CHENEY, Wash. -- Jason Smith threw for 211 yards and a touchdown and Sacramento State's defense made two key fourth-quarter stands to preserve a 15-13 victory over Eastern Washington on Saturday.
Smith completed 18-of-27 passes for the Hornets (4-5, 2-4 Big Sky Conference), who broke a three-game losing streak. Matt Nichols threw for 363 yards for Eastern Washington (3-5, 2-3), but was intercepted twice.
Smith's 12-yard TD pass to Tony Washington gave Sacramento State a 12-7 lead midway through the third quarter. The Hornets pushed the lead to 15-7 early in the fourth quarter on Juan Gamboa's 23-yard field goal.
Eastern Washington pulled to within 15-13 as Nichols completed passes to four different receivers, capped by a 15-yard scoring strike to Brynsen Brown with 10:22 left. The Eagles' two-point conversion attempt was intercepted in the end zone.
Sacramento State's Robert Virgil ended the Eagles' last drive at their own 46 with an interception of Nichols with 57 seconds remaining.
Washington had 10 receptions for 114 yards for the Hornets, who have won four of the last five meetings at Eastern Washington. In the series, the home team has lost eight of the past nine seasons.
Jake Croxdale added 91 yards on the ground for Sacramento State.
Despite being sacked five times, Nichols finished 29-of-43 and connected with Brown on 11 passes for 147 yards for Eastern Washington, which had minus-31 yards rushing.