Sunday, November 28, 2010

San Jose State wins 80-77

Riverside's Phil Martin never knew he had a twin, fraternal or otherwise. That is until this afternoon. Martin's 27 points against San Jose State close to doubled his points per game average of this season but he reached that total with about 10 minutes to play. Spartan wing Calvin Douglas then attached himself to Martin's hip and the remainder of SJSU's 80-77 victory over the Highlanders was Martin-uneventful, the way Coach George Nessman wished.

Adrian Oliver totaled 35 points for San Jose State (11-20 shooting, 11-11 from the foul line). He enjoyed an early on love fest with the twine, burying six shots in a row en route to 21 first half points. Justin Graham added 16, highlighted by going three for three from three, plus seven assists. The Spartans were a scintillating 22-24 at the charity stripe.

It was SJSU holding a 72-71 lead with 3:41 showing and a Graham top-of-the-key trey made it 75-71. Oliver then added a pair of free throws to up the margin to six with1:31 displayed on the clock.

UCR's Kevin Bradford scored a basket and was fouled but missed the free throw and, back down the court, Spartan big Matt Ballard buried two at the charity stripe to boost the lead back to six.

A Kareem Nitoto layup followed by a timeout had Riverside down by four. Subsequently, Nitoto stole the ball from Oliver and notched another layup to bring the Highlanders within two.

Graham was then fouled with 9.7 second showing. He missed the first free throw but buried the second, giving the Spartans a three-point margin.

A last-second long-distance attempt by UCR was off and SJSU had the win.

Riverside led one, at 44-43, around the 16-minute mark but a Joe Henson and1 trio of points pushed San Jose State back into the lead. The teams were tied at 46 and also at 53 apiece.

SJSU led 36-32 after the initial 20 minutes, ramping up a 19-7 early margin on an Oliver and1 three-point play and owned a 24-15 lead at the 8:29 mark.

Oakland native Kareem Nitoto totaled 13 points and also passed for eight assists for UCR.

San Jose State shot 44% for the game while Riverside finished at 47%.

Just asking: wouldn't it be a blast from the past if Highlander Coach Jim Woodridge landed a player with the surname Rowan? Having a Rowan and also Martin could lead to a number of laughers for the Highlanders.

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