San Jose State no longer undefeated after losing to Ball State 34-13 in Arizona Bowl

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateFB

By Ana Kieu

The #22 San Jose State Spartans battled it out with the Ball State Cardinals in the Arizona Bowl at Arizona Stadium on New Year’s Eve. The Arizona Bowl was a battle between two conference champions who wanted to make program history, but it wasn’t in favor of the Spartans.

The short-handed Spartans fell behind early. The Cardinals started fast and handed the Spartans their first loss of the season, 34-13.

Derrick Deese took a nasty hit and landed on his head on the first play of the game. Deese went to the injury tent and later headed into the locker room.

BSU wasted no time getting going, scoring the game’s first 27 points.

SJSU quarterback Nick Starkel’s pass was intercepted and Antonio Phillips returned it for 53 yards for a touchdown. Jacob Lewis missed the extra point. The Cardinals took a 6-0 lead at 12:47 of the first quarter.

Will Jones ran for 3 yards for a touchdown. Jacob Lewis kicked an extra point. The Cardinals took a 13-0 lead at the 10-minute mark of the first.

Ty Evans ran for 3 yards for a touchdown. Jacob Lewis kicked an extra point. The Cardinals made it 20-0 with 5:15 left in the first.

Drew Plitt ran for 1 yard for a touchdown. Jacob Lewis kicked an extra point. BSU led 27-0 at the end of the first.

SJSU couldn’t catch a break in the second quarter.

Although Jacob Lewis missed a short-range field goal early in the second quarter, SJSU backup quarterback Nick Nash threw an interception into the end zone. SJSU quarterback Nick Starkel walked off the field holding the back of his knee after completing a 38-yard pass to Dominic Mazotti. Mazotti held his wrist, too.

SJSU kicker Matt Mercurio missed a 49-yard field goal attempt to close out the first half. The Spartans trailed 27-0 heading into the locker room for halftime.

BSU opened the scoring in the second half. Drew Plitt threw a pass to Yo’Heinz Tyler, who ran 48 yards for a touchdown. The Cardinals extended their lead to 34-0 with 9:42 left in the third quarter.

SJSU showed signs of life on offense, but their offensive efforts weren’t enough. Charlie Bostic III returned Jacob Lewis’ punt 99 yards for a touchdown. The Spartans’ 2-point conversion was ruled as no good. The Spartans trailed 34-6 with 9:28 left in the third.

Nick Starkel returned to the field. Starkel threw a pass to Jermaine Braddock, who ran for 8 yards for a touchdown. Matt Mercurio kicked in an extra point. The Spartans trailed 34-13 with 1 second left in the third, and were down 34-13 after three quarters.

BSU maintained their 34-13 lead in the fourth quarter. Despite their efforts, the Spartans lost to the Cardinals 34-13. Both teams finished their respective seasons with respectable 7-1 records.

SJSU quarterback Nick Starkel announced that he’ll return for a final college football season. SJSU will look to replace some offensive seniors in the offseason.

San Jose State falls to Utah State 85-52

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By Ana Kieu

The San Jose State Spartans concluded its back-to-back conference series against the Utah State Aggies at the Smith Spectrum on Wednesday evening.

Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau switched up his starting five, which featured Omari Moore, Seneca Knight, Sebastian Mendoza, Ralph Agee, and Hugo Clarkin.

After a scoreless one minute and 51 seconds, USU got on the board as guard Brock Miller knocked down a jumper to make it 2-0 Aggies. The game was tied at 3-3 at 17:16, thanks to a three-point jumper from SJSU guard Sebastian Mendoza. But the Aggies stifled the Spartans’ starters and maintained a double-digit lead throughout the first half.

If there were any silver linings to the Spartans’ lackluster play, it would be Seneca Knight, Sebastian Mendoza, and Hugo Clarkin. All three of them contributed to the Spartan offense and kept the team to a manageable deficit. SJSU trailed USU 42-25 at the end of the half.

Sadly, the second half didn’t provide relief for the Spartans, who were outscored 43-27 before the final buzzer sounded. USU forward Justin Bean opened the scoring with a two-point tip shot just 26 seconds into the half. The Aggie offense continued to wreck havoc on the Spartans’ defenders, who missed a lot of shots and turnovers. SJSU guard Caleb Simmons wrapped up the scoring with a lone free throw, but it was too little, too late. The Spartans fell to the Aggies 85-52.

SJSU fell to 1-4, 0-2 Mountain West. Richard Washington led the Spartans with 11 points.

USU improved to 5-3, 2-0 Mountain West. Rollie Worster led the Aggies with 15 points.

The Spartans continue their conference slate with a game against the Boise State Broncos on December 31 at 5:30 pm PT.

San Jose State blown out by Utah State 107-62

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By Ana Kieu

San Jose State men’s basketball opened their 2020-21 conference slate with a road trip to Logan, Utah to take on the Utah State Aggies. The two-game series began on Monday night at 6 pm PT.

The Spartans’ starting five featured Omari Moore, Richard Washington, Seneca Knight, Chase Courtney, and Hugo Clarkin. Courtney made his first career start and grabbed three boards by the 15-minute mark of the first half. Even so, SJSU fell behind early, and suffered a brutal loss to USU 107-62.

The Aggies jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but Richard Washington tied the game at 3-3 at 18:31. Omari Moore helped the Spartans take their first lead of the game, 4-3, with a free throw at 17:34.

USU wasn’t a force to be reckoned with. Rollie Worster knocked down a jumper to extend the Aggies’ lead to 11-4 at 15:15. SJSU appeared to be disoriented for a little bit as Chase Courtney missed a jumper and a layup, but managed to bounce back, thanks to Sebastian Mendoza and Richard Washington. Mendoza’s three-pointer jumper cut the Aggies’ lead to 23-11 at 10:29.

Seneca Knight made a layup and cut the Aggies’ lead in half, 32-16, with 5:56 left in the first half. However, USU continued to dominate offensively and defensively to maintain a double-digit lead. Marco Anthony had a dunk and Justin Bean grabbed a defensive rebound as the half came to an end. The Aggies took a 47-26 lead into the locker room.

The Aggies used a 19-0 run to open the second half and take complete control of the Spartans, USU took a 40-point lead, 66-26, at 15:01. Sebastian Mendoza knocked down a jumper to end the Aggies’ run at 14:51.

Sebastian Mendoza’s glimpses of tremendous talent weren’t enough to bring the Spartans back to life. The Aggies reached the century mark with 4:08 remaining as Zahar Vedischev knocked down a jumper to make it 101-55. Harminder Dhaliwal’s late jumpers and rebounds were gravity defying, but a lost cause, as the Spartans took a tough loss, 107-62, to the Aggies.

Richard Washington led the Spartans with 20 points. SJSU fell to 1-3, 0-1 Mountain West. USU improved to 4-3, 1-0 Mountain West.

The Spartans conclude their series against the Aggies on Wednesday, December 23 at 6 pm PT.

San Jose State beats Boise State 34-20 for first Mountain West football title

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateFB

By Ana Kieu

This year, San Jose State has been in the news for the right reasons.

Saturday marked the Spartans’ first Mountain West championship game, which was aired on FOX, and their opponent was the Boise State Broncos, a conference foe who has won three out of four championships–2014, 2017 and 2019–since joining the Mountain West in 2010. The Spartans held on to win 34-20 to remain undefeated at 7-0 and become the 2020 Mountain West football champions. 

The Spartans put their game faces on and took deep breaths prior to the kickoff at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. SJSU received the opening kick, but Boise State forced a 3 and out, took over a punt and an offensive play led to a Broncos first down. However, the Broncos’ drive stalled at the Spartans’ 29-yard line, and SJSU took over. Nick Starkel threw a 55-yard pass to Tre Walker, who ran it in a touchdown. The extra point was good. SJSU took a 7-0 lead with 8:36 left in the first quarter.

Boise State finally got on the board late in the quarter. Jonah Dalmas’ 51-yard field goal attempt cut the Spartans’ lead to 7-3 with 3:31 left in the first.

With back-to-back sacks, Cade Hall became the first Spartan since 2012 to have 10+ sacks in a season. Hall achieved this feat in less than seven games. The Spartans led 7-3 at the end of the first.

The Spartans struck again early in the second quarter. Matt Mercurio kicked a 25-yard field goal to make it 10-3 Spartans just 14 seconds into the quarter.

Matt Mercurio added his second field goal of the quarter–a 36-yarder. The Spartans made it 13-3 with 6:40 left in the second.

Matt Mercurio added his third field goal of the quarter–a 26-yarder. As a result, Mercurio recorded a season-high three field goals, and achieved this feat in less than two quarters. The Spartans’ lead was extended to 16-3 with 2:31 left in the second.

Matt Mercurio went on to tie the NCAA record for field goals with four. Mercurio kicked a 32-yard field goal for a 19-3 lead with 50 seconds left in the second.

Jonah Dalmas wrapped up the first half with a 51-yard field goal. The Broncos cut the Spartans’ lead to 19-6 with one second left. SJSU took a 19-6 lead into halftime.

The Broncos received the ball to start the second half. Avery Williams, the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year, returned a 69-yard punt for a touchdown, and tied the NCAA record for career return touchdowns. The extra point was good, and Boise State cut SJSU’s lead to 19-13 with 2:48 left in the third quarter.

Just like that, SJSU was back in the game. Nick Starkel threw a 30-yard pass to Isaiah Hamilton for a touchdown. Starkel then threw to Sam Olson for a two-point conversion. The Spartans took a 27-13 lead at the 14:17 mark of the fourth quarter.

Boise State made it a one touchdown game midway through the fourth. Hank Bachmeier ran for two years for a touchdown, and the extra point was good. The Spartans led 27-20 at the 10:51 mark of the fourth.

SJSU had no fear as Derrick Deese collected Nick Starkel’s pass and ran for a 1-yard touchdown. The extra point was good. The Spartans led 34-20 with 3:48 left in the fourth. 

The Broncos finished the season with a 5-2 record.

Notes: SJSU defeated the Nevada Wolf Pack 30-20 in Sam Boyd Stadium last Friday and broke into the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since 2012 on Sunday.

In his Monday press conference, Spartans head coach Brent Brennan said: “It was a mad scramble, but through everybody’s hard work, we got it done. Our offense got it done, our defense gave us a heart attack, but our defense came through and we had a great time, a really great time for us to come together.”

In his Tuesday press conference, Spartans defensive lineman Cade Hall, the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, emphasized the importance of not only his accomplishments, but also his teammates’ hard work.

Hall said: “I’m playing for my teammates, especially for the guys who have been here for all the hard years of this program. I’m playing for them. They deserve it. They put in a lot of hours than I have. They’ve been here longer than I have. They deserve to be a part of a team that has a lot of success and takes this program where it wants to go.”

Up Next: The Spartans will play the Ball State Cardinals in the Arizona Bowl at Arizona Stadium in Tucson on New Year’s Eve.

San Jose State’s non-conference game against Santa Clara cancelled

Photo credit:

By Ana Kieu

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — San Jose State men’s basketball was scheduled to wrap up their non-conference slate versus the Santa Clara Broncos at the Kaiser Permanente Arena on Friday night.

Unfortunately, SJSU’s annual non-conference game versus Santa Clara was postponed due to an issue that prevented the Spartans’ COVID-19 tests from arriving in time for the tip-off.

The game was originally scheduled for 6 pm, and was pushed back to an 8 pm or 8:15 pm start before the unfortunate postponement. There are no plans for the Spartans to reschedule.

SJSU remains a lowly 1-2, while Santa Clara remains a perfect 6-0.

The Spartans kick off a conference slate against the Utah State Aggies on Monday, December 21 at 6 pm.

San Jose State Spartans game wrap: Spartans lose second straight game to Cal Poly 75-71

San Jose State Spartans forward Ralph Agee (35) finished third in scoring for the Spartans with 13 points against the Cal Poly Mustangs on Sun Dec 13, 2020 (photo from

By Barbara Mason

Sunday afternoon the San Jose Spartans took on  Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on the Mustangs home court.  Currently the Mustangs are 1-2 while the Spartans are 1-1 after being soundly beaten Friday night at the hands of the St. Mary’s Gaels 96-61.  
The Spartans never got anything going in that game and were re-grouping for the quick turnaround and hopes for a much better showing against Cal Poly. 
San Jose took a nice 29-12 lead in the first half before letting their foot off the pedal allowing the Mustangs to pull within eight points.  As the first half came to an end the Spartans led but the score had been whittled down to four points 36-32.
San Jose seemed to have had the game in hand early on but the stubborn Mustangs had other plans as they challenged the Spartans with some nice work from Keith Smith for eight points, Mark Crowe for six points as well as help from their bench.  
The Spartans had Seneca Knight back and he went right to work scoring 12 points.  Ralph Agee had eight points and Richard Washington also contributed eight points.  The team would lean heavily on Knight, Agee and Washington in the second half as well as their defense keeping the Mustangs from another surge in the second half.
The second half was not the start that San Jose had hoped for.  They lost the lead and found themselves trailing early. The Spartans fought back and with 7:04 left in the game they were tied at 59.  
San Jose fought the entire game but came up just short losing a heartbreaker 75-71.  Washington finished the game with 22 points, Knight with 20 and Agee with 13 plus some nice work off the bench from Trey Smith and Kaison Hammonds.  San Jose now drops to a 1-2 record, next taking on Santa Clara Friday the time TBD.  

San Jose State Spartans game wrap: Gaels Win Sixth In A Row Handily Beating San Jose State 96-61

The St Mary’s Gaels forward Sam Fotu (42) drives on San Jose Spartans center Hugo Clarkin (5) on Fri Dec 11, 2020 at McKeon Pavilion in Moraga ( photo)

By Barbara Mason

Friday night the San Jose Spartans took on the St. Mary’s Gaels at McKeon Pavilion. St. Mary’s came into the game with a 5-1 record while San Jose’s record is 1-0 due to the cancellations they have experienced this year. The Gaels are riding high winning five games in a row. They most recently beat the University of Texas at EL Paso. Their only loss came at the hands of Memphis 73-56.

The San Jose Spartans handled Fresno Pacific by the score of 87-79. A win tonight for the Spartans would mean a second straight victory as well as their first win over the Gaels since 2000.

The Spartans would be looking for another explosive performance by sophomore Omari Moore and Richard Washington who had 38 points against Fresno Pacific. All eyes will be on this power duo. Right now the Spartans are the No. 1 ranked team in the nation in defensive rebounding.

The Spartans will be without 4 players in this game although it has not been announced that any of them have covid. Seneca Knight is one of those players which is a blow for San Jose. The Spartans were looking at a very real challenge in this game.

The Gaels will be highlighting Tommy Kuhse, one of their offensive leaders, who had 24 points in their latest win against UTEP. St. Mary’s will also be counting on Matthias Tass and Alex Ducas to carry their offense. Right now the Gaels are a high-scoring team recording 72 or more points in each of their last four games. Head Coach Randy Bennett is 7-0 against San Jose.

It was a very tough start for the Spartans trailing from the start of the game. It was all St. Mary’s as they took a 57-27 lead into the locker room. Nine different Gaels scored in the first half shooting 68 percent which gave them a 30 point lead.

In the first half the only Spartan that had shot in double digits was Richard Washington with 13 points. It was the dominating Gaels that had two players in double digits: Matthias Tass with 11 and Dan Fotu with 11. The Gaels had a combined 25 points off the bench while the Spartans only had 7.

Midway through the second half the Spartans were trailing 77-42 and they struggled to get anything going against the powerhouse Gaels. The Spartans got some nice play from Washington and Moore with 35 combined points but it was the Gael’s bench with the combined 30 points of Tass and Fotu that did San Jose in. The final score was a shocking 96-61. San Jose will be facing Cal Poly Sunday with tip off at 1:00.



San Jose State defeats Fresno Pacific 87-79

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By: Ana Kieu

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — San Jose State men’s basketball kicked off its non-conference slate against the Fresco Pacific Sunbirds at Kaiser Permanente Arena on Wednesday evening.

The Spartans’ starting five featured Omari Moore, Richard Washington, Seneca Knight, Michael Ofoegbu, and Hugo Clarkin. Ofoegbu and Clarkin earned their first career starts.

The Spartans wasted no time getting into the groove. Richard Washington got nine points early in the first half. Omari Moore made things look easy by pushing the pressure, driving in a bucket, bumping off contact, and fading away. Chase Courtney scored his first career bucket.

A familiar sight returned when Seneca Knight became a playmaker on the hardwood. SJSU led Fresno Pacific 39-15 at the under-eight, and Richard Washington had a game-high 12 points. Washington recorded 23 first-half points as the Spartans cruised to a 52-32 lead at the end of the first half.

The Sunbirds weren’t pushovers in the second half. Fresno Pacific jumped out to a 17-1 run to start the second. They pulled within 13 with 15:14 left in the second and it took them less than one minute to cut their deficit to 10.

The Spartans’ offense was nonexistent as the Sunbirds came from behind to take a short-lived lead. The Sunbirds also cut the Spartans’ lead to single digits and maintained a manageable deficit for a good chunk of the second.

The game was tied 71-71, but Richard Washington made a pair of free throws to help the Spartans take a 73-71 lead with 5:13 left in the second. Washington added another pair of free throws to extend the Spartans’ lead to 75-71 a little over one minute later.

The Spartans rose up and led the Sunbirds by six, 77-71, with 3:23 left in the second. Omari Moore needed a basket, but was fouled out. SJSU tried to play with more grit in order to hold on for the win. Moore blew past a Fresno Pacific defender for a reverse layup and Trey Smith added a free throw.

The Spartans beat the Sunbirds 87-79. SJSU improved to 1-0, while Fresno Pacific fell to 0-1. Richard Washington led the Spartans with a career-high 37 points and 12 rebounds.

The Spartans head to Moraga, Calif. to take on the Saint Mary’s Gaels on Friday evening at 7 pm PT.

SJSU gets blown out by UC Riverside 80-65

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State returned home to open a three-game homestand and to snap a seven-game losing skid at the Provident Credit Union Event Center.

SJSU hosted Star Wars Day. That being said, the blue and gold force was with Spartan Nation.

SJSU’s starting lineup featured Brae Ivey, Seneca Knight, Omari Moore, Christian Anigwe and Ralph Agee. Agee was in the starting lineup for the second straight game.

SJSU opened the first half with a 8-2 run initially sparked by Omari Moore’s three-pointer just 22 seconds into the game, but the Spartan defense began to falter midway through the half. UCR took its first lead of the game, 22-21, with 9:55 left in the half. The Highlanders’ Angus McWilliam made the go-ahead layup.

SJSU, however, refused to let the game slip away. The Spartans’ Sam Japhet-Mathias hit a three with 9:11 left in the half. Moore made a paint jumper and a fastbreak dunk in a 20-second span. Knight made a paint layup and a free throw with 5:41 left

The Highlanders’ Zyon Pullin ended the Spartans’ little run with a paint and fastbreak layup with 5:33 left in the half. From there, UCR took a 32-31 lead, thanks to Pullin’s layup with 3:32 left. Both teams made pairs of fastbreak free throws in the closing minutes, but it was the Highlanders who held on for a 39-37 lead over the Spartans at the break.

SJSU had some work to do in the second half. Agee hit a three just 1:03 in, but the Highlanders responded with layups by George Willborn III and Callum McRae at 18:43 and 18:08, respectively, for a 43-42 lead. Pullin made a pair of free throws and Dikymbe Martin hit a three to extend the Highlander lead to 48-42 at 16:34.

The Spartans’ Brae Ivey hit a three, but got fouled. By adding a free throw, Ivey completed the four-point play regardless. Yet, SJSU trailed 52-49 at 14:26.

Ivey and Zach Chappell made their respective pairs of free throws, but the Highlanders’ Arinze Chidom hit a three to help his team maintain an 11-point lead, 64-53, with 9:09 left.

The Highlanders’ Khyber Kabellis threw down a dunk to extend his team’s lead to sixteen, 80-64, with 2:04 left. The Spartans quickly responded with Chappell’s fastbreak free throw six seconds later, but lost by a final of 80-65.

With the win, UCR improved to 8-5, 0-0 Big West. With the loss, SJSU fell to 3-9, 0-2 Mountain West.

SJSU hosts Pepperdine on Saturday, December 28 at 6 pm PST.

SJSU opens 3-game homestand vs. UC Riverside on Sunday

Photo credit:

By Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State men’s basketball team begins a three-game homestand with UC Riverside visiting the Provident Credit Union Event Center on Sunday for a 2 pm tipoff.

Here’s what you need to know about Saturday’s game.

SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (3-9, 0-2 Mountain West)
PPG: 65.8 | FG%: 39.4 | 3FG%: 27.8 | FT%: 67.1

NOTES: The Spartans trailed by as much as 17 points in the second half at Santa Clara on Wednesday. SJSU cut the lead to six late in the game, but couldn’t complete the comeback at the Leavey Center. The Spartans scored 58 points in the second half after posting 26 points in the first half. Five players scored in double figures led by Zach Chappell’s career-high 20 off the bench. Chappell went 6-of-8 at the free throw line and 2-for-4 from three. Wednesday was the first time this season the Spartans shot better than 45% from the field and lost the game.

PPG: 63.8 | FG%: 43.6 | 3FG%: 33.2 | FT%: 68.7

SERIES: The Spartans lead, 4-3 (3-1 in San Jose)

LAST: SJSU lost, 66-64, on Dec. 12, 2011 in Riverside

NOTES: UC Riverside opened up the season with a 66-47 upset at Nebraska, but have stumbled a bit lately, falling to Cal Baptist on Dec. 4, Washington State on Dec. 15 and Northern Arizona on Thursday. The Highlanders are led offensively by Callum McRae’s 10.3 points per game. He also leads UCR with 7.4 rebounds per game. Dragan Elkaz is shooting 42.5% from three (31-of-73) while Dominick Pickett is shooting 44.2% from long range (19-of-43).

TV: None

STREAM: Free at

RADIO: Justin Allegri on the call through and the TuneIn app. Search for “San Jose St. Basketball”

Down by as much as 17 points in the second half, the Spartans rallied back, but the comeback fell short in an 89-85 loss at Santa Clara on Dec. 18 … SJSU scored 58 points in the second half after scoring just 26 in the first half … The Spartans had five players score in double figures for the first time since a win over Life Pacific on Nov. 7, 2018 … Zach Chappell tallied a career-high 20 points off the bench and dished out a team-high six assists … In his first career start, Ralph Agee posted 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds … SJSU outrebounded Santa Clara, 36-25.

The Spartans suffered a heartbreaking loss at San Diego State on Dec. 8. Up by a point with five seconds remaining, the Spartans saw Malachi Flynn hit a deep three-pointer at the buzzer for the win … Ralph Agee posted his first double-double for the Spartans with 12 points and 10 rebounds off the bench … SJSU held SDSU to just 31.7% shooting … SJSU matched a season-low with 11 turnovers.

Grambling State entered the game on Nov. 20 with the nation’s No. 1 scoring offense, averaging 114 points over its first three games … The Spartans held the Tigers 38 points under their average in an 83-76 win at the Provident Credit Union Event Center … Grambling State was 1-of-10 shooting on threes.

The Spartans had 13 different players score in an 85-60 win over Simpson on Nov. 17 … Zach Chappell came off the bench to score a season-high 14 points, including a pair of threes … Seneca Knight was 6-of-8 shooting for 15 points … Ralph Agee posted 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting … Harminder Dhaliwal made his collegiate debut and had two points and two rebounds in six minutes.

SJSU opened the 2019-20 season with a bang, defeating Hofstra on the road, 79-71, on Nov. 6 … Hofstra won 27 games last year, SJSU lost 27 games … In his Spartan debut, JC transfer and former Wake Forest guard, Richard Washington, posted a team-high 23 points off the bench on 8-of-13 shooting. He scored 12 of his 23 points in the final four minutes, including a stretch of three straight threes to put the game away … It was SJSU’s first win in a road opener since 2010-11 when the Spartans topped the Eastern Washington Eagles, 67-60 … The Spartans snapped a 21-game road losing streak dating back to 2017-18 … SJSU won on the East Coast for the first time since 2001-02, when the Spartans defeated Fairleigh Dickinson at the BCA Tournament hosted by NC State in Raleigh, N.C.