Sunday, December 12, 2010

Spartans win 70-69

In "A League of Their Own" it was Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan who proclaimed there is no crying in baseball. In basketball, there's supposed to be no wetting of one's pants but that just what is happening to opposing players when San Jose State's Justin Graham is handling the ball with 10 or less seconds remaining in a game and the Spartans tied, down by one or even two.

Because just like against Oregon on November 20 when he nailed an and1 three-point play on a last second dribble-drive to beat the Ducks, Graham took it to the Eagles of Eastern Washington and put in the game winner with six seconds remaining to give SJSU a 70-69 win Sunday afternoon. It's becoming apparent he must have something against our supposed fine feathered friends.

Graham finished with 13 points while Adrian Oliver led via a game-high 29.

To their credit, the Eagles shot a remarkable 10-21 from long distance and overall out-boarded the Spartans by a margin of four, 35-31.

The Spartans enjoyed a 37-32 lead after the initial 20 minutes. At that time, Oliver had 14 points, four assists and a pair of steals.

Opening up the second half, Keith Shamburger nailed a deuce and then a trey, giving the SJSU a 42-35 lead.

San Jose State then went up by 10 -- 47-37 -- at the 15:58 mark.

But Eastern Washington kept battling and connected on a bevy of threes.

The game was tied at 57 with 7:12 showing.

A Cliff Dean trey tied it again at 64.

Oliver nailed a pair of free throws to make it 66-64, then EW's Tremayne Johnson made good on one of two foul shots.

At the 1:56 mark, Wil Carter was fouled but was errant on both his attempts.

Dean was then fouled and the sophomore sank both free throws to give Eastern Washington a one point lead at 67-66.

Oliver misfired on a baseline jumper and San Jose Stater Matt Ballard was called for a foul on Dean in the backcourt.

The underclassman was perfect on both his attempts, pushing the Eagle lead to three, 69-66.

With 56 seconds on the clock, Graham was fouled and netted both his foul shots, making it a one point game.

Eagle Coach Kirk Earlywine called time at the 42 second mark, with 22 seconds showing on the shot clock. After inbounding the ball, Eastern Washington quickly committed a turnover on a fumbled pass.

Spartan Coach George Nessman called a 30-second timeout, with 23 seconds remaining.

Then Graham closed it out with his 11-foot jumper and sent the Eagles scurrying for a supply of Depends.

SJSU donned the usual -- before this season -- white jerseys for this game. The gray ones were probably burned late Friday evening but we've been unable to confirm such a report.

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