San Jose State falls to rival Fresno State 79-64

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By Ana Kieu

The San Jose State Spartans looked to win their second straight game as they began conference play with back-to-back games against the rival Fresno State Bulldogs.

Both teams played really hard, but the Spartans ended up losing to the Bulldogs 79-64 at the Save Mart Center on Friday night. SJSU is now 1-15 at the Save Mart Center.

The Spartans had a new opponent, but head coach Jean Prioleau kept the same starting five. Omari Moore, Richard Washington, Trey Smith, Nate Lacewell and Ralph Agee walked onto the court with their game faces on.

The Spartans drew first blood 21 seconds into the first half, thanks to Richard Washington’s jumper. Washington scored 7 points in the first four minutes of the game.

The Bulldogs tied the game at 2 and took a 7-2 lead, but the Spartans scored 9 points to tie the game at 11 at 15:56 of the first. Richard Washington made a jumper to make it 19-14 Spartans at 12:41 of the first. Washington’s back-to-back free throws and Sebastian Mendoza’s jumper gave the Spartans an 8-point lead, 24-16, at 10:40 of the first.

The Spartans’ lead didn’t last long. The Bulldog defense stepped up late, Deon Stroud made a game-tying jumper to tie the game at 31 with 5:50 left in the first and Orlando Robinson hit a 3-pointer to give Fresno State a 34-31 lead 55 seconds later.

The Bulldogs had a 38-34 lead at the final timeout with three minutes remaining in the first. San Jose State, however, went ahead for good after Richard Washington hit a 3-point jumper with one second left in the first. The Spartans led by three, 45-42, heading into the locker room at halftime.

Richard Washington struck first with a jumper for a 47-42 Spartans lead 31 seconds into the second half. Ralph Agee made it 49-42 Spartans at 18:40 of the second. SJSU proceeded to shoot 55% from the field and 50% from downtown and took a 5-point lead, 53-48, at 15:31 of the second.

Four turnovers in a span of 1:51 hurt the Spartans. The Bulldogs tied the game at 57 on a Junior Ballard 3-point jumper with 9:43 left in the second. Orlando Robinson caught a pass from Anthony Holland to make a layup and give the Bulldogs a 2-point lead, 59-57, with 8:47 left in the second.

Ralph Agee made a game-tying layup, but Fresno State used a 10-0 run to take a 10-point lead, 69-59, with 4:07 left in the second. The Bulldog defense shut down the Spartan offense, holding them to only 19 points in the second. The Bulldogs won 79-64.

FSU improved to 4-3, 2-3 Mountain West. Orlando Robinson led all scorers with 23 points. Four Bulldogs players finished in double figures.

SJSU fell to 2-7, 0-5 Mountain West. Richard Washington led all scorers with 30 points.

The Spartans and Bulldogs meet again on Sunday, January 10 at 4 pm PT.

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