The State Hornet

Strings makes program history as men’s basketball falls to Wildcats

Sacramento+State+senior+forward+Justin+Strings+shoots+a+layup+against+Idaho+State+Thursday%2C+Feb.+15+at+the+Nest.+Strings+finished+with+24+points+in+a+67-64+loss+to+the+Bengals.+
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Strings makes program history as men’s basketball falls to Wildcats

Sacramento State senior forward Justin Strings shoots a layup against Idaho State Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Nest. Strings finished with 24 points in a 67-64 loss to the Bengals.

Sacramento State senior forward Justin Strings shoots a layup against Idaho State Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Nest. Strings finished with 24 points in a 67-64 loss to the Bengals.

Emily Rabasto - The State Hornet

Sacramento State senior forward Justin Strings shoots a layup against Idaho State Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Nest. Strings finished with 24 points in a 67-64 loss to the Bengals.

Emily Rabasto - The State Hornet

Emily Rabasto - The State Hornet

Sacramento State senior forward Justin Strings shoots a layup against Idaho State Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Nest. Strings finished with 24 points in a 67-64 loss to the Bengals.

Shaun Holkko

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The Sacramento State men’s basketball team lost its sixth straight game after an 83-73 loss against the Weber State Wildcats on Saturday at the Nest.

The Hornets (6-21, 3-11 Big Sky Conference) never held the lead once as Weber State went on to extend its winning streak to nine in a row.

“(Weber State) is a really hard team to defend,” said Sac State coach Brian Katz after the loss. “You have to pick your poison.”

The Wildcats were led by three players in double-figures scoring. Weber State’s leading scorer was sophomore guard Jerrick Harding who had 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field and 2-of-3 from the 3-point line.

He was followed by junior center Zach Braxton, who had 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting, nine rebounds and four assists. Senior guard Ryan Richardson had 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field and 4-of-8 from behind the 3-point arc.

Emily Rabasto – The State Hornet
Sacramento State sophomore guard Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’afa passes the ball to a teammate against Idaho State Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Nest.

“They have a good low-post guy (Braxton) who can score, a really good guard (Harding) who can penetrate and score, and shooters around him (Richardson), so it’s tough,” Katz said.

Sac State senior forward Justin Strings entered the game needing 25 points to become the programs’ leading scorer in Division I history, which dates back to 1991.

He filled up the stat sheet with 27 points on 12-of-21 shooting, six rebounds and five assists.

Strings also notched his 47th straight game of double-figure scoring, which is the fifth longest active streak in the nation.

“Coming in four years ago, I never would have thought that would even be a possibility,” said Strings following his record setting performance. “It’s a nice accolade to have at the end of the year; I’ll be able to look back on it as good, but for now we’re just trying to get wins, and I’m just focused on how I can help lead this team to wins with four or five games left that are guaranteed.”

Katz, who recruited and has coached Strings throughout his collegiate career, had nothing but positive things to say about him after the game.

“(Strings) has made himself a better player through his hard work, commitment to team and his dedication,” Katz said. “Whatever we have asked him to improve on, he has.”

Strings was followed on the stat sheet by sophomore guard Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’afa, who had 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting and a 3-for-3 from the 3-point line.

Sac State was able to cut the Wildcats’ double-digit lead to nine on three separate occasions, but failed to get the defensive stops when they needed it most.

“We had some defensive falls that we just couldn’t recover from,” Le’afa said. “We definitely need to work on our defensive rotations and communication.”

Sac State will look to snap its six-game losing streak on Thursday at 5:35 p.m. on the road against Northern Arizona University at the Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff, Arizona.

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