Sac State men’s basketball’s winning streak snapped against Montana State

Hornets fall 75-69 in Bobcat Stadium after a three-game win


Courtesy of Montana State Athletics

Sophomore forward Cameron Wilbon attempts a jumper against a Bobcat defender Thursday, March 3, 2022, in Worthington Arena. Wilbon finished with nine points in the Hornets’ 75-69 loss to the Bobcats.

Jordan Latimore

The Sacramento State men’s basketball team has been riding high as of late, coming into Bozeman, Montana to play the Montana State Bobcats; the first ranked squad in the Big Sky.

Despite the valiant effort and execution the Hornets have had recently still being very present, the team suffered a 75-69 loss in Worthington Arena.

“Love how hard our guys competed, I thought they battled really hard,” interim head coach Brandon Laird said. “We needed [this game], it was one of those games where it came down the stretch and they made plays and we didn’t.”

It was a very competitive opening stretch to the first half for both the Hornets (9-17, 5-14 Big Sky) and Bobcats (23-7, 15-4 Big Sky) as both teams looked to be closing their regular season on a strong note.

Sac State’s offense was firing on all cylinders early, with senior forward Bryce Fowler and sophomore forward Cameron Wilbon creating a ton of plays in the high and low post. The Hornets took an early 5-2 lead just under the 18th minute.

However, Montana made a run and quickly regained control. 

Despite Sac State being able to limit senior center Jubrile Belo who finished with 18 points and rebounds in their last matchup to just 11 points on just 2-6 from the field, the Hornets still struggled to contain every other element of the Bobcats’ offense.

Tremendous effort by Jonathan [Komagum] and Hugo [Clarkin], I mean, they both did a really good job handling him down there,” Laird said.

It was easy to tell Montana State wanted to run, as their up-tempo pace put the Hornets in transition for a lot of the game.

Montana State was eventually able to scorch a run to take a 25-19 lead at the eight-minute mark.

RELATED: Sac State men’s basketball suffers heartbreaking 68-66 loss to Montana State

Despite the rough stretch for most of the first half, Sac State was able to ignite an 11-3 run near the seven minute mark, taking a 38-32 lead going into the break.

The Hornets found their stride shooting the ball, making the most of their quality possessions, and making smart decisions.

“We just got to our sports and were confident in ourselves,” Wilbon said. “We’ve really been clicking offensively as of late and it’s been really fun.”

Though the Hornets closed the half on an effective run, the Bobcats came roaring back to open things up in the second.

The Bobcat guards were attacking Sac State every chance they had, whether it was creating shots on the perimeter or attacking the rim. Montana eventually took a 48-46 lead at the 12-minute mark.

Once the Bobcats took that lead they ran away with the matchup, going on many runs to eliminate any chance for Sac State, who came out flat in the second half, to stay in it.

Regardless of the loss, the Hornets remain optimistic of their play at this point late in the season.

“It’s been encouraging for sure,” Fowler said. “We just need to finish this weekend off right and carry some momentum into the tournament.”

The Hornets’ next game will be in Missoula, Montana on Saturday as they’re set to square off against the University of Montana at 6 p.m