Saturday, December 5, 2009

San Jose State wins 82-74

The thermometer outside registered 30 degrees. The wind was blowing in from the northwest at 15 miles per hour. The sky a dismal gray overcast. Yep, San Jose State men's basketball was in Orem, Utah on the lookout for Wolverines. Check that, make it successful Wolverine hunting.

The Spartans took the measure of Utah Valley State 82-74 Saturday afternoon.

(to the right is Kyle Thomas in his high school incarnation)

A 14-point SJSU halftime lead was expanded to 19 as the second half wore on but the Wolverines cut the lead to 12 -- 67 to 55 -- with six minutes remaining. Sean Deadwiler added a pair of free throws to cut the Spartan lead to 10. Adrian Oliver lifted it back to 12 points with an 18-footer. UVS scored again but Oliver matched it... and then did it again as his fadeaway jumper was working.

At the 3:47 mark, the Wolverines had a chance to cut the deficit to nine but missed a free throw. Oliver broke his jumper string with a driving layup -- making it four baskets in a row for him. Jordan Swarbrick, a thorn in the thorn to the Spartans from the opening tip, then nailed a three-pointer. Yet another Swarbrick basket cut the Spartan lead to seven, 75-68.

UVS regained possession. 1:25 remained. Justin Baker was fouled with a 1:15 left, made his first free throw and also nailed the second. The Spartans led by just five. Robert Owens was fouled, went to the line for a one-and-one. He made the first and the second. Owens returned to the charity stripe, made the first but missed the second. After a Utah Valley State miss, Owens was fouled yet again. He put down both to give SJSU an 80-70 lead with 35 seconds remaining and the contest was over.

Swarbrick finished the game with 30 points. Chris Oakes earned a double-double for SJSU as five Spartans accomplished double-figure scoring led by Adrian Oliver's 17. Kyle Thomas added 15, Robert Owens 14, Chris Oakes 12 (plus 14 rebounds) and Mac Peterson contributed 10.

San Jose shot 30-50 on the game, including 6-8 from three-point range. UVS went 26-62 overall.

The team traded baskets early on in the game. SJSU was down 23-19 but then went on a tear. Kyle Thomas hit back-to-back baskets, Robert Owens nailed a pair of treys, and the point production was off and running. The Spartans out-scored the Wolverines 23-5 until the buzzer sounded after 20 minutes.

At that half, it was 42-28 San Jose State. Thomas had a season high 13 points -- this after the first 20 minutes. The Spartans shot 60% and out-rebounded UVS 23-12, with Chris Oakes nabbing 10.

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