Saturday, January 31, 2009

San Jose State wins 53-51

Athletic contests can evolve in style and substance and Saturday's matchup between visiting San Jose State and Louisiana Tech was exhibit 101.

The Spartans came out strong and eventually opened up an early 10-point lead, 19-9, offering a sense that this game was going to be different than recent ones -- say a nice working margin throughout. But a combination of SJSU turnovers and Bulldog offensive rebounds got Louisiana Tech back into the game and then the match became a grinder.

(photo credit: Terrell Lloyd)

But it turned out to be a keeping-at-it contest that the Spartans won 53-51.

It was tied at 44 when it became, much to LT Coach Kerry Rupp's chagrin, the Adrian Oliver Experience. AO hit a three-pointer to give San Jose State a three-point lead with 2:58 remaining.

The Techsters missed a shot but Magnum (Spiderman) Rolle grabbed the rebound and scored on a layup to bring LT to within one.

Oliver then nailed an 18-footer at the 1:56 mark to boost the lead back to three.

After a Rupp timeout, the Bulldogs fumbled offensively and then had to fire a corner jumper as the shot clock dwindled. It missed and San Jose State regained possession.

It was yet another Oliver 18-footer -- seven straight points by the sophomore -- with 52 seconds on the clock that put the difference at five.

David Jackson misfired on a three-pointer but the Dogs rebounded and junior Reggie Guyton nailed a trey to bring Louisiana Tech back to two, 51-49, with half a minute left.

Justin Graham was fouled two seconds later and the soph nailed both his free throws to make it 53-49.

Kyle Gibson missed on a very long three-point attempt but Rolle again rebounded and scored with 18 seconds on the clock and the scoreboard showing SJSU with 53 points and Louisiana Tech having 51.

Oliver was fouled at the 17-second mark but he missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Bulldogs were down by two with possession of the ball.

After Tech inbounded, Rolle missed on a short jumper but San Jose State knocked the ball out of bounds and Tech retained possession. David Jackson did get a final shot off but it missed and we're unsure if his attempt came before the buzzer sounded anyway.

Adrian Oliver led San Jose State with 15 points and Mac Peterson contributed eight in a solid second-half boost for the Spartans. Magnum Rolle earned a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds, plus six shotblocks.

As a team, the Spartans shot 48% for the game, including 6-14 on threes. But the team's foul shooting dropped to 7-16. LT shot just 36% for the contest.

At the half, it was 23 apiece.

It was the third road win in conference for San Jose State.

NOTES The game preview at the San Jose State's athletics site came with a photo of Mac Peterson shooting a jumper (the photo above). Someone in the SID's office can apparently divine the future as Peterson had his best game of the season.

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