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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 calls it close but extend losing streak to four

Sac State lets two home games slip away
Junior+forward+Jacob+Holt+attempts+a+jump+hook+over+Montanas+Dischon+Thomas.+Holt+finished+with+9+points+and+6+rebounds+against+the+Grizzlies.
Malachi Parker
Junior forward Jacob Holt attempts a jump hook over Montana’s Dischon Thomas. Holt finished with 9 points and 6 rebounds against the Grizzlies.

Thursday: Sacramento State 62 Montana State 70

The defensive side of the ball helped Sacramento State get back into the game, but their efforts fell short as they lost at home Thursday to Montana State 70-62.

“In the second half we held them to 38% shooting from the field,” Sac State head coach David Patrick said. “That’s how we want to play.”

In the second half, on a four minute stretch, Sac State did not allow a single point. On the offensive side during that stretch, it was a great showing from junior guard Zee Hamoda. Hamoda subbed in and had eight points and two rebounds in just over two minutes of play.

“We had great moments during the game,” Hamoda said. “We believe in our ability to play, and our talent and system will get us there.”

However, a four point deficit is the closest Sac State got to taking a lead after a slow start in the first half put them in a deep hole.

The Bobcats did not miss a shot during the first five minutes of the game and their scorching hot shooting in the first half put Sac State in a double digit deficit going into halftime.

“You can’t spot a team like that with 11 points and then try to lock in for the second half,” Patrick said. “You let a team shoot 53% from the field in a half, you are not beating anybody playing like that consistenly.”

Sac State did themselves no favors during the first half, as they shot 33% from the field and 11% from beyond the arc. Sac State also committed eight turnovers in the first half, which added to their offensive struggles.

Hamoda led the team in points as he netted 17 for the night. Freshman guard Emil Skytta contributed 13 points before fouling out late in the game.

RELATED: Sac State boxing gets another round after 60 years

Saturday: Sacramento State 67 Montana 70

Sac State went scoreless the last 3 minutes and 49 seconds of their home game and suffered a gut-wrenching 70-67 loss Saturday to the Montana Grizzlies.

Sac State’s last point was a free throw from sophomore forward Duncan Powell as the Hornets led 67-60. In that final stretch the Grizzlies would go on a 10-0 run and squeak by with a three point win.

Saturday night was a complete turnaround from Thursday night though, as shots were falling for the Hornets.

“Since Christmas we’ve changed our style of play,” Patrick said. “The ball moved and we weren’t playing isolation ball as much tonight and it was more inside-out and we have to continue to get better at it.”

Playing inside-out is the ball touching the interior, either to the post player or through dribble penetration, and then being passed to the outside which typically opens up the perimeter for open jump shots.

Sac State played inside-out through dribble penetration as they connected on a few triples but did most of their damage getting fouled and converting at the free-throw line, where they shot 86% on the night.

Sac State’s change of play style is focused on using the size of their team to punish teams inside, which is precisely how they started this game. Sac State went into the halftime intermission up by two points, where 20 of their 41 points came from inside the paint while another 12 came from the free throw line.

The second half was a battle where neither team could truly gain control. Sac State held the lead for most of the second half. Montana held the lead for only 91 seconds, but took it when it mattered most.

Sac State, who had 20 points in the paint in the first half, only had 10 in the second half. The Hornets shot 13 free-throws in the first half, but only attempted nine in the second half despite being in the bonus for most of it.

“I think we missed some bunnies in the second half,” Patrick said. “We were avoiding contact in the second half.”

It seemed no matter what Sac State did to start to pull away, the Grizzlies had timely 3-pointers to keep them around. The Grizzlies were efficient from all three levels as they shot 52%from the field, connected on eight 3-pointers and only missed three free throws.

“The last two games have been atrocious defensively,” Patrick said. “A lot of it is just 1-on-1 guarding your man and we have not done a good job there.”

Despite the 10-0 run the Grizzlies went on late in the game, the Hornets still had a good look to tie it and send it into overtime. The play was drawn up for junior guard Austin Patterson, but his corner 3-pointer did not fall.

“Two games I feel that we should have won and we let it slip through our fingers,” Patterson said. “We got a big week coming up and we have to be in the right mindset.”

Sac State now falls to 6-15 overall. They are 2-6 in Big Sky Conference play and have lost their last four games. Sac State will play four conference games in a stretch of seven days.

Their next game will be at Portland State on Saturday, Feb. 3.

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About the Contributor
Malachi Parker, Visuals Staffer
(he/him) Malachi is a fourth-year student, majoring in journalism and is in his second semester at The State Hornet and will be a part of the visuals staff. He hopes to go into a job as a sports journalist or photographer.
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