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.
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Senior center Joshua Patton led the charge from inside and finished with 15 first half points and five dunks.
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Dunk from Joshua Patton forces timeout from Simpson.
Sac State leads 31-12 with 3:57 left in 1st half @SH_Sports pic.twitter.com/HIMX4A7FZQ
— Michael Wiggins (@Coach_Mike_SCC) November 9, 2019
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.
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“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.