Sac State men’s basketball rolls Eastern Washington in 81-75 win

Fowler and FitzPatrick shine on their senior night


Jordan Latimore

Senior Forward Bryce Fowler brings the ball up the floor against Eastern Washington Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in The Nest. Fowler put 26 points and six assists in his final game in the Nest as the Hornets earned their third straight win with an 81-75 victory over the Eagles.

Jordan Latimore

After the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility to athletes, including basketball players, it was then a question of whether or not seniors William FitzPatrick and Bryce Fowler would come back to the program for a final year.

In what seemed like a storybook ending for the tandem in their final game in The Nest, they combined for nearly 50 points in an 81-75 win for the Hornets over Eastern Washington Saturday. It seemed like they both made the most of their decision.

“I’m just really glad that I could finish it off here like that,” Fowler said. “Obviously the individual game is cool, but to get that win, especially getting the quality opponent like them, it’s really special.”

The story of the first half for the Hornets (9-16, Big Sky 5-13) was the barrage of threes they were able to knock down, putting a ton of pressure on the Eagles (15-14, Big Sky 9-9) to make big shots as well.

Though it was back-and-forth for much of the first half, Sac State’s deep-range shot-making kept them in it, and it all started with senior sharpshooter William FitzPatrick. Given that it was his final game in the Nest, it seemed only fitting. 

The fifth-year guard splashed his first two looks from the three-point line, which only opened the floodgates for the rest of the team to pour in on the deep-range barrage.

Sacramento State finished with eight total threes in the first half with FitzPatrick clicking on five of them.

Senior guard William FitzPatrick gages the Eastern Washington defense Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in The Nest. FitzPatrick finished with 20 points and five threes in the Hornets’ third straight win in an 81-75 victory over the Eagles.
(Jordan Latimore)

“This team has done a great job, you know, for me, making me comfortable getting me good looks,” FitzPatrick said. “I can’t thank them enough, how hard they play, everyone trusts me to take these shots, I trust myself.”

Senior forward Bryce Fowler was also chipping in offensively like usual for the Hornets, mostly doing damage in the mid-range and high post. Sac State led 26-24 just under the seven-minute mark in the first half.

Despite the offense clicking for the Hornets, the Eagles presented a lot of challenges for Sac State to contain, primarily in the low post, where Eastern Washington forced the smaller Sac State guards onto their bigs off of pick and rolls. The Eagles found a glaring mismatch to exploit and give themselves a slight advantage.

Going into halftime, the Hornets found themselves down by two points with a score of 37-35 after a last-second three-point make from senior guard Rylan Bergersen.

The second half was something to behold.

Though they saw a slight Eagle run in the opening minutes, the second half was all Sac State, and it was ignited by their fifth-year captain forward.

Fowler went 8-10 from the field and finished with 26 points and six assists on the night, getting it done in a variety of ways on the perimeter and driving to the rim like he always does.

With Fowler’s offense sparking it all for Sac State, the Hornets were able to erupt on a 14-5 run near the nine-minute mark, which earned them a 68-60 lead over the Eagles.

“I think we got a little bit more fight in this than we did earlier in the season,” Fowler said. “I think we’re kind of showing a little bit more desperation and showing that we really wanna win these games.”

Fowler’s dominance also opened the game for his teammates such as Zach Chappell, who knocked down three huge three-pointers down the stretch to cushion the Hornets’ lead.

Junior guard Zach Chappell tries to get to the rim against Eastern Washington Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in The Nest. The Hornets edged out a third straight win with an 81-75 victory over the Eagles Saturday.

With the game still close at a score of 76-73 with under 30 seconds remaining, Eastern Washington began fouling, which sent FitzPatrick to the line with a chance to put the game out of reach with what was likely his final points in The Nest. 


Two straight swishes.

With that, Sac State was able to cruise to a third straight victory with the win against Eastern Washington.

For Sac State’s two seniors especially, the result was surely something to be proud of.

The two seniors, Fowler and FitzPatrick combined for 46 points on their senior night.

“Those two are the definition of the ‘Sac State way’,” interim head coach Brandon Laird said. “I’m so freaking proud of them for sticking together, their leadership has been incredible.”


Sac State’s next game will be on Thursday on the road against Montana State at 6:00 p.m.