San Jose State closed out homestand against Nevada
Neither team was the same like in their previous meeting
San Jose State hasn’t won a conference game yet, so they had the most to prove.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The struggling San Jose State Spartans were desperately in need of a positive jolt in a lopsided Mountain West matchup against the conference-leading Nevada Wolf Pack at the Event Center Wednesday night.
Prior to the matchup, San Jose State had lost six straight games, while Nevada carried a five-game win streak into the building. The Spartans didn’t have many reasons to be happy, but they did host a Fight for Literary night to collect donations for each made assist for local San Jose children of Reading Partners Silicon Valley. They also celebrated Noah Baumann’s birthday.
The Spartans got off to a hot start as Jalen James and Ryan Welage made their layups, respectively. The Wolf Pack then went on a 9-0 run to snag a 9-4 lead at the 16:36 mark.
By hitting a jumper and a three-pointer, Welage continued his show to even the score 9-9 at the 14:14 mark. The Wolf Pack gained a five-point advantage (14-9), but the Spartans were able to claw their way back into the game as Brandon Mitchell hit two threes along with a jumper and Welage added a jumper to pad SJSU’s lead 23-20 with 4:32 left.
Kendall Stephens brought the Wolf Pack within one (23-22) with a jumper of his own. Caleb Martin threw down a dunk to put Nevada back on top 24-23 a little over two minutes later. But then Noah Baumann hit a three to help the Spartans regain their lead 26-24 with 1:24 left.
The Spartans entered halftime with a 26-24 lead over the Wolf Pack.
Here are the Spartans’ halftime stats: 11-26 FG-FGA (Total), 4-10 FG-FGA (3-ptr), 2 off rebounds, 17 def rebounds, 19 tot rebounds, 7 PF, 26 TP, 7 A, 9 TO, 2 blks, 1 stl, 100 min.
The Wolf Pack got on the board first to open the second half. Lindsey Drew hit two jumpers. The Spartans then went on a 5-0 run that consisted of Baumann’s three and Keith Fisher’s pair of free throws.
The Wolf Pack pulled within one (31-30) at the 15:53 mark, but Oumar Barry hastily hit a three to expand the Spartans’ lead to 34-30 just 34 seconds later. Then, Nevada tied the game 34-34 on Elijah Foster’s lone free throw and Hallice Cooke’s three.
The San Jose State cheer team chanted their “defense” chants, which didn’t really help the Spartans as Isaiah Nichols made a free throw, only to watch the mere 35-34 lead slip away, sarcastically thanks to the Wolf Pack’s 8-0 run. James ended Nevada’s extended run with a three at the 10:17 mark.
Both teams exchanged shots as Martin made a layup along with a free throw, Mitchell made a layup, Kendall Stephens hit a three and Barry made a pair of free throws. Even so, San Jose State continued to trail Nevada by six (48-42) with 8:21 left.
Mitchell continued to counter the shots made by a couple of Wolf Pack players, but Nevada went on a 7-0 run to grab a 61-48 lead with 2:49 left.
Both Mitchell and Hillsman made layups, but Stephens and Josh Hall put in some work with a pair of free throws and three free throws, respectively—for a 66-52 lead with 1:40 left.
James made a layup to reduce the Spartans’ deficit to 12 (66-54), but Lindsey Drew netted a pair of free throws. Then, Martin closed out the game with a three.
The Spartans lost to the Wolf Pack 71-54 at home.
Here are the Spartans’ final stats: 21-57 FG-FGA (Total), 7-21 FG-FGA (3-ptr), 5-6 FT-FTA, 7 off rebounds, 24 def rebounds, 31 tot rebounds, 22 PF, 54 TP, 13 A, 16 TO, 3 blks, 5 stls, 200 min.
The Spartans take on the Boise State Broncos on Wednesday, January 24 at 8 pm MT.