RENO, Nevada (AP) Justin Strings scored 25 points and made four 3-pointers to help No. 10 seed Sacramento State beat seventh-seeded Montana State 79-75 on Tuesday night in the first round of the Big Sky tournament.
Strings hit a key 3-pointer with 1:54 left to give the Hornets a 72-66 lead. He also made two free throws at the 29-second mark for an eight-point lead. Nick Hornsby added two at the stripe with 3.8 seconds remaining for a two-possession lead.
Sacramento State (14-16) will face No. 2 seed Montana (19-10) in a quarterfinal matchup on Thursday.
Cody Demps added 15 points with nine rebounds and five assists for Sacramento State. Dreon Barlett scored 13 for the Hornets, who have won three straight.
Sacramento State lost twice to Montana State in the regular season but the Hornets were playing without an injured Demps.
Tyler Hall led Montana State (14-17) with 17 points and eight rebounds. Marcus Colbert and Sarp Gobeloglu scored 16 apiece. The Bobcats struggled from 3-point range going 6 of 28 (21 percent).