Hornets fall to Eagles in close contest

Andrew Brown

The Eastern Washington University Eagles soared high Thursday night, defeating the Sacramento State University Hornets 93-88 at the Nest.

Eastern Washington (16-10, 10-4 Big Sky) had six players in double figures in points and two players with double figures in rebounds.

Sac State (10-14, 3-10 Big Sky) had four players in double figures, but it wasn’t enough to stop the barrage of three pointers Eastern Washington dropped on the Hornets. The Eagles finished with 11 threes compared to the Hornets five. That eighteen point difference proved to be too much to overcome for the Hornets.

Eastern Washington’s Felix Von Hofe forced the issue from behind the arc, finishing with four threes and 17 points.

Sac State began to put on the defensive pressure in the back court early on in the second half. Hornets head coach Brian Katz said after the way they played in the first half they needed to make an adjustment.

“We were trying to create something. They are a very skilled team. It’s tough losing, but I’m not discouraged at all,” Katz said after the Hornets saw deficits as large as 20 points.

Sac State had sophomore guard Marcus Graves and sophomore forward Justin Strings led the way for the Hornets with 20 points. Senior guard Cody Demps finished with eight assists, and junior forward Nick Hornsby chipped in with 13 rebounds.

Demps is still adjusting to game speed after missing over a month earlier in the season with a quad injury.

“I feel good. Working on getting my timing back,” Demps said. He also added that the biggest adjustment along with game speed is the conditioning aspect. He said he is looking forward to the Big Sky Tournament in Reno in March.

Junior center Eric Stuteville had a nice game for Sac State on both sides of the ball in the loss. Stuteville got going on the offensive side of the ball early on in the game.

“We’ve been practicing the lob passes, which got me going,” Stuteville said after finishing the game with 14 points. He also had the challenge of guarding Eastern Washington’s center Venky Jois.

Senior point guard Austin McBroom led the way for Eastern Washington with 22 points and seven assists. Senior center Venky Jois collected 13 rebounds for the Eagles.

Eastern Washington also beat Sac State earlier this season in Cheney, Wash., 74-67 on Jan. 30. The Hornets did not have Demps that game due to injury.

Sac State plays the Idaho University Vandals (17-10, 9-5 Big Sky) at The Nest on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Eastern Washington moves on to play the Portland State Vikings (8-16, 4-9 Big Sky) in Portland on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. as well. Both games will be available to stream for free via watchbigsky.com.