Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Spartans fall by three

You need to take good shots and make good shots all through a game but especially so near the end where limited possessions come into play. This includes free throws. Santa Clara did a tad better than San Jose State Wednesday night and came away with a 59-56 victory at Walt McPherson Court.

Here's how the last four minutes of the contest played out:

With 3:59 remaining, Santa Clara's Kevin Foster stole a pass resulting in a layup and free throw putting the Broncos ahead 54-52.

Two DaShawn Wright foul shots tied the score at 54 with 2:56 remaining and both teams made defensive stops in the next possessions.

Santa Clara center John Bryant tossed in a 10-footer from the left side and was fouled but missed the ensuing free throw, putting the Broncos back up by two at the 1:25 mark.

Tim Pierce missed a three-point attempt but DeVonte Thomas was fouled while grabbing the rebound of a missed SC shot. He made the first but missed the second, leaving the Broncos ahead by one, 56-55, and 30.1 seconds left.

San Jose State fouled Kevin Foster with 22 seconds remaining and the freshman hit one of his two free throws.

The Spartans came down and Justin Graham was fouled on a drive attempt. He also made the first and missed the second, leaving the score 57-56 in Santa Clara's favor.

Then Broncos soph Ben Dowdell was fouled. He missed his free throw but the ball was kept alive by Bryant who eventually tipped it in leading to the final score of the game.

In the first twenty minutes, both teams were initially cool. The Broncos appeared reluctant to shoot outside and the Spartans were having trouble getting decent shots up against the defense of Bryant. At the half, Santa Clara led 27-25.

On the night, Justin Graham generally abused the youthful Bronco backcourt (even though Graham qualifies as such being a sophomore himself). He repeatedly closed out dribble-drives with either short shots or passes to teammates. Graham finished with 13 points. Pierce led the Spartans with 18.

The game turned out to be a grinder with neither team able to garner a double digit lead nor control tempo for very long. Bryant made the paint close to the basket near impenetrable, he was also an immovable force offensively and negated San Jose State's bigs. There was no Delilah-ing him as he finished with a bigtime double of 20 points and 21 boards.

San Jose State (56)

Pierce 7-17 2-3 18
Webster 2-13 3-4 7
Oakes 1-4 0-3 2
Wright 2-6 4-7 8
Graham 5-11 2-4 13
Amberry 0-0 0-0 0
Olivier 0-2 0-0 0
Thomas 1-6 2-4 4
Owens 1-2 1-1 3
Peterson 0-0 1-1 1

Totals 19-61 15-27

Santa Clara (59)

Dowdell 2-6 1-3 5
Santos 2-5 0-0 4
Bryant 7-15 6-7 20
Alexander 2-4 0-0 4
Foster 1-7 2-3 4
Rahon 5-9 0-0 11
Johnson 1-1 0-0 3
Petty 1-4 0-0 3
Thompson 0-0 0-0 0
Trasolini 2-2 1-1 5

Totals 23-53 10-14

Halftime score ­ Santa Clara 27, San Jose State 25

Three-point field goals:

Santa Clara 3-9 (Alexander 0-1, Foster 0-3, Rahon 1-2, Johnson 1-1, Petty 1-2)

San Jose State 3-15 (Pierce 2-9, Wright 0-1, Graham 1-3, Olivier 0-1, Owens 0-1)

Rebounds ­ - Santa Clara 45 (Bryant 21, San Jose State 35 (Webster, Thomas, 7)

Assists ­ - Santa Clara 13 (Foster 5), San Jose State 8 (Graham 4)

Fouled out ­ - none

Total fouls ­ - Santa Clara 21, San Jose State 13

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