The Sacramento State Hornets continued their strong second half of the season Saturday night at The Nest, blowing out the Northern Colorado Bears 79-58 to maintain their share of third place in the Big Sky Conference.
The Hornets (13-12, 9-7 Big Sky) won for the seventh time in eight games on the strength of their defense, which held the Bears (16-9, 10-6) to 27 percent shooting in the second half.
Sacramento State got the lead to double digits on Nick Hornsby’s basket with 33 seconds remaining in the first half and Northern Colorado only got it to single digits once after that. The Hornets led by as many as 25 in the second half en route to the blowout victory.
Northern Colorado had beaten the Hornets 72-62 in Greeley, Colo., on Jan. 25. Sacramento State has lost just once since then.
Mikh McKinney had a double-double for the Hornets with 29 points and 11 rebounds and also dished out six assists, while freshman Eric Stuteville notched his first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Dylan Garrity also logged six assists.
Northern Colorado was 19-for-61 (31.1 percent) overall, 3-for-17 (17.6 percent) from 3-point range and 17-for-27 (63 percent) from the free throw line. Sacramento State was 25-for-52 (48.1 percent), 5-for-14 (35.7 percent) and 24-for-29 (82.8 percent).
The Hornets hammered the Bears on the glass 45-34.
Sacramento State makes its last regular-season road trip next week, beginning with a visit to conference-leading Weber State on Thursday at 6:05 p.m. Pacific. The Hornets upset the Wildcats in their first meeting on Garrity’s 75-footer at the overtime buzzer on Feb. 1.