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MEN’S BASKETBALL CRUSHES SIMPSON, 76-27, IN SEASON OPENER

MEN’S BASKETBALL CRUSHES SIMPSON, 76-27, IN SEASON OPENER

SACRAMENTO — Senior team captain Joshua Patton posted a double-double (20 points, 10 rebounds), and the Hornets limited Simpson to 27 points in a decisive 76-27 victory over the Red Hawks on Friday evening inside the Nest. The win marked the season opener for the Hornets.

Tonight was also the second straight season that Sacramento State has opened the year with a win over Simpson. Last year, it was the Hornets posting a 76-52 win on Nov. 9 inside the Nest. Sacramento State has now won six of its last nine season openers.

Simpson, which is an NAIA institution that resides in Redding, Calif., dropped to 1-3 with the loss. Sacramento Stat is now 5-0 all-time against the Red Hawks.

The 27 Red Hawk points were the lowest allowed by Sacramento State in the program's single-game history (1948-pres), surpassing the previous mark of 28 against San Francisco in 1951. Simpson shot just 19 percent (11-58) from the field and 8% (2-26) from the 3-point line. The Hornets badly outscored the Red Hawks in both the first (36-18) and second (40-9) halves. Simpson scored just one point the final 9:24 of the contest.

Sacramento State scored the game's first nine points and cruised from there, leading by double figures the final 28:34 of the contest. The Hornets' 49 point margin of victory was also their largest lead of the evening. Sacramento State had massive advantages in rebounds (61-29), points in the paint (40-10) and second chance points (15-0).

The Hornets, who saw 11 players crack the scoring column, shot 46% (30-65) from the field and 36% (8-22) from the 3-point line while blocking nine shots and racking up 17 assists on 30 made buckets. Of the Hornets' 61 rebounds, 16 came on the offensive glass. Sacramento State used 13 players in the game and none played more than 25 minutes.

Patton's double-double was the sixth of his career as his 20 points and 10 rebounds accompanied 9-of-11 shooting and three blocked shots. Six of his 10 boards came on the offensive end. Joining Patton in double-figure scoring were Bryce Fowler (11 points, five rebounds) and Ethan Esposito (11 points, six rebounds, two blocks). Making his Sacramento State debut, sophomore Jordan Cooke-Harper had four points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.

Also playing in his first game as a Hornet, sophomore Brandon Davis had a well-rounded line of six points, six rebounds, seven assists and a pair of steals. Izayah Mauriohooho-Le'afa had nine points (3-of-5 3FG), Chibueze Jacobs two points and six boards, and Osi Nwachukwu two points and five rebounds.

Also in the scoring column for Sacramento State were William FitzPatrick (five points), and both Elijah McCullough and James Bridges had three points. FitzPatrick and Ryan Blackmon joined Davis and Cooke-Harper as the four players making their Sacramento State debuts this evening.

Sacramento State returns to action a week from today when the Hornets host UC Riverside on Friday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. The Hornets play each of their first three games in the Sacramento area, including a date with rival UC Davis at the Golden 1 Center on Nov. 20 at 5:30 p.m.