San Jose State resumed conference play in New Mexico
All San Jose State wanted was to snap a three-game losing streak, but came up short, 80-47
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San Jose State started 2018 off on the wrong foot, so did they manage to turn things around Saturday night?
The San Jose State Spartans have been victims of bad luck as of late. They kicked off a two-game road trip with a Mountain West game against the New Mexico Lobos at the Pit on Saturday.
Like the Spartans, the Lobos also entered the game with a two-game losing streak, but New Mexico was a slightly better team with a 6-10 (1-2 MW) record as opposed to San Jose State’s mediocre 3-11 (0-3 MW) record.
The Spartans got off to an early start as Ashtin Chastain flipped in an easy layup, but UNM went on a 6-0 run and then an 11-0 run to stifle SJSU’s offense.
The Spartans responded to the Lobos’ pressure with a 7-0 run of their own. Nai Carlisle started things off with a jumper, Jaycee Hillsman made a pair of free throws and Ryan Welage hit a three-pointer. SJSU’s run was halted by a jumper from Joe Furstinger. Isaiah Nichols then made a dunk to prevent UNM from going on a potential run.
But the Spartans’ efforts weren’t enough to stop the Lobos in the first half. Nichols threw down a dunk and Welage hit a jumper. However, Jachai Simmons hit a three and UNM went on a brief 4-0 run for a 10-point lead.
Hillsman hit a pair of free throws to pull the Spartans within eight (27-19), but Anthony Mathis’ three put the Lobos up by 11 (30-19) before the media timeout.
The Lobos continued pouring in the points as Vladimir Pinchuk made a three throw and Mathis followed up with a pair of free throws.
Oumar Barry made a free throw and Noah Baumann hit a three, but the Spartans’ offense remained sluggish as the Lobos stayed dominant on the court.
The Spartans were down by 16 (39-23) at the half.
The Lobos got a head start early in the second half. Makuach Maluach cruised in for layup and Keith Fisher responded with a layup of his own. Antino Jackson then hit a three to give UNM their largest lead of the game, 44-25, at 18:21.
The Lobos continued their 9-0 run until Welage hit a three, but the Spartans were down by 22 (50-28). UNM didn’t make things any easier though. Dane Kuiper hit a three to extend the Lobos’ lead to 53-28 at the 13:41 mark.
It was the Lobos’ show tonight even though the Spartans added some shots into the scoreboard, thanks to Welage, Carlisle, Fisher and Caleb Simmons. UNM held a 31-point lead, 70-39, with 5:24 left in regulation.
Chastain made a free throw and Welage added a layup, but the Lobos made it rain with threes from Mathis and Chris McNeal to keep the game out of reach for the Spartans.
Hillsman made a couple of free throws and Welage finished with a tip-in, but the Spartans were dismantled by the Lobos, who won in blowout fashion by a score of 80-47.
SJSU dropped to 3-12 (0-4 MW) while UNM improved to 7-10 (2-2 MW).
The Spartans return to action on Tuesday, January 9 against the San Diego State Aztecs at 8 pm PT.