Photo credit: @SJSUMBB
By: Ana Kieu
The San Jose State Spartans were back at it on Saturday versus the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners inside the Gateway Christian Academy in Bimini, The Bahamas.
Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau revealed a new-look lineup featuring Michael Steadman, Isaiah Nichols, Oumar Barry, Noah Baumann, and Craig LeCesne. The lineup was nothing short of fresh, but not the surefire answer.
The Spartans won the tip, and the game was underway in Bimini. SJSU did a great job of moving the ball and recorded eight points in the paint early in the first half.
The Roadrunners, however, heated up and buried five straight from beyond the arc to snatch a 26-21 lead with 8:47 left in the first. At the final media timeout of the first, CSU Bakersfield held a 35-32 lead. Moreover, SJSU had some things to be proud of, like, say, Brae Ivey leading the Spartans with 10 points.
The Roadrunners made it a close game with a three-pointer at the buzzer to surprise the Spartans. SJSU trailed CSU Bakersfield by only one point, 38-37, at the end of the first.
Ivey got things started in the second half. Ivey buried an open three to help the Spartans take a one-point lead, 42-41, just a little under the 16-minute mark of the second. Then, Baumann turned out to be “Big Game Baumann” as he got hot with his third three of the game to extend the Spartans’ lead to 50-43 at the 12-minute mark in the second. Baumann also made a pass to Nichols, who laid it in and drew the foul. The Spartans had a seven-point lead, 58-51, with seven minutes to play.
At the final media timeout of the second, the Spartans had a 10-point lead, 63-53, with 3:46 to play. However, the Roadrunners went on a 8-0 run to reduce SJSU’s lead to 63-61 with 2:30 to play. The Spartans’ response? Ivey buried all three of his free throws to tie the game 69-69 with 30 seconds to play.
Baumann hit the equalizing three, but it went out of bounds and the Spartans trailed the Roadrunners by three, 72-69, with 10.7 left to play. CSU Bakersfield held on for the win, and SJSU dropped a heartbreaker 73-72.
The Spartans have to move on to the next and final game of the Junkanoo Jam, which is set for Sunday versus the Central Michigan Chippewas at 3:00 pm PT.