Boise State Sweeps Series; Nearly Loses Game 2 vs. San Jose State
SJSU nearly had an upset
The Spartans found life in the second half of game two.
In the first game of the two-game tilt, Boise State handed San Jose State an absolute bludgeoning in a 52 point loss. Derrick Alston had a huge game, Abu Kigab had a double-double, and nobody produced much of anything for San Jose State. There was no reason to believe game two would be close as the oddsmakers in vegas set the betting line at -27.5 for Boise State.
The score ended up being 87-86 in the game, with Boise State winning on an Kigab mid-range jumper with 14 seconds left, and then Emmanuel Akot had one of the best defensive stands you will EVER see on Richard Washington Jr.
— CoachBarsh (@CoachRjayBarsh) January 3, 2021
The first half of game two didn’t look great for SJSU, as they were down eight, but still within fighting distance. Then in the 2nd half, Jean Prioleau’s team was firing on all cylinders, Richard Washington was hitting threes, Nate Lacewell added a few buckets. And JUCO transfer Jalen Dalcourt in his first-ever division one basketball game, had 23 points with much of those coming in the first half, going 7-11 from the field, and was driving Derrick Alston Jr to the rack with intention and ease.
This was by far San Jose State’s best game of the season, and while it resulted in a loss, it’s something to build on. Losing Seneca Knight earlier this week was tough, but that gave Nate Lacewell and Jalen Dalcourt, and they look to be significant future program pieces with Richard Washington Jr. Defense still is an issue for SJSU, but they shot 50% from the floor and hit 14 threes in this game; if you fix some of the small things, this team will win some conference play games. Dalcourt can be one of the conference’s top scorers the rest of the way.
For Leon Rice, this is a much-needed win because this may have been a detrimental loss for their at-large tournament hopes. For an already not great resume, a loss to a sub-300 KenPom is an absolute must-win. Derrick Alston Jr was huge in the end stretch, Mladen Armus had a double-double, and Emmanuel Akot is one of the best defenders in the entire conference.
San Jose State has pieces. Jean Prioleau has found some guys that’ll be big for the program with Dalcourt, and Lacewell continues using them. And SJSU can wins games in this conference, something we weren’t sure about a few days ago.
Boise State is still a tremendous team, but if Alston can play a consistent 40 minutes, that would be huge for the Broncos. It seems like Alston has been big in one half or the other, not in both. Boise State is easily top two in the league.
San Jose State, now 1-6, plays Benedictine Mesa on Monday before starting a two-game set in Fresno against the Bulldogs on Thursday.
Boise State, now 8-1, heads home to play Joe Scott and the Air Force Academy in a two-game-set starting Wednesday.