Sac State men’s basketball team routs Simpson 76-27 in season opener

Joshua Patton leads Hornets to dominant victory with double-double

Sac+State+senior+center+Joshua+Patton+shoots+the+ball+against+Simpson+on+Friday%2C+Nov.+8%2C+at+The+Nest.+Patton+had+a+game-high+20+points+on+9-11+from+the+field.
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Sac State men’s basketball team routs Simpson 76-27 in season opener

Sac State senior center Joshua Patton shoots the ball against Simpson on Friday, Nov. 8, at The Nest. Patton had a game-high 20 points on 9-11 from the field.

Sac State senior center Joshua Patton shoots the ball against Simpson on Friday, Nov. 8, at The Nest. Patton had a game-high 20 points on 9-11 from the field.

Brooke Uhlenhop

Sac State senior center Joshua Patton shoots the ball against Simpson on Friday, Nov. 8, at The Nest. Patton had a game-high 20 points on 9-11 from the field.

Brooke Uhlenhop

Brooke Uhlenhop

Sac State senior center Joshua Patton shoots the ball against Simpson on Friday, Nov. 8, at The Nest. Patton had a game-high 20 points on 9-11 from the field.

Michael Wiggins

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The Sacramento State men’s basketball team opened the 2019-20 season with a resounding home win over Simpson University Friday, 76-27. 

Sac State (1-0) scored 12 unanswered points to open the game and raced out to an early 14-2 lead.

The Hornets shot 52 percent from the field in the first half and led by as many as 19 points before taking a 36-18 lead at halftime. 

Sac State dominated inside the paint in the first half by scoring 22 points, while Simpson scored just four points down low. 

RELATED: Sac State men’s basketball team looks to build upon last season’s success

Senior center Joshua Patton led the charge from inside and finished with 15 first half points and five dunks.

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The Hornets opened the second half on a 22-6 run and pushed their lead to 58-24 in the first nine minutes of the half.

Sac State made five threes and scored 40 second half points before defeating Simpson 76-27. 

“We made the game a little too hard early on,” head coach Brian Katz said. “I hope that’s just first-game jitters, but I did like our commitment to the defensive end.”

Simpson (1-3) made three total shots in the second half and missed all 14 three-point attempts. The Red Hawks shot 19 percent in the game and were outrebounded by the Hornets 61 to 29. 

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Sac State also forced Simpson to turn the ball over 12 times, including seven steals, and scored 19 points off those turnovers. 

“We’re a positional defensive team,” Katz said. “If you’re in the right position and steals occur, great. But were not a gambling or reckless defensive team.” 

Patton, who played just 24 minutes, finished with a double-double, scoring a game-high 20 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking three shots. The 6 foot 8, 230-pound center knew he presented a difficult matchup for Simpson.

RELATED: Sac State’s high-flying center stays grounded with long walks

“It feels good when you know that it’s going to be really hard for the other team to stop you,” Patton said. “My coaches worked hard with me all off-season and i’m ready this year.”

Junior forwards Ethan Esposito and Bryce Fowler added 11 points respectively.

Katz said he hopes tonight’s performance is a foreshadowing of what Patton can do on the court this season. 

“I think it’s his time, I really do,” Katz said. “He’s been a guy that’s shown flashes of that (and) been a little bit up and down in the past. So I’m hoping our fifth-year senior is going to be real consistent this season.”

The Hornets are back in action next Friday against University of California, Riverside inside The Nest. at 7:05 p.m.

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