SACRAMENTO — After a monster performance against Portland State that included a career-high 34 points, senior forward Justin Strings was named the Lou Henson Award National Player of the Week by collegeinsider.com. The award is presented each week for the top mid-major player performance in the country.
Strings becomes the second player in the program's Div. I era (1991-pres.) to be named National Player of the Week, and first to receive the honor from collegeinsider.com. In November of 2015, teammate Marcus Graves received national player of the week accolades from both midmajormadness.com and collegesportsmadness.com.
On Saturday evening in Sacramento State's Big Sky Conference opener, Strings led the Hornets to an 80-75 come from behind victory over a Portland State squad that is currently ranked 20th in the nation in the national mid-major poll. The forward scored a career-high 34 points on 16-of-18 shooting from the field to go along with eight rebounds, five assists, one blocked shot and zero turnovers in 38 minutes. In fact, after missing his first two shots of the game, Strings proceeded to go 16-for-16 from the field over the game's final 33 minutes.
His 34 points surpassed his previous career high of 29, set last year in a win at Montana. He also set career highs in field goals made (16) and assists (5). The 34 points were the fourth most in Sacramento State's Div. I era, and the most by a Hornet since 2008.
The Carson, Calif., native scored 19 of those points in the second half while going 9-for-9 from the field. He was a huge factor in the Hornets outscoring Portland State, 47-36, after halftime. In fact, Strings either scored or assisted on 21 of Sacramento State's final 34 points of the game.
Strings scored in a variety of ways throughout the game, including jumpers, floaters, runners, fadeaways, layups and a dunk. Making the win even sweeter is the Hornets trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half before storming back and earning the win.
Strings has now scored in double figures in 34 straight games dating back to last season, and has posted at least 14 points in nine straight games. Overall, the fourth-year senior is averaging 17.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 0.7 blocked shots per game while shooting .440 (99-225) from the field. Among Big Sky leaders, he ranks second in rebounding, sixth in minutes played and eighth in scoring.
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