Sac State men’s basketball team loses regular season finale to Montana

Hornets finish season 14-15 overall and 8-12 in Big Sky conference


Andres Sanchez - The State Hornet

Sac State senior guard Marcus Graves dribbles in a 70-67 win against Montana State March 7 at the Nest.

Dominique Walker

In its final regular season game March 9, the Sacramento State men’s basketball team lost to the University of Montana 86-68, finishing regular season play with a record of 14-15 and 8-12 in the Big Sky Conference.

Sac State led 51-50 with 15:59 left in the game but then went on a 6-minute scoring drought. Montana (23-8) was able to capitalize on the drought by going on a 17-2 run.

The Hornets were outscored 43-27 in the second half, shooting 28 percent from the field.

“We just couldn’t score. Part of it was them and part of it was us,” said head coach Brian Katz. “I thought we were pretty indecisive with our decisions, we missed some shots I think we should make, but they are a very good defensive team.”

Montana ranked first in the conference in scoring defense, allowing 69 points per game. The Grizzlies will head into the Big Sky tournament as the No. 1 seed.

Sac State junior center Joshua Patton was a bright spot for the Hornets as he went 6-7 from the field and scored 20 points to go along with 6 rebounds.

“We came out with intensity in the second half too, we just weren’t able to score,” Patton said. “It’s a game of runs, they went on a run, we didn’t get good shots up. It happens.”

The four seniors playing their last games at The Nest were guards Marcus Graves, Kevin Hicks and Jordan Tolbert, as well as forward Calvin Martin.

Graves finished his last college home game with 15 points and 3 assists.

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“It’s crazy, it still really hasn’t hit me yet,” Graves said. “But I’m thankful for Sac State, all the people and all the fans throughout my 5 years and I will forever be appreciative of that.”

With this loss, the Hornets will be the No. 9 seed in the Big Sky conference tournament for a chance to make the NCAA Tournament.

The Hornets will play Northern Arizona for a chance to advance on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in Boise, Idaho.

RELATED: Sac State men’s basketball team defeats Montana State 70-67