Saturday, December 27, 2008

Spartans fall 87-78 to St. Mary's

Either someone woke up Patty Mills about 8:30 Saturday night or that's just when he rolls because the Australian sophomore went 'en fuego' at the beginning of the second half and provided a second half separation for St. Mary's that San Jose State never could close.

St. Mary's won 87-78.

Adrian Oliver led SJSU with 22 points, 20 in the second half. C.J. Webster contributed 15.

Omar Samhan led the Gaels with 21 points, Diamon Simpson had 20 and a team-leading 13 rebounds. Mills finished with 17 points but 14 came after intermission, most of those early on.

It was a blitzkrieg 13-2 run after halftime -- 10 courtesy of Mills -- that stretched the Gael lead to 49-38 and San Jose State couldn't recover. An Adrian Oliver three-point play cut the lead to five at one point but that's the closest the Spartans could get.

But the Gael bigs -- Samhan and Simpson -- were just as important. Samhan got many close-in shots of his choosing and Simpson was a major factor on the boards, especially offensively.

Trips to the foul line was integral. St. Mary's went 24-33 on the night to SJSU's 12-16.

San Jose State was the better team on the boards in the first half but that role switched in the second 20 minutes. The Gael-caused foul trouble for Webster and Chris Oakes limited their respective productivity.

The Spartans shot very well -- 52% for the game (32-62) -- plus out-boarded the Gaels overall, 35-33. San Jose State committed 18 turnovers.

Opening Half

St. Mary's jumped out quickly, leading 11-5 at the 15:26 mark of the opening half. The Gaels went 5-11 from the floor early on and nabbed four steals. The Spartans shot 2-7 in that first five minutes.

But the score was tied at 14 on a Tim Pierce trey (assist by Justin Graham).

SJSU took its first lead at 20-18 on a Devonte Thomas putback. It stretched to three, 23-20, on a Mac Peterson three-pointer.

The score was 36 apiece at the half.

Webster had 11 points to lead the Spartans, Tim Pierce added eight plus seven rebounds. San Jose State shot 52% from the floor. Both Mills and Oliver missed time in the initial 20 minutes due to foul trouble.

It's a Spartan match with William Jessup tomorrow afternoon. The Warriors played Morgan State very tough but fell at the very end in an earlier game.

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