Sunday, February 8, 2009

Spartans fall to Broncos 89-83

Boise State was more efficient down the homestretch and such was the critical factor in the Broncos 89-83 victory over San Jose State at Walt McPherson Court Saturday night. This despite a 37-point outburst by sophomore Adrian Oliver, a total earned during a night of faceguarding by his defender.

San Jose State took its first lead -- 46 to 45 -- on a Justin Graham rebound and lefthanded putback. A Chris Oakes rebound and putback made it 48-45.

But Oliver was fouled on a dribble-drive at the 15:10 mark, tweaked his ankle and his production slowed after that (10 of 14 shooting prior to the injury, 3 of 9 afterwards).

BSU gradually came back and enjoyed a five-to-six-point margin until two Oliver free throws with 42.7 seconds remaining made it 87-83. But San Jose State couldn't get any closer.

Boise led by one point -- 45 to 44 -- at the half, with Oliver totaling 23 in the initial 20 minutes. Graham notched five assists in the opening period. Shooting 6-14 from the foul line prevented the Spartans from owning a lead.

With less than five minutes gone in the game, Boise State had a 19-9 margin. At the 11:33 mark, it was 27-12 in favor of the Broncos. Then, San Jose State began chipping away. A Robert Owens trey made it 30-27 but BSU again extended the lead. At the 3:35 mark, Oliver nailed a three-pointer to make it 39-35. Graham nabbed a steal and fed Tim Pierce for a dunk just before the buzzer.

SJSU shot 51.7% for the game but Boise did even better with 57.1% overall shooting. The Broncos loved the long distance tonight, going 11-22 from three-point range (versus 38% on the season). But BSU's bigs also performed well inside, with Kurt Cunningham shooting 3-3, Zack Moritz 2-2, Mark Sanchez 3-6 and Ike Okoye 8-12. The Spartans won the battle of the boards 35-31.

NOTES: We have an inkling Adrian Oliver will be on Boise Coach Greg Graham's submission of All-WAC players. Speaking of Oliver, Washington Coach Lorenzo Romar -- his team in the Bay Area to take on Cal and Stanford this weekend -- was in the stands tonight to watch his former player.

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