SJSU earns first conference win of the season

Photo credit: @SJSUMBB

By: Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Jose State men’s basketball resumed their hunt for their first conference win of the 2019 season Tuesday evening. SJSU hosted the New Mexico Lobos inside the Event Center. There was a healthy mix of both Spartans and Lobos fans in attendance, which was a highlight considering the fact that the Spartans haven’t really sold out in recent years.

Prior to the tipoff, SJSU announced a starting lineup featuring Noah Baumann, Seneca Knight, Ashtin Chastain, Michael Steadman and Zach Chappell. That was a solid lineup. It was just a matter of fact of whether or not the Spartans were able to hold on to secure a win.

UNM got on the board first as Carlton Bragg made a layup to open the scoring. SJSU then snatched a 3-2 lead on Baumann’s 3-pointer just 15 seconds later. Baumann extended his school record to 25 consecutive games with a 3. Steadman followed up with a layup and Chappell hit a 3 to make it a 8-2 game at the 18-minute mark.

The game turned into a back and forth affair. UNM knocked back to back jumpers by Corey Manigault and Makuach Maluach, and SJSU was within four after Chastain made a layup.

SJSU got ahead 14-7 on back-to-back jumpers by Steadman and Chastain. Sure, Keith McGee helped keep the score close for UNM with a 3 and fastbreak layup, but Steadman continued to dominate on the hardwood with a layup, jumper in the paint and vice versa. Christian Anigwe also dominated with a pair of free throws to make it a 20-14 game at the 12:27 mark.

The game remained in a back and forth affair. The Lobos’ offense heated up, but the Spartans refused to back down, making it a 1-point game, thanks to Chappell’s 3 with 7:14 left.

Chappell helped the Spartans grab a 31-30 lead with 6:24 left, but it was short-lived as the Lobos got ahead 32-31 on Manigault’s jumper in the paint 15 seconds later.

Baumann came to the rescue with two 3s in less than a minute to give the Spartans a 37-34 lead with 4:36 left. But the Lobos persisted on Manigault’s jumper and McGee’s 3 for a 39-37 lead with 3:59 left.

Steadman made a game-tying layup and Rodriguez-Flores knocked down a jumper to put the Spartans ahead 41-39 with 2:48 left. But the lead was short-lived as Bragg made a layup to tie the game and Anthony Mathis hit a 3 before drawing a foul that allowed Chappell to make two free throws. Chappell made one free throw to bring SJSU within two. Steadman added a game-tying jumper to tie the score 24 seconds later.

UNM regained the lead 46-44 on Manigault’s layup, but Baumann hit a 3, and as a result, SJSU salvaged a 47-46 lead to end the first. The Spartans had their best shooting this season — 19 of 31 or 69% — in the first.

SJSU opened the second half with a dramatic flair as Steadman made a fastbreak free throw, Chastain knocked down a jumper in the paint and Knight hit a 3 — all in 28 seconds.

But like the first half, the game was in a back and forth affair that saw multiple ties and leads. UNM pulled within three on Mathis’ pair of free throws and Malauch’s layup in just three seconds. SJSU went ahead 60-52, thanks to Chastain’s pair of free throws along with Baumann’s 3, by the 15:34 mark. Chappell gave the Spartans a 10-point lead 62-52 with a fastbreak layup at the 14:33 mark. Baumann hit a 3 to make it a 65-52 game 24 seconds later.

SJSU went on a 9-0 run that lasted a little over two minutes. Chastain made a pair of free throws, Baumann hit two 3s and Chappell made a fastbreak layup. Bragg made a layup at the 13:12 mark to end the Spartans’ run.

Steadman knocked down a jumper to help the Spartans to a 70-62 lead with 8:38 left. The Lobos pulled within five on Manigault’s layup and free throw. Baumann, however, hit back to back 3s to make it a 76-65 game with 7:35 left.

SJSU went cold and was unable to score for a little over six minutes. Brae Ivey’s layup extended the Spartans’ lead to 78-71 with 1:22 left, but the Lobos pulled within seven on McGee’s layup just eight seconds later.

The game went down to the wire. Chappell made two pairs of fastbreak free throws. McGee made a layup. McGee hit a 3. Ivey made a pair of fastbreak free throws. Baumann made a pair of fastbreak free throws. Anigwe threw down a dunk in the paint. Anigwe made a free throw and missed the other. Malauch hit a 3. SJSU held on for a 89-82 win for their first conference win of the season and snapped their 17-game losing skid in the process.

SJSU heads to SDSU for a conference matchup on Saturday, March 2nd at 7:00 pm PT.

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