Photo credit: @SJSUMBB
By: Ana Kieu
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A hapless San Jose State men’s basketball team searched for something, anything in Wednesday night’s matchup versus the Colorado State Rams, who were nearly as bad. SJSU lost 15 in a row, while CSU dropped three consecutive games.
Prior to the tipoff, Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau announced a starting lineup that featured Noah Baumann, Seneca Knight, Ashtin Chastain, Michael Steadman and Zach Chappell.
This time around, SJSU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, thanks to Steadman’s jumper in the paint just 58 seconds into the first half. CSU quickly responded with Adam Thistlewood’s 3-pointer, but the Spartans bounced back on Baumann’s 3 just 21 seconds later. With the 3, Baumann continued to make history as he extended his school record to 23 consecutive games.
However, it was all Rams for five minutes as they went on a 9-0 run that was eradicated by Baumann’s fastbreak layup at the 14:34 mark. Chastain followed up with a jumper in the paint to cut the deficit 12-9.
The game turned out to be a back and forth affair between the two teams. CSU got ahead when Nico Carvacho made a layup at the 13:18 mark. Christian Anigwe responded with a jumper in the paint about a minute later. Then, Anthony Mashinton-Bonner hit a 3 to extend the Rams’ lead 17-11 at the 12:05 mark.
Fast forward to the final 10 minutes of the first. Nico Carvacho threw down a dunk and made a layup to extend the Rams’ lead 23-15 with 8:05 left. The Spartans were sort of sluggish as the only Spartan who scored in that span was Ivey, who made a layup. But that all changed at the six-minute mark as Ivey hit a 3 and Chappell made a few layups, including a fastbreak layup, in a 1:21 run.
Just seconds before the two-minute mark, Chastain made a pair of free throws look easy. Anigwe made a free throw. Then, Ivey made a pair of free throws to help the Spartans’ cause. Still, SJSU was unable to secure a lead to bring into the locker room at halftime. SJSU trailed 42-29 at halftime.
The Spartans showed glimpses of notable plays such as Knight’s jumper and Steadman’s dunk in the second half. But they were overpowered by the Rams, who went on a 8-0 run on back-to-back 3s by Kris Martin and Thistlewood to open the second. Throw Carvacho into the Rams’ mix and that only added to the Spartans’ woes, which were mostly defensive.
The home crowd erupted as soon as Brian Rodriguez-Flores made a layup at the 14:24 mark. Knight added a fastbreak layup just 29 seconds later.
Baumann hit a 3 at the 13-minute mark, but it was Rodriguez-Flores who stole the show with a fastbreak layup at the 10:56 mark. As a result, SJSU trailed 69-47 at the time.
Rodriguez-Flores continued to work wonders on the hardwood with back to back layups–the first layup in the paint and the latter being a regular. But the Rams also worked wonders that squashed the Spartans’ hopes of a comeback. Sure, SJSU pulled within 20, but 2:42 wasn’t enough time to tie the game to force overtime. SJSU lost 91-70.
SJSU dropped to 3-22, 0-13 MW. CSU, on the other hand, improved to 10-16, 4-8 MW.
SJSU heads to the Clune Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo. to face the Air Force Falcons Saturday at 1:00 pm PT.