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Sacramento State edges Eastern Eagles

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Duro Bjegovic’s offensive rebound and layup with 1 second remaining gave Sacramento State its first Big Sky Conference men’s basketball win of the season, a 57-55 decision over Eastern Washington on Saturday night.

The Hornets (4-15), who had opened league play with seven straight losses, got a game-high 17 points from John Dickson.

Walter Jackson added nine points and Alpha N’Diaye and Bjegovic finished with eight each for Sacramento State.

Eastern Washington (5-14, 2-5) had tied it at 55 on a pair of free throws by Glen Dean with 12 seconds remaining. Sacramento State’s Sultan Toles-Bey missed a jumper with 3 seconds remaining, but Bjegovic grabbed the rebound and scored the winning basket.

A trio of Eastern newcomers – Laron Griffin (14 points), Tremayne Johnson (14) and Cliff Colimon (11) – combined for 39 points to pace the Eagles.

However, Eastern’s trio of returning sophomore guards – Dean, Jeffrey Forbes and Kevin Winford – combined for 0-of-17 shooting as the Eagles finished at 41 percent shooting from the field for the game, including 4 of 19 (21 percent) from 3-point range.

Eastern held Sacramento State to 37 percent shooting from the field, but the Eagles had 15 turnovers compared to just 11 for the Hornets.

“In five of the last six halves we are starting to develop an identity defensively where we can keep ourselves in games when we are not shooting the ball well,” Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine said. “It was a matter tonight that the ball didn’t go in the basket.”

The loss extended Eastern’s losing streak on the road to 17 games – 11 games this season and six to end the 2009-10 season.

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