SACRAMENTO — Alex Williams said his legs were exhausted in the closing minutes of Cal State Sacramento's game against Cal State Northridge on Monday night at the Hornet gym.
Legs? Perhaps in the excitement of Sacramento's 90-87 victory he simply got his body parts mixed up.
Williams should have been arm-weary after attempting 29 shots, including 16 from three-point range. The senior finished with 35 points, the eighth time this season he's gone over 30.
Robert Martin teamed with Williams for two-thirds of the Hornets' points. Just call them Mr. Outside and Mr. Different Area Code. Martin scored 25 on 8 of 17 shooting, with all but two of his attempts coming from somewhere near Reno.
If the Matadors were unaware of Sacramento's long-range expertise, they should have taken a hint from a Hornet warmup drill. While the rest of the team stayed inside the key to rebound and shoot free throws, Williams and Martin shot repeatedly from beyond the three-point line.
Northridge Coach Pete Cassidy, who becomes a fan of the three-point rule only on the rare occasion it wins a game for him, was in no such mood after watching Williams bury a five-point Matador lead in the final five minutes.
"They are not better than us," he said. "They just make their shots from that range. They get three for theirs, we get two for ours. If there's no three-point shot, we beat them by 15."
Williams took the game into his hands with Northridge ahead, 78-73, with 5:11 left. He scored three consecutive times down the floor, including twice on three-pointers, to give the Hornets (12-3) the lead with 3:42 left.
Another three-pointer by Williams with 1:40 to go opened Sacramento's margin to 88-84. Chuck McGavran, who scored 18 for Northridge, answered that long-distance call with a three-point shot of his own to cut the deficit to 88-87.
The Matadors (4-3) were forced to foul, however, and Martin converted on two free throws with 12 seconds remaining.
McGavran's desperation three-pointer from the baseline bounced off the rim and gave Sacramento its 16th consecutive win in the Hornet gym.
Pat Bolden had 20 points and seven rebounds for Northridge and Todd Bowser had 15 points and 13 rebounds. The Matadors shot 51%, including 22 of 36 (61%) in the first half.