable 74-67 lead with 32 seconds left, but Hornets got three 3-pointers from Jiday Ugbaja (0:17), Grant Dressler (0:08) and Jeff Wu (0:00.9) to make things interesting. Montana State was able to withstand the 3-ball flurry by converting on 5-of-6 free throws during the final 13 seconds. The two biggest free throws came from Danny Robison with six seconds remaining that put Montana State up, 77-73. One miss, and the Hornets would have had the opportunity to tie with a decent amount of time on the clock.
Amazingly, Sacramento State (10-11, 3-7) is now 0-8 when playing on Saturdays, and a combined 10-3 every other day of the week. Unfortunately for the Hornets, six of those Saturday losses have come to conference opposition.
In addition, the Hornets dropped to 7-4 at home, and 2-3 at home against Big Sky teams. Sacramento State is still 41-13 at the Nest dating back to the beginning of the 2012-13 season, but four of those losses have come this season. The short-handed Hornets were playing their ninth consecutive game without the services of fourth-year senior and team co-captain Cody Demps due to injury.
Meanwhile, Montana State, which already has more conference wins that all of last season, improved to 10-13 overall and 5-6 in the conference. The Bobcats had dropped four straight to the Hornets inside the Nest prior to tonight. Montana State gains the season sweep of the Hornets, as the Bobcats won earlier this season in Bozeman by a 71-64 score.
Sacramento State was outrebounded, 47-39, and the Bobcats capitalized with 20 second-chance points. In fact, MSU had 19 offensive rebounds, including three in the final five minutes of the game. Montana State's Quinton Everett, who checks in at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds. He entered the game averaging 4.3 boards per contest.
Both teams went 21-for-29 from the free throw line, and Montana State converted on one more field goal than the Hornets (a 3-pointer). Sacramento State shot .414 (24-of-58) from the field, including 7-for-23 from the 3-point line, and the Bobcats were .379 (25-for-66) from the field while connecting on 8-of-33 from long range. Sacramento State forced 13 MSU turnovers, and held a 15-9 edge in points off miscues.
After scoring just 15 points during the first 13 minutes and trailing, 30-15, with 6:43 left in the first half, the Hornets outscored Montana State, 61-49, over the final 26:22 of game clock.
For the Hornets, sophomore Justin Strings led the way with a career-high tying 23 points to go along with eight rebounds and two blocked shots. He shot 8-of-10 from the field and 7-for-8 from the free throw line while scoring in double figures for the 18th time this year. Senior guard Dreon Barlett finished two points off his career high with 16 points and seven rebounds. He buried a career-best five 3-pointers, and went 5-for-9 from distance.
Forward Nick Hornsby added seven points and six rebounds, Ugbaja had nine points, and guard Marcus Graves had six points and three assists. The six points for Graves was one shy of his season low for points as he entered the game with a team-leading average of 14.1 points per contest. Dressler, Wu and Eric Stuteville each had five points. Wu added four rebounds, three assists, two steals and zero turnovers in a career-high 30 minutes.
Hall was brilliant for Montana State, tallying 25 points, five rebounds and two blocks, shooting 5-for-10 from the 3-point line and 4-of-5 from the free throw line. He was joined in double figures by Marcus Colbert (16 points, 14 in the second half), Zach Green (14 points, five rebounds) and Everett (11 points, 15 rebounds).
Sacramento State, which has just eight games remaining in the regular season, will play a pair of road games next week at Weber State on Thursday and Idaho State on Saturday. Both games will tip at 6:05 p.m. PST.
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February 24, 2016 FINAL REGULAR SEASON ROAD TRIP; MEN'S HOOPS AT NORTHERN COLORADO
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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