Thursday, February 26, 2009

San Jose State handles Idaho 72-64

It was redemption time for the Spartans Thursday night as they beat Idaho 72-64 at Walt McPherson Court, thereby splitting the season series with the Vandals

San Jose State maintained a four-point lead from at least the eight minute mark of the second half, actually widening it with three minutes remaining.

With 3:29 showing, Idaho's Mac Hopson missed on a one-and-one at the foul line and DeVonte Thomas followed that a 14-foot jumper from the right side to make the score 62-56 in SJSU's favor.

Vandal Brandon Wiley also misfired on the front end of a one-and-one but then so did Thomas at the Spartan end.

With clock down to 2:25, Hopson was fouled again but was errant on both his double bonus free throws.

C.J. Webster was fouled and the Spartan center nailed both his attempts at the foul line, extending the San Jose State lead to 64-56.

Idaho managed a three-pointer, plus three free throws when Luciano de Souza was fouled attempting a three-pointer but could never pare the lead as they were forced to foul and gave up made free throws.

Five Spartans scored in double figures with Justin Graham leading the way with 17 points (plus six assists). Adrian Oliver contributed 14, Webster 12, Robert Owens 11 and Thomas 10 (plus a team-leading 10 rebounds). San Jose State had just 10 turnovers.

In 39 minutes, Hopson scored 20 points for Idaho and passed for eight assists. He shot 7-12 from the floor and 6-12 at the foul line.

It was a flatout mismatch on the boards this time as SJSU outrebounded the visitors by 25 -- 43 to 18. The 16 offensive rebounds for San Jose produced 14 second-chance points. The Vandals did shoot 48% for the game but the rebounding disparity was too much to overcome. Boardplay was much closer in the earlier game -- 35 to 28 in favor of San Jose State.

The Spartan ability to get Idaho starting center Marvin Jefferson into foul trouble -- five whistles in 21 minutes -- impaired the Vandal defense and boardplay.

At the half, Idaho led 33-32.

The Vandals won the match 74-66 back on February 14, which curiously was also an eight point difference.

NOTES -- Tim Pierce sat out the game due to academic reasons ... Vandal forward Luciano de Souza -- or his hair at least -- reminded us of the early days of former Spartan Wally Rank for you fans who go way, way back ... This was a game where many of the players grew up playing with and against each other as Oliver and Graham for San Jose and Vandal Marvin Jefferson are all from the Modesto area while Idaho's Brandon Wiley is out of Pinole and certainly played with and against a number of San Jose Staters as a prep and in the summer during the club team season.

No comments: