San Jose State picks up second straight win in 59-58 defeat of Air Force

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By Ana Kieu

The San Jose State men’s basketball team looked to keep their winning ways alive as they welcomed the Air Force Falcons to Phoenix for a two-game set starting on Thursday night. SJSU was the designated home team, and not only that, they defeated AF 59-58 at the Ability 360 Sports and Fitness Center.

The Falcons got things started in a back-and-forth game. Ameka Akaya converted a second-chance dunk for a 2-0 Falcons lead at 19:20. SJSU, however, quickly tied the game 2-2 on a jumper by Ralph Agee and took a 8-4 lead on back-to-back 3-pointers by Jalen Dalcourt and Trey Smith. The Falcons made it a 1-point game on a 3-pointer by A.J. Walker at 15:29.

Just 25 seconds later, SJSU evened the score 10-10 on a jumper by Jalen Dalcourt, then picked up the pace on both offense and defense. Sebastian Mendoza hit a 3-pointer to pull the Spartans within 3 points at 11:56. Omari Moore threw down a fastbreak dunk off of a Falcons turnover to give the Spartans a 10-point lead with 4:43 left in the first half.

The Falcons wrapped up the first half with a free throw by Keaton Van Soelen with 31 seconds left. The Spartans led 36-30 at the halftime break. For the second straight game, Trey Smith led the Spartans with 11 points at the break. SJSU shot 63% from the floor and were a perfect 9-9 on 2-point field goals.

The Falcons opened the second half with a second-chance layup by Glen Mcclintock. Mcclintock followed up with a free throw off of a Spartans turnover. Jalen Dalcourt responded with a layup, but the Falcons evened the score 38-38 on a fastbreak 3-pointer by Ameka Akaya at 16:57.

The Falcons took a 42-38 lead on back-to-back layups by Akaya and Keaton Van Soelen, but the Spartans regained the lead 51-48, thanks to Ralph Agee’s layup in the paint with 7:09 left in the second half.

The two teams exchanged leads and ties until the final buzzer. The Falcons evened the score 55-56 and took a 58-56 lead, but the Spartans wrapped up the second half scoring. Omari Moore made a fastbreak free throw off of a Falcons turnover, Ralph Agee threw down a second-chance dunk and the Spartans got the stop to seal a 59-58 win over the Falcons.

SJSU improved to 4-11, 2-9 Mountain West. Ralph Agee led all scorers with 15 points.

AF fell to 4-11, 2-9 Mountain West. A.J. Walker led all scorers with 21 points.

The Spartans and Falcons conclude its two-game series on Saturday, January 30 at 3 pm PT.

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