SJSU returns to the win column with a 67-65 win over B-CU

December 6, 2018

NCAA, san jose state spartans

Photo credit: @SJSUMBB

By: Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Besides the home opener, not much has been going in the San Jose State Spartans’ favor in the men’s basketball world, but they had a game on Thursday night versus the Bethune Cookman Wildcats inside the Event Center and there was no way to avoid it.

Prior to the tipoff, Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau put together a starting lineup of Michael Steadman, Brae Ivey, Oumar Barry, Noah Baumann and Craig LeCesne.

The SJSU cheer team got things started, the crowd grew loud and both teams balled it out on the court. SJSU opened the scoring, thanks to LeCesne’s jumper in the paint just 18 seconds into the first period. Steadman followed up LeCesne’s opening score with a pair of free throws and a jumper in the paint. Barry also made his presence felt with a pair of free throws.

SJSU was doing just fine until B-CU made it a 1-point game and subsequently grabbed a 13-12 lead. Shawntrez Davis threw down the dunk to put the Wildcats on top. The Wildcats proceeded to build upon its lead, but the Spartans stayed in the game with Ivey’s jumper, Anigwe’s layup and Barry’s pair of free throws. The Spartans tied the game 20-20, thanks to Steadman’s jumper.

This matchup turned out to be a back-and-forth battle. Anigwe threw down a fastbreak dunk to put the Spartans back on top. Armani Collins hit a 3-pointer to make it a 1-point game in favor of B-CU. Anigwe tied the game 23-23 and Baumann made a fastbreak layup to help the Spartans to a 25-23 advantage. The Spartans had a 27-23 lead before the Wildcats took over to make it a 1-point game. LeCesne helped the Spartans to a 1-point lead, but it was short-lived as Leon Redd hit a 3 and a jumper to put the Wildcats back on top.

The ardent action winded down and SJSU trailed B-CU 35-32 at halftime.

SJSU picked up the pace to start the second period. Barry threw down a dunk and made a layup in the paint, Steadman made a layup and Baumann hit a fastbreak 3 to put the Spartans on top within the first five minutes of the second. But B-CU refused to back down as Malik Maitland hit a 3 to make it a 1-point game and Pope tied the game 41-41 with a free throw.

It was deja vu all over again as both teams engaged in another back-and-forth battle. Brian Rodriguez-Flores hit a 3 to give the Spartans a 44-41 lead, but Mark Gordon hit not only one, but two 3s to tie the game 44-44 and put the Wildcats up 47-44.

The crowd erupted in cheers as Baumann hit back-to-back 3s to tie the game 58-58 and put the Spartans up 61-58 late in the game. There was a slight scare as the Wildcats hastily responded, but Ivey hit a 3 of his own to put the Spartans back on top 64-63.

The game went down-to-the-wire, but SJSU hung in there. Steadman made a layup to give the Spartans a 1-point lead with 39.4 seconds left. The Spartans played defense, which worked this time as B-CU missed as time expired.

SJSU defeated B-CU 67-65. With the win, SJSU notched its second win on the season and snapped its 6-game losing skid.

SJSU concludes its homestand next Saturday, Dec. 15 vs. Northern Arizona. Tipoff is set for 7:00 pm PST.

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