Looking to beat a nationally ranked team for the second consecutive game, the Cal State Stanislaus men's basketball team gave up a great fight before falling to No. 14 Humboldt State, 77-67, Thursday night.
Reggie Jones led the Warriors with 15 points as the Warriors fell to 8-11 overall and 6-9 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. CSUS ended a two-game winning streak, which included an upset over then-No. 4 Cal State Dominguez Hills, 62-55, last Saturday.
Brian Morris led Humboldt State with 20 points with seven rebounds. HSU is now 17-2 overall and 13-2 atop of the CCAA standings. The Jacks have now won 12 of their last 13 games and improved to 10-0 at home at Lumberjack Arena.
Thursday night the Warriors were trying to reverse a number of trends entering the contest. They were 0-5 on the road in conference games. They have not recorded a victory in Arcata during the CCAA era. The Warriors were 0-7 when trailing at halftime and 0-8 when down inside the five-minute mark.
All of those trends were on target for changes late into the game, until Humboldt State's Brandon Sperling caught fire.
Scott was a star early in the second half during an 11-1 run over a 3 1/2 minute stretch. He scored nine of those points while the Warriors allowed just one free throw to Brian Morris, the CCAA's second-best scorer. The mini-run turned a 12-point HSU lead into a 43-40 game at 14:17.
But between the Jacks' three-point shooting and Morris turning a quiet first half into a sold second half, the Warriors' challenge was held off.
Still, the Warriors got within five points, 59-54, as late as 5:45 to go on an Abidoye bucket. However, HSU's Sperling turned the game into The Sperling Show during a 63 second stretch as he scored six points and grabbed two rebounds to give Humboldt an 11-point, 65-54, lead. The Lumberjacks never looked back in front of another pack house of 1,396 fans at Lumberjack Arena.
Cal State Stanislaus, a team that enters the weekend second in free throw shooting, didn't show it Thursday night as they made just 13 of 21 tries for 61.9 percent. The Warriors were also hurt by HSU's long range shooting as the Jacks were 10-for-20.
Randy Hunter, who played most of the first half while Morris was out with foul trouble, finished with 19 points to pace HSU. Sperling finished with 13 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
Sonoma State is next on the schedule for Cal State Stanislaus as the Warriors travel to Rohnert Park for a match-up against the Seawolves today at 7:30 p.m.