San Jose State falls to UNLV 76-60 for third straight loss

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By: Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — For the first time in a year, there was a Spartans game day in San Jose. SJSU welcomed UNLV for a two-game series starting Friday night at the Provident Credit Union Event Center. Both the Spartans and Rebels looked to snap a two-game losing skid. Unfortunately, SJSU was handed its third straight loss, 76-60.

Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau switched up his starting lineup, which featured Omari Moore, Trey Smith, Sebastian Mendoza, Richard Washington, and Ralph Agee. Washington returned to the lineup following a head injury sustained one month ago.

The Spartans got the party started in the first half. Sebastian Mendoza hit a 3-pointer for a 3-0 lead at 19:23. SJSU had a 19-16 lead until 11:05. UNLV used a 11-0 run to take a 27-19 lead with 8:05 left. Ralph Agee ended the Rebels’ run with a free throw, cutting the deficit to 27-20 with 6:03 left.

Despite UNLV’s efforts to take a double-digit lead, SJSU kept the game close. The Rebels saw their 29-20 lead disappear, thanks to Trey Smith’s 3 with 4:31 left. Ralph Agee’s back-to-back layups helped the Spartans to a 32-31 lead with 1:35 left. UNLV regained its lead, 35-32, on David Jenkins Jr’s jumper and Moses Wood’s second-chance layup, respectively. The Spartans trailed 35-32 at halftime.

The Rebels opened the second half scoring as Devin Tillis made a layup at 19:33. UNLV went on a 9-4 run to lead 47-36 at 16:15. However, a Spartan scoring surge — led by Richard Washington’s 3 — allowed them to keep the game close, 47-43, at 14:12.

The Spartans trailed 65-53 with 7:09 left. But there was a silver lining as three starters — Trey Smith, Ralph Agee, and Richard Washington — were in double figures with 15, 14, and 13 points, respectively. Washington left the game to sit on the bench late in the game. Nate Lacewell entered the game for Washington.

The Spartans had the last scoring play as Sebastian Mendoza made a fastbreak free throw to cut the lead to 76-60 with 1:33 left. UNLV dribbled out the shot clock, and handed SJSU a 76-60 loss. SJSU fell to 5-14, 3-12 MW, while UNLV improved to 9-11, 6-7 MW.

The Spartans and Rebels meet again on Sunday, February 21 at 1 pm PT.

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