Sac State men’s basketball game against Oregon cancelled due to positive COVID-19 cases

Positive tests in OSU program lead to the fourth game for the Hornets to be canceled this season


Jordan Latimore

The Sacramento State men’s basketball team lines up at the baseline after practice Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 in The Hornets Nest. The team has continued to practice despite the high number of game cancellations that have occurred amid concerns about COVID-19.

Jordan Latimore, sports editor

The Sacramento State men’s basketball team’s matchup with the Oregon State Beavers was postponed for the third time Monday due to COVID-19 concerns within the Beaver program, said in a statement from Hornet Athletics.

According to Sac State head coach Brandon Laird, multiple positive COVID-19 cases were discovered amongst the OSU party just 30 minutes prior to tip-off.

The Oregon State basketball team reportedly received the results of multiple COVID-19 tests within their program just minutes before the game, some of which came back positive, leading to the afternoon matchup being cancelled, a practice that has become common in college basketball in recent months.

The Hornets had previously rescheduled their game against Oregon State on two separate occasions, due to weather conditions and issues regarding COVID-19.

“When they told us to go to the locker room, we all knew it was over,” said sophomore forward Cameron Wilbon. “The entire team was angry and disappointed because we were so ready to play.”

Coach Laird said Oregon State players showed symptoms during the walk through period prior to the game and positive test results came in while the team was warming up, leading to the game being canceled.

A statement from Hornet Athletics said that Oregon State and Sac State attempting to reschedule a matchup for a fourth time is unlikely.

With the Hornets facing their fourth cancellation of the season and after having gotten the news during warm-ups twice, the team’s patience is beginning to wear thin.

“It’s definitely a deflating feeling,” Wilbon said. “It’s the second time this season where we have literally been warming up 30 minutes or less before tip-off and have to drop everything and leave.”

Amidst the chaos, Sac State personnel are trying not to let the bizarre scheduling issues phase them.

“We’re anxious to play, we’re controlling what we can control,” said Laird. “The [team’s] spirits: disappointed, but we’re gonna move forward and not make any excuses and we’re gonna be ready to adapt and adjust.”

For a Sac State team that is two games below .500 and winless in conference play, having more game reps seems to be an imperative entity for this team’s progression.

However, some players feel that the recent cancellations have provided the team with good opportunities to work on their games due to the increased practice time.

“We’ve gotten to practice a ton lately, usually this time of the year you aren’t practicing that much or they are lighter practices,” said senior forward Bryce Fowler. “This is our new reality and we have to be ready for all things coming our way. It’s never going to be easy to do the things we want to accomplish.”

The Hornets are also making sure that their confidence is not wavering amid the postponements.

“We’re relying on each other to stay focused in these wild times,” Wilbon said. “As a team, we decided to embrace any adversity that comes our way with a mindset of ‘good, it’s just making us stronger and tougher.’”

Currently, the Hornets’ next matchup is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022 on the road to face Northern Colorado, but coach Laird is hopeful the team can get another game in before then.

“We’re gonna work as hard as we can to find a replacement game,” Laird said. “We’re calling, we’re looking at everyone else’s schedule. We’ll play anytime, anyplace, anywhere.”