SPIRITED 2ND HALF COMEBACK FALLS JUST SHORT IN MEN’S HOOPS’ 79-73 BIG SKY TOURNEY LOSS TO MONTANA

Athletics News

Mar 14, 2019

BOISE, Idaho — Sacramento State sliced a 21-point deficit all the way down to four points late in the game, but could not get any closer as the Hornets fell in the Big Sky Conference Tournament quarterfinals to top-seed Montana, 79-73, on Thursday afternoon at CenturyLink Arena.The Hornets cut the deficit to a two-possession game on four occasions during the second half, including four points (77-73) with 13 seconds to play. After the Grizzlies missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw situation, the Hornets had a wide open 3-point look by Chibueze Jacobs at the six-second mark hit back rim, and Montana knocked down two free throws to provide the final outcome.After Sacramento State trailed by a game-high 21 points (41-20) late in the first half, the Hornets closed on an 8-0 run and were down, 41-28, at halftime. That was part of a 16-2 run spanning both halves that got Sacramento State within, 43-36, with 18:01 to play. However, every time the Hornets seemed to get within striking distance, Montana would hit a big shot. Sacramento State outscored the Grizzlies, 45-38, in the second half, part of an effort that saw the Hornets bury 8-of-16 shots from long range after halftime. The Hornets’ largest lead of the contest was 2-0, and Montana led for all but 58 seconds.Fifth-year senior and team co-captain Marcus Graves had a monster game, finishing with a career-high 30 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field, 5-for-8 from distance and 3-of-4 from the free throw line. He scored 20 points in the second half, while adding seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and played the entire 40 minutes. Graves scored 11 of the Hornets’ final 13 points as he willed the Hornets back into the game. Graves will almost assuredly be a Big Sky all-tournament selection as he averaged 28.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals over two games while …

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