RECAP: Sac State men’s basketball lose a nail-biter to Weber State in last seconds

Zach Chappell’s late-game heroics not enough for Hornets win


Cristian Gonzalez

Senior guard Zach Chappell follows through on a shot around a Weber State defender Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023 in a 52-49 Hornet loss at The Nest. Chappell had a team-high 17 points in Thursday’s loss.

Nathan Smith

Sac State men’s basketball lost a heartbreaker to Weber State 52-49 Thursday in the final seconds of a defensive battle.

The Hornets saw the hope of ending their five-game losing streak dwindle and fade as the game-tying three from senior guard Zach Chappell failed to fall.

In the first five minutes of the game, the Hornet and Wildcat defenses came to play, with both teams shooting under 35% from the field.

Key three-pointers from sophomore guard Austin Patterson and Chappell helped keep the matchup at 11 apiece.

Weber State made  four of their next five field goals while the Hornets turned the ball over five times over a five-minute span. 

The Hornets stayed in the game due to a contested three from Chappell and a post-hook shot from senior center Callum McRae, which kept the score at 22-18 with five minutes left in the half.

“Kudos to my teammates for setting great screens and rolling to the basket while our guards shook off their defenders,” Chappell said. “I’ve been struggling a bit from the field in recent games, but it felt good to see the ball go through the basket.” 

While the Wildcats missed eight of their last nine shots of the first half, the Hornets struggled to capitalize with points on the other end as they remained down 26-20 at the half. 

Coming right out of the second half, the Hornets got key buckets from McRae and Chappell to keep the deficit at 30-25 with 15 minutes left in the half.

With a dunk and post-hook shot from junior forward Akol Mawein, the Hornets cut the lead down to three with 12 minutes left in the game.

“I haven’t played my best lately, but scoring in the paint helped to bring my confidence up,” Mawein said. “I’m just looking forward to keeping that style of play consistent.” 

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An open three from junior guard Cameron Wilbon tied the game at 34 and kept the Hornet’s offensive momentum surging.

On the other side, the Hornets’ defense looked unstoppable as the Wildcats could not get a field goal to fall for a three minute stretch.

“I think they got the message from the matchups against Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado,” Sac State head coach David Patrick said. “In those games, I played some younger guys because I wanted to see effort. I think we saw a difference in how most of the upperclassmen played today.”

However, the Hornets unforced turnovers were keeping the Wildcats in the game as Sac State led 43-40 with three minutes left. 

The Wildcats went on a 6-0 run late in the game and took the lead 46-43 with 1:24 left  as the Hornets had only made one of their last seven field goals.

Chappell made both free throws from the line to keep the deficit at 49-46 and hit a clutch three-pointer to bring the Hornets within one in the final seconds.

With four seconds left in the game, Wildcats senior guard Zahir Porter knocked down two free throws to keep the Hornets down by three.

Chappell was not able to send the game into overtime with his last-second three.

“The pressing part is that we preach rebounding, but we gave up three crucial rebounds at the end of the game, and to me, that was the tale of the tape,” Patrick said. “I’m thankful to all of the students and fans who came and we wish we could have rewarded them with a win.”

The Hornets look to snap their six-game skid against Idaho State on Saturday for their last home game of the season as they sit at 12-15 overall and 5-9 in the Big Sky Conference.