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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

Sac State takes a frustrating loss against Long Beach State

The Hornets have now lost six games in the season
Senior+forward+Akol+Mawein+puts+in+the+layup+off+the+glass+in+a+matchup+Sunday%2C+Nov.+26%2C+2023.+He+finished+with+11+points+and+three+assists+against+UC+Davis.
Malachi Parker
Senior forward Akol Mawein puts in the layup off the glass in a matchup Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023. He finished with 11 points and three assists against UC Davis.

After taking on cross town rival UC Davis and leaving with a win, the Sacramento State Hornets went down to Long Beach looking to keep their momentum going.

Sac State started the game off with a new look in the lineup, with senior forward Akol Maiwen getting the start over this season’s usual starter, Jacob Holt.

“If we were 6-2, 7-2, we may not make that change,” Sac State head coach David Patrick said. “I think it was good for us tonight, kind of gave Alex Kovatchev his chance to play to what he’s capable of playing.”

The start for the Hornets was exactly what they would have hoped, getting out to an early 11-7 lead by the first timeout. It was clear the team had their energy where it needed to be.

Sophomore forward Duncan Powell made his impact on the game early, trying to assert his dominance within the paint, as well as high energy rebound attempts. Finishing the game with a total of six rebounds, with most seen on the defensive boards with four.

“Something we have to keep dominating on,” Powell said about attacking the painted area. “I was trying to draw fouls early on but it seemed like they were letting us play.”

Action throughout the first half kept this game neck to neck, with runs being made for both sides. Sac State at one point, found themselves down 36-28 with three minutes left in the first half. With the help of recognized floor general Brandon Betson and play caller Patrick, the Hornets were able to end the half on a vital 11-2 run going into halftime down 43-39.

“It’s really important, Coach Patrick, he does a good job at setting up situations to do that so it’s very important,” Bestson said about the first half adjustments made by Patrick.

Keeping this neck to neck trend alive, the second half of play seemed to show an evenly matched set of teams. Providing a spark and the first lead of the entire game for the Hornets, junior guard Zee Hamoda raised up for a three point attempt and was fouled almost completing the and one.

With three free throw attempts ahead for Hamoda, he took his time between shots, hitting all three to give the Hornets their first lead of the game, 60-59.

This first lead for the Hornets in the early stages of the second half was just one out of the six lead changes seen throughout the game. Sac State found themselves tied eight different times throughout the game against Long Beach State.

“We didn’t do a great job boxing out, and there were key times where it was a two point game, we missed a box out and they went and scored it. On the road and against good teams, that can’t happen,” Patrick said.

Battling through the second half, Sac State found themselves attempting three pointers to make a run at cutting the lead down for Long Beach, but missed the majority of them. They shot 2-12 from behind the arc, totaling 16% for the second half.

“We gotta have the right guys getting shots, I think Zee Hamuda, Kovatchev and Patterson gotta be the ones getting shots,” Patrick said.

Long Beach State took a page out of Sac State’s game plan and started to let the three point attempts fly. In the end, they were able to hit a dagger to go up 77-70 with a minute left to be played. The need to hit late second half shots from behind the arc eventually took away from the solid team play seen at points throughout the first half of play.

“My team is depending on me in these types of situations. I gotta get better, at just a floor general and point guard because when I do that we are in better positions to win. And we will start to do that,” Betson said.

Foul trouble late in the second half worked against the Hornets as Duncan Powell picked up his fourth, visually frustrated. He was kept in for the remainder of the game despite being one foul away from his fifth, which would have resulted in him fouling out of the game.

“It’s really a game by game type of thing,” Powell said. “This was my first game really getting into foul trouble, so if I see foul trouble every couple of games I don’t think it may change anything about how aggressive I still come out and play.”

With only two wins for the season so far, it is clear the Hornets are still looking to get together as a team and put together a winning stretch this far.

“What you learn in November and early December is who your team is, especially when you have 12 new guys,” Patrick said.

Top performances for the Hornets were seen in the 17 points by Brandon Betson, 15 points added by Zee Hamoda, and not far behind Ducan Powell, finishing with 11 points on the night.

Sac State took their sixth loss of the season 83-73. They hope to come out on top with a win on Saturday, against Fullerton at 2 p.m.

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Orlando Fuller, Sports Staffer
(he/him) Orlando Fuller is in his senior year, graduating in May. As well as majoring in journalism he hopes to become a sports reporter or investigative journalist.
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