Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pacific 'choo-ed' up 59-55

Pacific might have expected to get 'AO-ed' or 'JG-ed' (well, they did at the end by the latter) but Coach Bob Thomason wasn't expecting to get 'choo-ed' Saturday afternoon as the Tigers fell 59-55 to San Jose State. But it was a steady stream of points by Robert "Choo" Owens that led the Spartans in knocking their opponent from the unbeaten ranks.

Owens totaled 22 points, including three treys apiece in each half plus back-to-back treys late in the initial 20 minutes.

C.J. Webster put up a double-double of 12 points and 14 boards while Adrian Oliver contributed 10.

Pacific's Mike Nunnally tied the score at 48 with a nifty left-handed hook. Then backcourter Demetrece Young nailed a jumper to give the Tigers the lead but a Mac Peterson layup at the 5:15 mark tied the game again.

Lamar Neufville was successful on a pair of free throws and Terrell Smith popped a three-pointer to boost the Tigers to a 55-50 lead.

An Oliver layup cut the difference to three.

Later, Webster missed a jump hook followed by a chipshot after grabbing the offensive rebound but Smith followed those misses with a right-handed toss down of Oliver while dribble-driving and was whistled for an offensive foul.

Owens twined a three-pointer from the left corner after a nice assist pass from Justin Graham to tie the contest at 55.

Neufville followed with a missed straight-on 15-foot jumper and SJSU rebounded. Graham came down and banked his straight-on 13-footer with 10 seconds remaining, putting the Spartans ahead 57-55. There was no indication from the referees if he called the bank.

Pacific inbounded and called time at the seven second mark. Thomason followed that with a 30-second time out. The Tigers then missed a driving layup attempt and forward Sam Williard's rebound and shot in the same motion also somehow missed going down.

Webster rebounded, was fouled and nailed both free throws to close out the scoring.

For the game, San Jose State shot 53% -- 7 of 13 -- from long range. They out-rebounded Pacific 29-25 -- 10 big offensive boards in the second half -- and committed just nine turnovers to 11 for the Tigers.

At the half, Pacific led 30-26.

Do remember that this was a Spartan opponent who obliterated Santa Clara 84-57 and also topped San Diego State by eight -- this after SDSU beat Fresno State.

The game was akin to a barroom brawl in the paint with one of Newton's laws amply illustrated: "Unless acted upon by an outside force, a body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion" -- the emphasis today being the last nine words.

San Jose State hosts St. Mary's Monday night at Walt McPherson Court while Pacific now moves on to face Fresno State and then Nevada.

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