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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 drops two more games to extend its losing streak to six

Sac State continues to struggle with turnovers and producing points
Adnan Baig
Freshman guard Alex Kovatchev finishes a left-handed lay-up over his defender in the paint Monday, Feb. 5, 2024. Kovatchev had six points and six defensive rebounds against the Vandals.

Saturday: Sac State: 51, Portland State: 58

Sacramento State men’s basketball continued their struggle with turnovers and lost the rebound battle, which resulted in them dropping their fifth consecutive game against the Portland State Vikings, 58-51.

The Hornets headed into Viking Pavilion with a chance to redirect their season. Sac State’s last six games have all been decided by single digits with a determining factor coming from them averaging about 15 turnovers a game.

“First half, we had very, very good defense,” junior guard Zee Hamoda said. “The second half, we had a lot of missed box outs and just little details, but I think it is all fixable.”

To open the game, sophomore forward Duncan Powell got a defensive rebound off of an errant three point attempt and freshman guard Emil Skyttä was able to fight his way through the paint for the first points of the game.

Sac State was able to keep the momentum alive with a junior guard Austin Patterson three pointer and after the game was tied 6-6, the Hornets were able to go on a 13-2 run.

Junior guard Austin Patterson is seen keying in on the point guard for the University of Idaho Monday, Feb. 5, 2024. Patterson finished the game with eight points, two assists and one rebound. (Orlando Fuller)

Although the momentum was on the side of the Hornets, the Vikings were able to find cracks in their defense late in the first, thanks to senior forward KJ Allen.

Allen was able to narrow the Hornets’ lead to five with nine points heading into the second half.

Hamoda and Powell have been two of Sac State’s leading scorers throughout the season, but the Vikings’ defense kept them in check in the first half.

“They’re a good defensive team,” Sac State head coach David Patrick said. “I think Zee did a good job spacing the floor and distributing the ball in the first half. He missed some shots that he typically makes.”

The second half took a complete 180 of the first with Portland State scoring more on takeaways and beating Sac State on the glass.

Portland State gained 15 points off offensive rebounds compared to Sac State’s two. The Vikings also scored 10 points off turnovers in contrast to the Hornets’ four.

Junior forward Isaiah Johnson propelled the Vikings’ offense forward after taking advantage of a Sac State turnover, missing a jumper, grabbing his own rebound and making the layup to give the Vikings a lead they would not relinquish.

“They had two offensive rebounds in the first half and fourteen in the second half,” Patrick said. “That’s the ball game.”
RELATED: Sac State calls it close but extend losing streak to four

Monday: Sac State: 45, Idaho: 61

The Hornets had a good chance to get back in the win column on Monday night when they welcomed the Idaho Vandals for their second and final matchup of the season. Idaho was able to control much of the game and ultimately come out on top 61-45.

After the Hornets lost their first matchup at the hands of a 25-foot buzzer-beater by Idaho guard Quinn Denker, it was hard to imagine they wouldn’t come out with a certain level of intensity looking to avenge themselves, but that wasn’t the case.

Sac State managed to stay within striking distance for the majority of the first half. Until about the five-minute mark when the Vandals capped off a 13-2 run to close the half after Idaho’s junior forward Kyson Rose hit an and-one bucket just 3.7 seconds before intermission.

The Hornets lacked ball movement and player movement forcing them to rely too much on isolation ball.

That, coupled with many missed opportunities around the basket, caused the Hornets to dig themselves into a hole they wouldn’t be able to dig themselves out of.

The Hornets were struggling to convert on any type of shot for most of the night, shooting just 15/46 from the field, which translated to an alarming 33%. The Vandals on the other hand, converted on just over 50% of their shots.

The Hornet’s prepare during the halftime break by getting some practice shots before the next period Monday, Feb. 5, 2024 at the Nest. Sac State went on to take the loss against the Vandals 61-45. (Orlando Fuller)

“It’s super difficult to be an effective inside-out team,” Powell said. “You have to be effective inside first, so if you’re not putting any pressure at the rim it’s not going to work.”

Turnovers have been a problem for most of the season for Sac State, but as of late, they had cleaned things up in that department. They had averaged just 11 turnovers per game in their last five outings, compared to the 16 per game mark they’d been at over their first 17 games.

Sac State admittedly went back to their old ways in this matchup and turned it over 14 times to which Idaho largely benefited. The Vandals scored a staggering 22 points off turnovers to the Hornets six.

“I keep telling them, don’t throw it unless it’s a 95% strike rate, don’t try to throw 50-50 balls, which we try to do,” Patrick said.“The other part is, they dig on our post, they double our posts and we need better composure.”

The Hornets tried to fight their way back in the second half, but it was too little too late. Idaho’s biggest lead grew all the way up to 20 and never dipped below 15.

Sophomore forward Duncan Powell is seen getting ready to team up with junior guard Zee Hamoda for a much needed defensive rebound Monday, Feb. 5, 2024. Both players were key in the efforts to attempt a late second half comeback against Idaho. (Orlando Fuller)

“They wanted to make a statement early on to kind of diminish what we thought we could do, so they did well in doing that today and we tried to make a second-half comeback,” freshman center Bowyn Beatty said. “It just didn’t come our way.”

Sac State drops to 6-17 on the season and 2-8 in conference play. They currently have sole possession of last place in the conference. Next, they’ll head to Pocatello, Idaho to take on Idaho State on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.

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Ryan Lorenz, Sports Staffer
(he/him) Ryan Lorenz is in his second semester at The State Hornet. He is a former Sports Editor for Cosumnes River College's publication, The Connection. He has a strong passion for sports and plans on having a career in sports media.
Andrew Edwards, Sports Staffer
(he/him) Andrew Edwards is a fourth-year student at Sacramento State in his first semester at The State Hornet. He is a lifelong sports fanatic and has plans to pursue a career in sports journalism after graduating.
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