It’s a shootout Cal bests Sacramento State 42-30

Cal Bears quarterback Chase Garbers passes against the Sacramento State Hornets at Cal Memorial Stadium during the home opener at UC Berkeley on Sat Sep 18, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Morris Phillips and Michael Duca

Cal Bears quarterback Chase Garbers lead Cal to the Bears first victory of 2021 with a convincing 42-30 win over the visiting Sacramento State Hornets at Cal Memorial Stadium. Garbers had himself an afternoon throwing 22-34 for 288 yards and two touchdowns. The Bears offense dominated in the first half 21-6 and the Hornets made it interesting in the second half outscoring the Bears 24-21 but the Bears hung on for the 12 point win.

The Bears Nikko Remiglio returned a second half kick off for a touchdown. Bears head coach Justin Wilcox said that winning in college football is not an easy task and he’s not taking the Bears first win of the season for granted, “You never minimize a win. It’s hard winning in college football, regardless of who you’re playing. … It’s good to get a win. But we all know that we need to be much, much better.” said Wilcox.

The Bears upon returning back to Berkeley and a full season schedule wanted to avoid going 0-3 for the first time since 2001 and in the abbreviated season of six games in 2020 the Bears lost the first three games of the season.

The Bears offense has improved over the last two games, Garbers didn’t waste anytime contributing to getting the Bears on the scoreboard on the first two drives Garbers gave to Bears running back Damien Moore who carried twice for four yard touchdowns. Moore had 87 yards in Saturday’s game.

Cal wide receiver Jeremiah Hunter caught a Garbers pass for a 45 yard touchdown. Hunter would come away with five receptions for 78 yards and the one touchdown. The Bears Trevon Clark scored a 12 yard touchdown in the third quarter and carried for a 16 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“Each and every week we have gotten better, we have taken steps forward. As the season goes on and weeks go on, we’ll keep taking that next step.” said Garbers. Remiglio’s kickoff return to open the second half a 99 yard return really set the tone and the Bears confidence carried the rest of the game.

It’s off to Seattle and the Washington Huskies next Sat Sep 26th the Huskies got a huge win this Saturday against the Arkansas Redwolves 52-3. Huskies quarterback Dylan Morris went 23-39, 367 yards and two touchdowns against Arkansas.

TCU edges Cal 34-32; Horned Frogs Johnston catches 2 TDs

Quentin Johnston (1) wide receiver of the TCU Horned Frogs makes for the end zone out pacing the Cal Bears linebacker Evan Tattersall (54) for one of his two touchdowns this one coming in the second half at Fort Worth in week 2 of the NCAA season (AP News photo)

By Michael Duca and Morris Phillips

It was a close contest in Forth Worth on Saturday but the Cal Bears (0-2) couldn’t hold off the TCU (2-0) Horned Frogs and Quentin Johnston who scored two touchdowns as TCU edged Cal 34-32. TCU quarterback Max Duggan threw three touchdown passes was 17-31 for 234 yards and threw only one interception.

Duggan hit Johnston for the go ahead score in the fourth quarter to give TCU the two point advantage. In the fourth quarter both Cal and TCU scored 13 points each the difference was earlier in the game when the Horned Frogs scored 14 points to make it 19-14 Cal in front by five at the half. That lead was erased when the Horned Frogs scored a touchdown in the third quarter to take the lead 21-19.

The Bears with the loss are winless through the first two weeks of the season after they lost to the Nevada Wolfpack last Sat Sep 6th 22-17. Johnston made the fourth quarter catch with 9:53 left in the ball game a 45 yard catch under pressure Johnston twisted away from one Cal defender at the 30 yard line and another Bears defender missed taking down Johnston falling at the 10 and Johnston ran home free the rest of the way.

Johnston ran for 95 yards after making five catches he made every catch count in very close knit game against the Golden Bears “I think I speak for the whole team when I say this … we were very excited when he caught it,” said running back Zach Evans. Johnston said that he’s more than a tall lanky receiver but a threat to the defense that can down field and score and he did three times.

The Bears quarterback Chase Garbers threw 16-27 for 309 yards, and two touchdowns good enough to win most ball games but TCU just got enough scoring to get by the Bears. Garbers had a decent first half for Cal Berkeley throwing for 234 yards in the first half of action.

Garbers in four plays in the first half had 199 yards out of the 234 yards going for 49, 54, 28 and 68 yards. Garbers moved the ball so well in the first half the Bears scored six in the first quarter, 13 in the second quarter to take that 19-14 first half lead and they made it close in the fourth quarter matching TCU with 13 points each but fell short.

The Bears go back to the drawing board as they prepare to host the Sacramento State Hornets (1-1) in their home opener. The Hornets are coming off a tough loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday night in Sacramento. Kick off on Sat Sep 18th at Cal 1:00 pm PDT

Portland and Sacramento State make it rain “3’s”: Pilots win 80-75

Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’Afa passes the ball versus Portland Photo: Jordan Chapin

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Sacramento – The Sacramento State Hornets and the Portland Pilots met on the big stage at the Golden 1 Center as the first game of a NCAA Men’s basketball doubleheader. Someone forgot to tell the teams they were just the warm-up game because they played some serious hard-nosed, entertaining basketball.

If you like 3-point shooting, you would have loved watching this game. Both teams used the 3-ball to their advantage and shot it at a very respectable percentage.

While both teams shot well from outside, they also were not afraid to look for defensive breakdowns and drive the ball to the basket.

Portland run in first half put Sac State in peril

The Pilots and the Hornets battled for the ball all game long on Thursday night. Photo: Jordan Chapin

The Pilots went on a run late in the first half that had them up 41-28 with 3:59 to go in the first half. It appeared that Portland was going to head to locker room at halftime with very comfortable lead that they could build on in the second half.

The Hornets had something else in mind as they put together a 12-0 run of their own to cut the Portland lead to just three-points – 43 to 40 – at halftime. The run was fueled by two 3-point baskets from sophmore guard Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’Afa.

Both teams shot over 50-percent in the first half. Portland shot 16-for-31 (51.6-percent). The Hornets shot 54.8-percent (17-for-31) from the field.

The second half brought more of the same kind of action

Hornets wait for video replay to determine if they will retain possession of the ball late in the game. Photo: Jordan Chapin

Both teams came out hot in the second half. Neither team was able to open up a lead of more than five points on the other and it was a 2-3 point contest most of the time. At the 7:24 mark in the half, that all changed.

Josh McSwiggan made a layup that gave the Pilots a six-point lead. That kicked off a burst by Portland that the Hornets would never recover from in the game.

Portland built up of a lead of eight points and then managed to stay ahead of Sacramento for the remainder of the contest. The Hornets did cut the Portland lead to just four points late in the half but that was as close as they would come.

When the final horn sounded, Portland had beaten the Hornets 80-75. The victory lifted the Pilots record to 6-7 for the season. The loss dropped the Hornets to 3-9 to date.

Top performances

Sacramento State Hornets

  • Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’Afa is the easy choice for Star of the Game for the Hornets. He scored a game-high 23-points, shooting 8-for-11 overall and hitting 5-of-7 three-point attempts. The sophomore was a perfect 2-for-2 from the free throw line, grabbed four rebounds, dished out two assists and added one steal. His head coach – Brian Katz – said you could see this kind of game coming from Izayah with the way he has been playing recently.
  • Co-star: Senior forward Justin Strings who finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds for the double-double. Strings also added four assists.
  • Co-star: Jordan Tolbert came off the bench and shot a perfect 6-for-6 including going 3-for-3 from behind the 3-point line to post 16-points. Tolbert recorded three assists as well.

Portland Pilots

  • Star of the Game: Forward Josh McSwiggan was the man for the Pilots on Thursday night. He scored a team-high 18-points and added eight rebounds. The Englishman played 35-minutes and shot 7-for-11 from the floor.
  • Co-star: D’Marques Tyson came off the bench to score 17-points in 17-minutes of playing time on the floor. He converted 5-of-8 three-point opportunities.
  • Co-star: Senior center Philipp Hartwich had a big impact on the game for the Pilots. He booked 11 points and eight rebounds while shooting 4-for-6 from the field. His scoring in the lane early in the game really helped to propel his team.

Key team stats


  • Field Goal Shooting for the game: 29-for-57 (50.9-percent)
  • 3-point Shooting for game: 8-of-20 (40-percent)
  • Free Throw Shooting for Game: 9-for-16 (56.3-percent) this game might have been lost at the charity stripe
  • Turnovers: 12 which resulted in 16 Portland points (that is five more turnovers than Portland)


  • Field Goal Shooting for the game: 29-for-58 (50-percent)
  • 3-point Shooting for game: 11-for-26 (42.3-percent) This was key to their win
  • Free Throw Shooting for the Game: 11-for-18 (61.1-percent) both teams need improvement at the line
  • Turnovers: Seven which became nine Sac State points – taking better care of the ball may have been the difference maker in this game.

Up next

Sacramento State

The Hornets have one more game before Christmas. They will host UC Santa Barbara on Saturday night at 7:05 pm.


The Pilots are off until December 28th when they will play BYU in Provo.

Sac State Hornets fall to Denver Pioneers 72-61 on Sunday

by Charlie O. Mallonee


The Sacramento State men’s basketball team (1-5) lost the second game of the Eastern Washington University Tournament on Sunday to the University of Denver 72-61. The Hornets finished 0-2 for the tourney.

The game was tied at 61-61 with with 3:05 to play. Denver went on an 11-0 run that lasted until the final final buzzer and the Pioneers walked away the 72-61 win to finish 1-1 in the tournament.

Too many 3’s and too many offensive rebounds

Denver (2-5) used the 3-point basket to its advantage in the game. The Pioneers went 7-for-20 (35-percent) from long range. The Pioneers hit five of those 3-point baskets in the second half. Sacramento went 2-for-11 from behind the line but had no 3-point field goals in the second half.

Denver also outrebounded the Hornets 40-32. Of those 40 Denver rebounds, 17 were offensive rebounds that resulted in 19 second-chance points. The Hornets had five offensive boards and six second-chance points.

Sacramento State led at the half

The Hornets had a strong opening half in the game. They did not shoot for a high percentage (40-percent), but the Hornets were able to take the lead and keep it the entire half. Sac State was able to keep Denver off-balance as the Pioneers shot just 32.3-percent in the first half. At the break, the Hornets were up 31-25 over their opponents.

Marcus Graves led the scoring attack for the Hornets

Junior guard Marcus Graves was the leading scorer for the Hornets. He put up 16 going 6-for-11 from the floor and hitting 4-of-5 from the free throw line. He also played a game-high 36 minutes for the Hornets.

Justin Strings scored 13 points and was the leading Sacramento State rebounder with eight. Nick Hornsby was the other Hornet to score in double figures adding 10 points.

Denver’s leading scorers were Daniel Amigo and Jake Pemberton who scored 17 points each in the game. Amigo posted a double-double by adding 10 rebounds. Pemberton went 4-for-6 from 3-point land.

Back on the road again

The Hornets will head out on the road again this week and travel to Stockton to face the Pacific Tigers who are currently 2-2 on the season. The Tigers travel to Reno to play a respectable Nevada team before returning home to host the Hornets.

College basketball debuts at the Golden 1 Center: UC Davis downs Sac State 81-72

by Charlie O. Mallonee


SACRAMENTO–History was made tonight at the Golden 1 Center when the Sacramento State Hornets and the UC Davis Aggies Men’s basketball teams met for their annual “Causeway Classic” game. It was the first NCAA game to be played in the new entertainment and sports complex in the Capital City.

Both programs were winners because of the attention the game drew from the community at large. On the court, UC Davis (4-1) downed Sacramento State (1-3) 81-72.

UC Davis used high-percentage shots in the paint along with an outstanding 3-point shooting barrage to defeat very physical Sacramento State team.

50-percent was the Aggies number

UC Davis shot 50-percent from the floor (29-for-58). The Aggies also shot 50-percent from beyond the 3-point line (8-for-16). They hit five of those 3-pointers in the second half which helped propel them to the win. Brynton Lemar was the Aggies leading 3-point shooter going 3-for-5 from long range.

The Aggies had five players in double-figures

  • Guard Brynton Lemar was UC Davis’ leading scorer with 23 points. He was also the assists leader with five. This was the second time this season he has been the Aggies top scorer.
  • Forward Moneke Chima posted a double-double scoring 15 points and grabbing 13 rebounds
  • Mikey Henn put up 13 points coming off the bench
  • J.T. Adenrele and Darius Graham each scored 10 points against the Hornets


Sacramento State shot strong in the first half but dropped off in the second half

The Hornets shot 45.5-percent (15-for-33) in the opening half. That allowed them to go in at halftime trailing by just two points. In the second half, that shooting touch went away. Sac State shot just 29.4-percent (10-for-34) in the closing half.

The Hornets 3-point shooting finished at just 25-percent (7-for-28). Head coach Brian Katz pointed at taking too many 3-point shots as one of his team’s weaknesses in the game.

The Hornets had four players score in double-figures

  • Grant Dressler was Sac State’s leading scorer with 15 points. He went 3-for-4 from long range and 4-for-4 from the free throw line
  • Forward Nick Hornsby put up 14 points shooting 50-percent from the field (6-for-12)
  • Forward Justin Strings recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds
  • Guard Marcus Graves added 12 points to the Hornets total production


What they said after the game

“We challenged the guys at halftime and these guys responded. They made the changes that were needed, ramped up their physicality and intensity. That turned the tide in tonight’s game, in my opinion,” said UC Davis head coach Jim Les whose team held a two-point lead at halftime.

“I thought we were able to wear down a well-coached Sacramento State team, and take advantage of that fatigue throughout the last 10 minutes of the game,” added Les.

“It is crazy now that the game is over and I am able to look back at that shot. That was never my plan, I was open in the corner and took the shot. I can always tell my kids that I played in the first college game and made the first basket too. They can believe me, or not, but it’s true,” said Darius Graham talking about his three-point basket that was the first collegiate points scored in the Golden 1 Center.

“Their offense is built around penetration and kick. I thought they did a great job looking for him,” Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz talking about the Aggies finding Brynton Lemar on offense.

“I think we shot too many 3’s,” said Katz. “I give their defense credit for that. I don’t like to lose and then make excuses and say we didn’t play well. I think it had a lot to do on how they guarded us. They did a great job with that.”

What’s next for the Aggies and the Hornets

The Aggies head north for the GCI Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage that begins on Thursday night. Their first opponent will be Weber State. The other teams in the tourney are Drake and Iona.

The Hornets will travel to Cheney, Washington to play in the Eastern Washington Tourney along with San Francisco and Denver on November 26 and 27.

Mark December 21, 2017 on your calendars now

The Kings and the Golden 1 Center announced on Monday night that Stanford and Kansas have been scheduled to play a NCAA Division I basketball game in Sacramento on December 21, 2017. They did not make an announcement about it being a doubleheader, but somehow I have the feeling that Sacramento State and UC Davis might be playing in the same building on that night as well.