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Sac State men’s basketball defeats Southern Utah 84-73

Hornets improve to 5-8 in conference play

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Sac State men’s basketball defeats Southern Utah 84-73

Sac State senior guard Marcus Graves shoots during the Hornets 84-73 win over Southern Utah on Thursday.

Sac State senior guard Marcus Graves shoots during the Hornets 84-73 win over Southern Utah on Thursday.

Andres Sanchez - The State Hornet

Sac State senior guard Marcus Graves shoots during the Hornets 84-73 win over Southern Utah on Thursday.

Andres Sanchez - The State Hornet

Andres Sanchez - The State Hornet

Sac State senior guard Marcus Graves shoots during the Hornets 84-73 win over Southern Utah on Thursday.

Dominique Walker

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The Sacramento State men’s basketball team defeated Southern Utah University 84-73 Thursday, improving its overall record to 11-11 and 5-8 in the Big Sky Conference.

Hornets trailed by 14 points with 6:58 left in the first half but cut the lead down to 1 point at halftime.

Sac State then outscored Southern Utah 52-40 in the second half, which included going 6 for 11 from 3-point range.

“We stressed this is a really physical, tough team and you’re going to have to stay the course,” head coach Brian Katz said. “It’s going to be a heavyweight fight and you’re going to have to stay strong and it is going to be the battle of the wills.”

Junior center Joshua Patton, second in the Big Sky in field goal percentage, had a game high 22 points and 13 rebounds.

“My coaches tell me to be aggressive, they want me to go out and play my best every night,” Patton said. “I’ve been struggling the past couple games but my coaches kept believing in me and my teammates kept believing in me and I just went out there and played my game tonight. “

The Hornets have struggled shooting from three all season and rank last in the Big Sky by only making 5 threes a game. But on Thursday, guard Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’afa made 5 three-point field goals by himself.

“Definitely boost my confidence, man. I’ve been struggling nearly this whole year,” Mauriohooho-Le’afa said. “Credit to my teammates for giving me the ball right where I need it and all I had to do was knock it down.”

Mauriohooho-Le’afa finished with 18 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds.  

Senior point guard Marcus Graves struggled shooting, going 4-15 from the field, but still finished with 19 points.

RELATED: Senior guard having career year after return from back surgery

“We had guys really step up tonight Bryce (Fowler), JP (Joshua Patton) they really picked me up when I was playing bad,” Graves said. “Then I knocked down those free throws at the end to help us get the win.”

Sac State will play again Northern Arizona at the Nest on Feb. 16.

RELATED: Sac State men’s basketball defeats Portland State 78-67

 

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