Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB
By Ana Kieu
SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Jose State men’s basketball was looking to string two wins together on Saturday afternoon in their home opener against the Portland Pilots. But that didn’t happen as the Spartans were unable to get their offense going.
The Spartans (1-1) were held to a 40 percent shooting clip from the floor (23-of-58), while Portland (2-1) shot 48 percent (26-of-54). SJSU also struggled from 3-point range (23 percent) and at the free throw line (31 percent).
For the second straight game to start his career, Richard Washington led the Spartans with 11 points and came up just one rebound shy of a double-double. Sam Japhet-Mathias and Brae Ivey chipped in eight points, while Eduardo Lane scored seven points.
JoJo Walker led the Pilots with game-high 22 points, while Isaiah White added 17 points. Portland finished 9-of-20 from beyond the arc and hit 11-of-15 from the charity stripe.
The Spartans led 7-6 at the first media timeout, but the Pilots grabbed control of the lead and never lost it for the remainder of the evening. The Spartans cut it down to one with 3:49 left in the first half on a Washington trey off a fastbreak, but the Pilots closed the half on a 9-2 run to enter the locker room with an 8-point advantage, 37-29.
In the second half, Portland pushed their lead to 13 with 9:39 to play before Washington hit another 3-point basket to spark an 8-0 run to cut the lead 56-51 at the 6:34 mark. That was as close as the Spartans would get as the Pilots regained control and closed the game on an 8-0 run to shut the door.
Despite the loss, SJSU continued to show signs of improvement in the turnover department, finishing with just 13 while forcing 15, resulting in 16 points off of turnovers. Rebounding was all-square at 32 apiece.
With the loss, SJSU dropped to 1-1, while Portland improved to 2-1.
The Spartans head to McKale Center in Tuscon to take on #21 Arizona on Thursday, November 14 at 5 pm PT. The game will be broadcasted on the Pac-12 Network.