What quickly became apparent is that neither team was going to run away from the other -- the Idaho and San Jose State squads were very evenly matched on the 30 degree night in Moscow. That was outside, thankfully not inside the Cowan Spectrum, for the literal-minded.
At the half, the score was 29-28. Adrian Oliver led SJSU with 12 points (5-9 shooting) and Justin Graham contributed nine.
At the 15:53 mark of the second 20 minutes, it was the Spartans ahead 33-32. SJSU upped the margin to two, 42-40, with 12:59 showing.
San Jose State was down by four at the 7:45 mark but an Oliver and1 three-point play cut it to one.
Eventually, a Jeff Ledbetter trey upped the Vandal margin to six, 55-49. Brandon Wiley put back in an offensive rebound to make it eight.
With 3:55 on the clock, Graham followed with his own and1 three-point effort to reduce the deficit to five.
Kyle Barone scored inside, was fouled and nailed the free throw, boosting the point differential back to eight.
Oliver then tickled the twine with a hook shot.
With 2:31 showing, Shawn Henderson sank two free throws to make it 62-54.
Barone's jumphook in the paint made it 10.
Graham followed with a jumper from the foul line.
After a steal by Wil Carter, Keith Shamburger was fouled in the act of shooting. He sank both, making it 64-58 at the 1:58 mark.
Wiley was fouled in the lane with 1:16 showing and made both -- score 66-58.
Carter grabbed a loose ball and scored with 58 seconds left.
Shamburger tipped the ball away from his opponent, Graham got it and hit Shamburger with a pass. The freshman backcourter scored, was fouled by Wiley and made the free throw. making it 66-63 at the 45 second mark.
Carter was then elbowed by Wiley who was called for an intentional foul. Carter was awarded a pair of free throws -- he missed the first and then the second. SJSU then was awarded possession with 23 seconds left.
Graham quickly nailed a top of the key trey with 18 second showing.
Idaho got the last shot attempt but it wasn't close, creating an overtime period.
Oliver was fouled and missed both free throws. Carter rebounded the second miss and scored on the putback.
Barone was fouled by Matt Ballard and made both.
Oliver entered the lane with the ball, lifted and scored. He also was fouled and he notched a three-point play. SJSU led 71-68.
But Jeff Ledbetter came down and sank his own trey attempt,. making it 71 all.
London Tatum was fouled on a driving layup attempt, sending him to the foul line. He missed the first but made the second.
Oliver put in a leftside trey but Matt Ballard was called for an intentional foul, sending Barone to the charity stripe. He made both and Idaho also retained possession of the ball.
Luiz Toledo buried a jumper to put Idaho ahead 76-74.
Henderson then buried a leftside three-pointer after stealing a pass.
Graham was fouled on a dribble-drive, sank both and cut the margin to 79-76.
1:40 shone on the clock.
Idaho missed a shot and Oliver rebounded.
With 37 seconds remaining, Carter put back a miss by Shamburger.
The Vandals led by one.
Tatum, a 61% free throw shooter, was fouled with 27 second sleft.
He made the first, then the second and Idaho was up three.
At the eight second mark, Keith Shamburger scored on a three-pointer, evening up the game.
Idaho called timeout with six seconds.
But Kyle Barone missed a turnaround jumper, sending the game into a second overtime.
Carter won the tip, Shamburger missed but Carter rebounded. Another trey attempt by Shamburger was good.
Ledbetter missed his own trey attempt but Idaho rebounded. Shamburger was called for a reach in foul on Luiz Toledo. The latter sank the first but missed the second.
Graham hit Shamburger with a pass and the frosh nailed another trey, making it 87-82.
Idaho missed a three-pointer but SJSU committed a turnover. It was 87-84 after Toledo hit another jumper.
A couple of missed shots later, Idaho got the ball. Ledbetter rebounded a miss and was fouled. He made both -- the score 87-86 with 1:42 showing.
Graham scored on a jumper, boosting the lead back to three.
But Ledbetter scored on a leftside trey, evening up the game.
Shamburger was fouled with 23 seconds left. He missed the first and sank the second.
SJSU led by one, 90-89.
Ledbetter then missed on a drive, Ballard rebounded and Carter scored on a dunk to finally close out the marathon.
Justin Graham paced the Spartans with 28 points. Adrian Oliver contributed 25, Keith Shamburger 20 and Wil Carter 17.