San Jose State’s difficult season comes to an end with 111-80 blowout loss to Wyoming in Mountain West Tournament

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By Ana Kieu

After suspending its regular season due to COVID-19, the #9 San Jose State Spartans took on the #8 Wyoming Cowboys in the first round of the Mountain West Tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Wednesday. Unfortunately, SJSU suffered a triple-digit loss, 111-80. 

But the Spartans’ journey wasn’t without its fair share of trials and tribulations. From tough losses to delayed flights, SJSU was burdened by a laundry list of issues. SJSU, however, rose up from those challenges. 

“Our team has transformed and evolved over the course of this season,” head coach Jean Prioleau told media members. “Toughness comes in many forms and this group has shown toughness on many different levels.”

The Spartans’ starting five featured Omari Moore, Trey Smith, Sebastian Mendoza, Richard Washington, and Ralph Agee. Agee made a jumper to get the Spartans on the board first 2-0 just 30 seconds into the first half. Just eight seconds later, Ike Graham responded with a layup to tie the game at 2. 

The Spartans and Cowboys exchanged leads and ties for several minutes in the first half. But it was the Cowboys who took the lead and never looked back. Marcus Williams made a layup in the paint to make it a 10-point game, 21-11, at 14:21. Graham Ike helped Wyoming open a 16-point lead with 2:51 left.

Wyoming closed out the first half scoring with a pair of free throws from Kenny Foster with 28 seconds left. SJSU trailed 59-45 at halftime. Omari Moore led the Spartans with 13 points and five assists at the half.

The Spartans had their work cut out for them. SJSU opened the second half scoring as Ralph Agee capitalized on a Cowboys turnover, made a second-chance layup, and brought the Spartans within 12 points, 59-47, just 34 seconds into the second half.

After a glimpse of hope, the Spartans’ problems reappeared. Ralph Agee appeared to have put a foot to Graham Ike’s groin. The officials handed Agee a Flagrant 2 foul. Subsequently, Agee was ejected from the game. Nate Lacewell entered the game for Agee. 

Marcus Williams made a jumper to help the Cowboys take a 20-point lead, 79-59, at 11:27. While the Spartans tried to inch closer, their efforts were ineffective as the Cowboys used a 11-3 run to take a 90-64 lead with 7:36 left. 

The Cowboys reached the 100-point mark when Marcus Williams made a layup with 4:15 left. Wyoming proceeded to pour in the points with back-to-back three-pointers by Drake Jeffries and Hunter Thompson, respectively. 

The Spartans went on a late 5-0 run, but continued to trail 109-80. The Cowboys had the last laugh as Drake Jeffries capitalized on a Spartans turnover and made a two-point dunk to make it a 111-80 game with three seconds left. The Spartans lost 111-80.

SJSU finished with a 5-16, 3-14 MW record, while Wyoming called it a wrap with a 14-10, 8-9 MW record. Wyoming moved on to the quarterfinals. 

San Jose State’s three remaining regular season games cancelled

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By: Ana Kieu

Just one day after the San Jose State men’s basketball team announced their makeup game against Nevada at the Provident Credit Union Event Center on March 3, news broke that their three remaining regular season games have been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. Their team activities have also been cancelled.

The Spartans were scheduled to play Wyoming on February 25 and 27, respectively. The Spartans were rescheduled to play Nevada on March 3. All three games have been cancelled.

SJSU hopes to continue their basketball-related activities before the Mountain West men’s basketball tournament, which will be played at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas from March 10 to 13.

Mendoza and Washington leads scoring attack, but San Jose State loses heartbreaker to UNLV 67-64

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By: Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State men’s basketball team had hoped to snap their three-game losing skid with a win over the UNLV Rebels — especially in a nationally televised game on CBS Sports Network on Sunday. However, SJSU lost a heartbreaker, 67-64, to UNLV at the Provident Credit Union Event Center. SJSU (5-15, 3-13 MW) has now lost four straight games. Sebastian Mendoza led the Spartans with 14 points.

The Spartans’ starting five featured Omari Moore, Trey Smith, Sebastian Mendoza, Richard Washington, and Michael Ofoegbu Jr. The Spartans won the tip, and the game vs. UNLV was underway.

The Rebels got on the board first, as Devin Tillis and Caleb Grill each made layups for an early 4-0 lead at 18:21. However, SJSU responded to tie the game 4-4, thanks to two layups by Mendoza and Moore. Both teams exchanged leads and ties during the first half, but it was the Rebels who hung on for a mere 28-27 lead at halftime. The Spartans had the last score of the first half, as Ofoebu made a late layup with 16 seconds left.

The second half resembled the first half. Both teams exchanged leads and ties, the game went down to the wire, and the Spartans came up short in the end.

The Rebels opened the second half with a free throw by Bryce Hamilton just nine seconds in. At 13:09, Jalen Dalcourt hit a fastbreak 3-pointer cut the deficit to 44-39. Richard Washington hit his first 3-pointer of the game to cap off a 10-0 Spartans run with 8:30 left. Trey Smith added a 3-pointer of his own to tie the game 54-54 and make it a 13-0 Spartans run. The Rebels bounced back to take a 61-55 lead with 5:20 left, but Washington hit a 3 to bring the Spartans within three points, 61-58, just 22 seconds later. Washington and Sebastian Mendoza were in double figures and led the Spartans’ scoring attack with 10 and 12 points, respectively.

Omari Moore made it a one-point game, 61-60, with a jumper in the paint with 2:14 left. Moore made a second-chance layup to bring the Spartans within two points, 66-64, with 42 seconds left. UNLV called a timeout and David Jenkins Jr. made a second-chance free throw to secure a 67-64 win. UNLV (10-11, 7-7 MW) now has a two-game winning streak. Bryce Hamilton led the Rebels with 17 points.

The Spartans wrap up the regular season with a two-game series against the Wyoming Cowboys starting on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 6 pm PT.

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.

San Jose State vs. Nevada series postponed

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State men’s basketball team was looking forward to returning home to San Jose, Calif., to host its first “real” homestand for the first time in a while. But not so fast, my friends.

The Spartans had to break the bad news on Friday afternoon. Due to COVID-19 concerns within the Nevada men’s basketball team, the two-game series between the Spartans and Wolf Pack originally scheduled for February 13 and 15 has been postponed.

The Mountain West conference will announce further updates and schedule adjustments at a later date.

The Spartans came off a bye week, only to receive another week off out of precaution. SJSU will continue to practice and make the most out of their free time, and then turn their attention to the UNLV Rebels for a two-game series scheduled to be played on February 19 and 21 at the Provident Credit Union Event Center.

San Diego State sweeps San Jose State with 77-55 win at home

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By Ana Kieu

The San Jose State men’s basketball team looked to erase the memory of their three-game win streak coming to a screening halt in Wednesday night’s game against the San Diego State at Viejas Arena.

Unfortunately, the Spartans’ wish wasn’t granted. SJSU lost 77-55 for their second straight loss, and fell to 5-13, 3-11 Mountain West. Trey Smith led all scorers with 22 points. Smith had his second 20-point game of the season.

Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau shuffled his starting lineup before Wednesday’s matchup. Caleb Simmons, Jalen Dalcourt, Omari Moore, Trey Smith, and Ralph Agee took the court. SJSU won the tip, and the game got underway.

The Aztecs opened the scoring with a three-pointer by Jordan Schakel at 18:41 of the first half. The Spartans responded with a jumper in the paint by Ralph Agee and a jumper by Terrell Gomez in a span of 13 seconds, taking a 5-2 lead at 17:39.

Both teams exchanged leads and ties throughout the first half. The Spartans closed out the first half with a bang. Trey Smith hit a three-pointer with 30 seconds left. With the three, Smith recorded a game-best 12 points; and led all scorers with 12 points at halftime. SJSU trailed 33-27 at halftime.

The second half opened up with an Aztecs’ score, but a different player. Nathan Mensah made a second-chance layup for a 35-27 Aztecs lead just 11 seconds into the second half.

Ralph Agee made a pair of free throws, helping the Spartans pull within 10 points, 49-38, at 12:38 of the second half. But the Aztecs heated up, and Lamont Butler hit a three to make it a 20-point game, 58-38, with 9:52 left in the second half. The Aztecs’ fiery offense didn’t stop there. The Aztecs went on a 14-3 run that ended when Trey Smith hit a three with 6:59 left in the second half. Smith scored on a pair of free throws to help the Spartans pull within 23 points, 76-53, with 1:11 left in the second half.

Nate Lacewell wrapped up the Spartans’ scoring with a pair of free throws with eight seconds left in the second half. SJSU lost 77-55.

SDSU improved to 15-4, 9-3 Mountain West. Jordan Schakel led all scorers with 24 points. Schakel now has 200 career threes.

The Spartans host the Nevada Wolf Pack for a two-game series starting on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm PT.

San Jose State breaks out the brooms after 75-62 defeat of Air Force

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By Ana Kieu

The San Jose State men’s basketball swept its Mountain West series against the Air Force Falcons with a 75-62 win at the Ability 360 Sports and Fitness Center on Saturday. With the win, SJSU improved to 5-11, 3-9 MW, and won its third straight game.

SJSU head coach Jean Prioleau kept the same starting lineup against AF. Omari Moore, Trey Smith, Jalen Dalcourt, Caleb Simmons, and Ralph Agee stepped out on the court. The Spartans won the jump ball, and Simmons scored the first points of the game with a layup in the paint for a 2-0 lead at the 18-minute mark.

The Spartans went on a 10-0 run and took an early 10-0 lead at 14:06. Just 10 seconds later, AJ Walker ended the Spartans’ run with a jumper. The score was now 10-2 Spartans.

The Falcons played harder, but were unable to catch up to the Spartans. Omari Moore and Ralph Agee scored the final points of the first half — a fastbreak layup in the paint and a layup, respectively. The Spartans took a 39-28 lead to the locker room at halftime. SJSU shot 61.5% at halftime.

The Spartans opened the second half on the right foot, but the Falcons kept the game interesting. Ralph Agee made a jumper for a 41-28 Spartans lead just 54 seconds into the second half.

The Falcons used a 7-2 run to pull within eight, 43-35, at 17:30. Ralph Agee ended the Falcons’ run with a second-chance layup. The Spartans now led by ten, 45-35, at 16:43. Agee made another second-chance layup, and the Spartans eclipsed the 50-point plateau, leading 50-42 at 13:19.

Trey Smith made a pair of fastbreak free throws to help the Spartans build a 10-point lead, 70-60, with 31 seconds left in the second half. Smith made another pair of fastbreak free throws to close out the game. The Spartans won 75-62. Ralph Agee led all scorers in points (22) and rebounds (14).

AF fell to 4-12, 2-10 MW. AJ Walker led all scorers with 16 points.

The Spartans visit the San Diego State Aztecs for a two-game series starting Monday, February 8th at 8 pm PT.

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.

San Jose State tops New Mexico 83-71 for first conference win

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By Ana Kieu

The San Jose State men’s basketball team finally picked up their first conference win of the season with a 83-71 victory over the New Mexico Lobos on Saturday at Burns Arena in St. George, Utah.

With the win, SJSU snapped a five-game losing skid and improved to 3-11, 1-9 Mountain West. Jalen Dalcourt, Sebastian Mendoza, Ralph Agee and Trey Smith all finished with 16 points. Omari Moore finished with 14 points.

Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau made two changes to his starting lineup, inserting Trey Smith and Caleb Simmons into the first five. The remaining starters were Omari Moore, Jalen Dalcourt and Ralph Agee.

Omari Moore opened the scoring with a layup for a 2-0 Spartans lead 48 seconds into the first half. It wasn’t long before the Lobos tied the game 2-2 at 18:46 when Valdir Manuel knocked down a jumper. The two teams went back and forth for the rest of the first half. Sebastian Mendoza started a fast break and finished it with a dunk to tie the game 33-33 with 1:27 left in the first half. Just 14 seconds later, UNM went ahead 35-33 on a 2-pointer from Rod Brown.

The Spartans trailed 35-33 at the halftime break. Trey Smith made four of six 3-point attempts for a career-best 12 points at halftime.

The Spartans reignited themselves for the second half. SJSU surged for their largest lead of the game, 59-54, with 8:36 left in the second half. Caleb Simmons made the layup. Just 28 seconds later, Omari Moore added a fast break dunk to make it 61-54 Spartans.

From there on out, SJSU didn’t let UNM affect their game. The Spartans extended their lead to 71-60 with 3-pointers from Sebastian Mendoza and Jalen Dalcourt in a span of 2:52. Jalen Dalcourt wrapped up the Spartans’ scoring with a pair of free throws, while Valdir Manuel concluded the game’s overall scoring with a jumper.

UNM fell to 5-9, 1-9 Mountain West. Valdir Manuel led all scorers with 25 points.

The Spartans take on the Air Force Falcons at the Ability 360 Sports and Fitness Center in Phoenix, Arizona on Thursday, January 28 at 6:30 pm PT.

San Jose State unable to get first conference win after 67-51 loss to New Mexico

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By Ana Kieu

The San Jose State men’s basketball team looked to avoid a five-game losing streak with a win over the New Mexico Lobos at Burns Arena, the home of the Dixie State Trailblazers, on Thursday. Neither team had a conference win prior to tipoff, but things changed at the buzzer — just not in favor of the Spartans. The Spartans lost to the Lobos 67-51 in St. George, Utah.

The Spartans’ starting lineup stayed the same. Omari Moore, Richard Washington, Jalen Dalcourt, Nate Lacewell and Ralph Agee took the court to play the sport they love. As of January 20, Washington is ranked the nation’s No. 1 top scoring small forward in the NCAA.

The Lobos opened the scoring in the first half. Kurt Wegscheider made a jumper to make it a 2-0 game at 18:32. Just 27 seconds later, the Spartans tied the game 2-2 when Richard Washington made a layup.
But New Mexico piled on the points and went on a 10-4 for a 9-point lead, 21-19, with 7:04 left.

As if things weren’t bad enough, New Mexico took advantage of seven Spartan turnovers for a 10-point lead, 27-17, with 3:49 left. As a result, Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau called a timeout to give his team time to regroup. While the Spartans showed some glimpses of hope in Sebastian Mendoza’s layup and Caleb Simmons’ free throws, the Lobos kept a 10-point lead, 31-21, at the end of the first half.

The Spartans shot just 8 of 23 from the field in the first half, and to add insult to injury, Richard Washington didn’t return for the second half. Washington took an apparent shot to the face during the first half.

It took Valdir Manuel just 20 seconds into the second half to score against the Spartans. Manuel gave the Lobos a 33-21 lead with a jumper. Jalen Dalcourt responded with a fast-break layup to cut the deficit to 10, 33-23, at 19:14.

At one point, New Mexico didn’t score for three minutes. Ralph Agee made a layup to pull the Spartans within nine, 50-41, with 8:08 left. The Spartans had a chance to correct their mistakes and bounce back, but the Lobo offense was on fire. Makuach Maluach finished with 25 points and six rebounds for the Lobos.

The Spartans wrapped up the second half scoring, but it was too little, too late. Jalen Dalcourt made a fast-break 3-pointer to pull within 16, 67-51, with 1:02 left in regulation. Makuach Maluach made a steal, the Lobos dribbled out the clock, and the Spartans lost 67-51. San Jose State fell to 2-11, 0-9 Mountain West. Ralph Agee led the Spartans with 14 points.

Meanwhile, the Lobos picked up their first conference win of the season. New Mexico improved to 5-8, 1-8 Mountain West.

The Spartans and Lobos face off again on Saturday, January 23 at 12 pm PT.