Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Mexico State wins 89-81

It was a remake of the film "Groundhog Day" -- if that isn't doubly confusing -- as New Mexico State triumphed again in the late going to win 89-81.

In the previous January 5th game between these two teams which NMSU won 75-73, we wrote "Well, this one was a proverbial nailbiter but New Mexico State converted at the end and San Jose State didn't..."

With 3:44 remaining in this game, the Aggies and Spartans were tied at 77. Jahmar Young missed the front end of a one-and-one but 22 seconds later Jonathan Gibson nailed both his free throws. At the 2:04 mark, Troy Gillenwater made one of two at the foul line giving his team a three point lead. San Jose State was missing shots and not careful with the ball during these sequences. A Gibson three-pointer then made it 83-77 and the Aggies closed it out from there.

Adrian Oliver led San Jose with 28 points. Jahmar Young topped New Mexico State with 32 and Troy Gillenwater contributed 19.

NMSU shot 49% for the game, including 8-17 on three-pointers and 25-32 from the foul line. San Jose State swamped the Aggies on the boards, 42-27, including 20 on the offensive end. But the Spartans committed 21 turnovers to just 12 from New Mexico State.

The second half began pretty much like the first with New Mexico State steadily extending the lead. But San Jose State fought back. It was 68-63 when Mac Peterson hit hit second trey of the half, making it a two point deficit. Oliver hit Tim Pierce with a nifty pass for a layup to tie the game at 68 with 7:42 remaining.

Chris Oakes followed with a pass inside to Pierce for another layup, giving SJSU a 70-68 lead. San Jose State had a five point lead with five minutes to play

At the half, it was 43-38 in favor of the Aggies. Oliver scored 19 (5-8 from the floor, 9-10 at the foul line) in the initial 20 minutes.

The Spartans had 13 turnovers at the half to nine for New Mexico State. At times, it appeared the ball was more a greased pig or a hot biscuit than a sphere of synthetic leather.

SJSU out-rebounded New Mexico State 15-10.

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