The Sacramento State males’s basketball group dropped the first of its two-game trip against Eastern Washington 68-60.

The match was originally set for Thursday however was delayed after Eastern Washington stopped briefly all activities following “a positive COVID-19 test result among Tier 1 people within the EWU program.” The NCAA identifies Tier 1 people as student-athletes, coaches, athletic fitness instructors and physiotherapists, medical staff, equipment personnel and officials.

In spite of a resilient second half resurgence from the Hornets (6-4, 4-3 Big Sky), their offensive battles in combination with the Eagles’ (5-6, 4-2 Big Sky) interior protective dominance resulted in a Sac State loss.

The game opened up with gritty and physical play without much offending momentum from either group. At the 16-minute mark of the very first half, the Eagles led with a rating of 6-2 with both teams shooting under 35%.

The Hornets discovered an offending stimulate with a low-post layup from senior forward Ethan Espositio and a cross country three from senior guard Brandon Davis that eventually cut the Eagles’ lead to 1with a score of 7-6 at the 15-minute mark.

The next three-minute period of play displayed the most bucket trade offs throughout the matchup, seeing 6 lead changes that primarily included layups and interior scoring from both groups.

Near to midway through the first half, the Hornets lost all the offending consistency they had as soon as maintained, going on a scoring drought that extended over an 11-minute span to liquidate the very first half.

Shooting 23% from three and going a total of 9 for 28 from the field, the Hornets could not find the bottom of the pail to end the very first 20 minutes of action.

” We got fantastic shots, we just weren’t knocking them down,” Davis said about the team’s offensive struggles. “We came out with excellent energy, but in order to beat a great group like Eastern we require to preserve that effort.”

In addition to the Hornets struggling to score in the last stretch of the very first half, the Eagles made use of Sac State’s defense and ended the half with their own 18-1 run.

Capped off by 3 straight ownerships with a 3-pointer and an interior assertiveness that resulted in the Eagles out rebounding the Hornets 22 to 19, the Eagles had the ability to extend their cause a rating of 37-22 entering into the 2nd half.

Sac State came out of the 2nd half with an aggressive tempo that resulted in a 7-0 run right out evictions that was sparked by a sideline jumper from senior forward guard Christian Terrell.

” That’s who we are, we aren’t going to give up due to the fact that we are down double digits,” senior forward Bryce Fowler said about the group’s second half comeback. “It shows us that when we make the changes and play harder than we carried out in the first half, we can beat this team.”

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At the 11-minute mark in the 2nd half, the Hornets were able to trim the Eagle lead down to 42-35 after back-to-back layups from Esposito.

Regardless of the Hornets finding an offensive rhythm, they had a hard time to restrict the paint presence from the Eagles. Eastern Washington outrebounded Sac State in the second half and scored 18 of their 31 2nd half points in the paint.

” We just need to work harder down there [in the paint],” Fowler stated. “They are strong, physical, smart, we have to be quicker to put a body on them when the shot is up and ensure we’re boxing them out.”

Near the two-minute mark in the 2nd half, the Hornets went on a 10-4 run sustained by low-post baskets from Esposito and Davis to cut the result in 6 with a rating of 58-52.

The Eagles then reacted with their own 6-5 run that pushed the result in 7.

With under one minute remaining, senior guard William Fitzpatrick was fouled on a 3 point effort and converted all 3 free tosses to cut the lead to 4. Nevertheless, the Hornets merely ran out of timeouts, and after a number of belongings of late game fouling, could not reduce the lead within striking range and suffered the loss.