The Sacramento State men’s basketball team opened Big Sky Conference play Saturday with a 66-51 road loss at Montana State.
Sacramento State (7-3,0-1) traveled to Bozeman, Montana to begin conference play after finishing its non-conference schedule with a 7-2 record, the best start in program history.
Senior center Joshua Patton has led the charge for the Hornets and was dominant early in the game.
Patton connected on all five of his shot attempts and made six free throws en route to a 16-point first half.
However, the Hornets made just 9 total field goals in the first half and trailed 37-28 at halftime.
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The Hornet offense did not improve in the second half. Sac State shot 34% for the game and made 18 of 53 shot attempts.
Montana State (7-5, 1-0) opened the second half with a 14-5 run to push its lead to 18.
The Bobcats limited the Hornets to 2-15 shooting during that stretch.
Sac State cut the lead to 12 twice on 3-pointers from Junior William FitzPatrick and Sophomore Grant Greabell but could not get any closer than that.
Patton scored just two points in the second half and finished the game with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Junior Ethan Esposito added 10 points.
The Hornets were held to 23 second-half points in their 66-51 loss to the Bobcats.
Sac State will stay in Montana and travel to Missoula to play the University of Montana on Monday at 6 p.m.