San Jose State win second game in a row
Spartans beat Northern Arizona 79-74.
After hanging on against Bethune Cookman last week, the Spartans did it again but this time it was against Northern Arizona. The Lumberjacks controlled the first half from the start as in the first 7 minutes of the game they built an 18-6 lead by forcing some turnovers with a press defense.
The 12 point lead the Lumberjacks built would end up being the largest lead of the game. The Spartans were able to battle back and cut the lead to 2, but Northern Arizona hit a 3 with 6:39 left in the first half to push the lead back up to 5. This happened many times in the first half as the Spartans were able to get close to taking the lead, but the Lumberjacks were able to answer with a three.
For example, to end the half Jonathan Andre made back to back threes for the Lumberjacks to push the lead to 10 at the half. Northern Arizona was able to build this lead by making 9 threes and shooting 50% from behind the arc in the first half.
San Jose’s leading scorer and rebounder, Michael Steadman, did not play the first half but started the second half with a rebound and back to back layups to get the Spartans going. In addition, the Spartans defense started to tighten up as they were able to hold the Lumberjacks to only 3 points in the first 5 minutes of the second half.
On offense, the Spartans had substantial contributions by Oumar Barry who finished with 13 rebounds and 17 points, Brae Ivey who had 16 points and 7 assists, and Noah Baumann who finished with 23 points and made 5 of 6 shots from three.
Barry was able to come up with some big offensive rebounds and convert the putbacks, while Brae Ivey made 3 free throws to cut the lead to 1 and then a few minutes later made two more clutch free throws to push the lead to 4. Baumann who hit a clutch 3 in the last game was at it again tonight, he hit a momentum-swinging 3 to give the Spartans their first lead of the game with 10 minutes remaining.
Baumann hit another 3 with 7:21 remaining to push the Spartans back up by 1, but his most important points came with the Spartans up by 3 with 37 seconds remaining as he was fouled and hit both free throws to push the Spartans lead back up to 5.
The second half ended up being very back and forth after the Lumberjacks shot their way to a 10 point halftime lead. The Spartans controlled the paint as they outrebounded Northern Arizona 44-28 and multiple times went to Steadman and Barry in the post to pick up an easy two points.
The Lumberjacks shooting numbers also cooled down as Northern Arizona finished the night shooting 37% from the field and from three while the Spartans were able to shoot 40%. Ultimately the Spartans were able to overcome a 10 point halftime deficit and win there second game in a row.