After third win of the season, San Jose State takes a loss from Utah State
Find out more about the Mountain West opener vs. Utah State
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San Jose State commits a season-high 23 turnovers
The Spartans committed a season-high 23 turnovers and never recovered after trailing 20-5 early in the Mountain West opener at Utah State and ended up losing 86-72 to the Aggies at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Utah State scored 36 points off of San Jose State’s turnovers, while only four Aggies turnovers led to three points for the Spartans. SJSU shot 50 percent from the field–including 69.6 percent in the second half–made 57.9 percent of their three-pointers and out-rebounded USU 40-23.
However, SJSU’s turnovers outweighed all of their triumps in their 21st consecutive loss to USU dating back to 2008.
SJSU (3-9, 0-1 MW) turned the ball over 12 times in the first half and fell behind by as many as 19 in the early moments. An 8-0 run with four points apiece from Oumar Barry and Jaycee Hillsman brought SJSU within nine (37-28) before halftime, but USU (8-6, 1-0 MW) closed the first half with a 7-0 run and carried a 16-point lead into the locker room.
USU continued running in the second half, thanks to more SJSU turnovers. SJSU gave the ball away five times in a span of 2:16 after the 16:56 mark of the second half. During that unfortunate span, USU guard Sam Merrill hit a three after Jalen James’ turnover and put his team up by 23 points (60-37).
Ryan Welage was SJSU’s leading scorer for the ninth time this season with 22 points. It was Welage’s seventh game of the season with 20-plus points. He also hit four threes, giving him 123 career threes and moving him into a tie for fourth place on SJSU’s all-time list alongside Michael Quinney (1998-99).
Jaycee Hillsman matched his career-scoring high with 18 points and added a season-high nine assists.
Junior forward Dwayne Brown, Jr. also contributed to USU’s victory with 16 points–14 in the first half–to help his team create some distance from SJSU.
Sophomore guard Diogo Brito was another USU double-figure scorers with 11 points.
Last season, Merrill and sophomore guard Koby McEwen torched SJSU in both games. The duo did the same thing Wednesday. Merrill finished the game with 18 points and nine assists while McEwen scored a game-high 24 points. McEwen also had seven boards and five assists. They combined to make nine threes against SJSU.
SJSU will return home to continue Mountain West action against Colorado State on Saturday, December 30 at 2 pm PT.