Saturday, January 10, 2009

Spartans win 71-68 in overtime

It was the tale of two halves -- a high-scoring first one and a low-scoring second -- this despite the same two teams participating. The Spartans took a while but closed a nine point deficit at the half to a single possession with seven minutes left. The battle continued to the end and it was a tie -- 63-63 -- when the buzzer sounded.

Overtime commenced and both Dwight O'Neill and Sylvester Seay then missed on Fresno shot attempts. Mac Peterson scored on a layup for SJSU, benefiting from a Justin Graham assist.

Seay followed with a runner to tie the game back up.

Peterson missed the next shot but then so did Bulldog Mychal Ladd. After SJSU grabbed the rebound, Seay stole it and fed Paul George for a dunk.

With 1:55 on the clock, Graham was fouled and he put down both free throws to knot the score once more.

FSU's Bryce Cartwright then missed a trey attempt but C.J. Webster also subsequently misfired inside and Dwight O'Neill rebounded.

He was fouled, making the first but missing the second, giving the Bulldogs a one point lead.

San Jose State came down and Webster was fouled with 34 seconds left. He made both free throws to give the Spartans a one point margin.

O'Neill subsequently tried a three-pointer but fired an air ball. Spartan center Chris Oakes grabbed the ball, was fouled and netted both his free throws, extending the SJSU lead to three.

FSU brought the ball down and Seay and O'Neill both misfired on three-point attempts.

To get to the extra period, Webster nailed two free throws with 15.2 seconds left in the game to cut the Fresno lead to two, 62-60. Ladd was then fouled -- he missed his first shot and made the second, giving the home team a three-point margin.

SJSU-er Graham was fouled with a 1-and-1 awaiting him. He made the first, missed the second but Webster grabbed the offensive rebound and scored to even the game. O'Neill missed a shot near the buzzer and it meant five more minutes of play.

Webster led the Spartans with 23 points, followed by Chris Oakes with 14, Robert Owens 13 and Justin Graham 11 points.

DeShawn Wright and Robert Owens were in the SJSU starting lineup replacing the injured and unable to play Tim Pierce and Adrian Oliver.

It was 44-35 at the half. With three minutes gone, both teams had nine points. Later on, it was 15-12 San Jose State, with the Spartans having connected on seven of their first 10 shots. At the 10:46 mark, it was 19 points apiece. Fresno State then gradually began pulling away and the initial half end with the nine point Bulldog lead.

First half statistics: SJSU -- 50% shooting, 16-32 with one made trey, 13 rebounds, 12 assists and seven turnovers, FSU -- 64% shooting, 18-28 with five made three-pointers, 16 boards, nine assists and nine TOs.

It's on to CSU Bakersfield for San Jose State Monday night in a non-league contest.

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