Photo credit: @SJSUMBB
By: Ana Kieu
SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Jose State men’s basketball was looking to rebound following five straight losses. SJSU returned home to host the Boise State Broncos inside the Event Center Saturday afternoon.
Prior to the midday tip-off, Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau announced his starting lineup of Michael Steadman, Brae Ivey, Oumar Barry, Noah Baumann and Craig LeCesne.
The Spartans won the tip and the game went underway on the SJSU campus. The Broncos got on the board first, thanks to Alex Hobbs’ 3-pointer, but Steadman hit a jumper in the paint to make it a 1-point game at the 18:53 mark of the opening half.
The half turned out to be a back-and-forth affair. Pretty much every time BSU expanded its lead, SJSU countered with a shot or two to pull within for a reduced deficit. Midway through the half, however, big game Baumann showed up, knocking down a jumper and hitting a 3 on a fastbreak to help the Spartans reduce its deficit to just six, 21-15, at the 10:52 mark.
Though, SJSU was just getting started. With 7:26 left in the half, SJSU made four of their last five shots from the field and shot for a 2-pointer after a media timeout. That attempt for a 2 was successful as the Spartans’ ascending play was finished off by Ivey, who helped his team pick up an extra two points. After that, SJSU proceeded to pour in the points for a 7-0 run to make it a 2-point game. BSU ended SJSU’s impressive run when Hobbs knocked down a jumper to extend his team’s lead to 28-24 with 4:48 left in the half.
Despite the deficit, SJSU received some much-needed assistance from Barry, who shot a layup and a lone free throw to make it a 1-point game. BSU responded with a 3 by Pat Dembley, but a brand-new response turned out to be easy as 1-2-3 as Ivey was fouled from beyond the arc and somehow made all three shots at the free throw line to make it a 1-point game again.
As the clock winded down, Hobbs hit two consecutive 3s, while Ivey made a pair of free throws. But the late efforts weren’t enough for SJSU, who trailed Boise State 37-34 at the half. The Spartans sulked on their way to the locker room, but remembered that a second half comeback was possible as they trailed by only three points.
The Spartans’ shooting went cold for quite a while in the second half. Meanwhile, the Broncos heated up at the right time, which wasn’t good news for the Spartans, who had hoped to mount a comeback to pull off the upset. Hobbs, Zach Haney and Justinian Jessup all recorded double-digit points in the half.
If there was a silver lining for the Spartans, it was the freshman guard Kaison Hammonds, who wowed the home crowd with a 3 to put three points on the board to reduce the deficit to 17, 58-41, at the 13:47 mark of the half.
Sure, SJSU’s chances of tying the score to force overtime were dim, but Zach Chappell gave the crowd something to cheer about as he had a steal and a 2 for the layup on a fastbreak. Yet, SJSU trailed 73-51 with 6:54 left in the half.
Chappell continued to work wonders as he made a pair of free throws on a fastbreak with 2:58 left in the half. Yet, SJSU trailed 83-55 at the final media timeout of the game, so the last few minutes were pointless on the Spartans’ end of the court. SJSU lost to BSU 87-64.
SJSU’s record fell to 3-12, 0-3 MW, while BSU’s record increased to 8-8, 3-0 MW.
SJSU welcomes the Utah State Aggies on Wednesday, January 16 at 7:00 pm PT.