Spartans Start Slow, Finish Strong, Win 78-50

The Spartans men's basketball team started off sluggish in the first half, but came out roaring in the second to win its exhibition game against Notre Dame De Naur 78-50 at the Events Center at San Jose State. Junior guard James Kinney led all Spartans scorers with 16 points. SJSU had four players in double figures.

San Jose State went into the locker room at halftime leading Notre Dame De Namur by 10 points, 29-19. The Spartans shot only 39 percent from the floor in the first half.

They came out in the second half with all cylinders firing, scoring 49 points in the second stanza to win 78-50.

"Notre Dame did exactly what we expected, they came to play," SJSU head coach George Nessman said after the game. "Early I think we were just a little tight, it was the first time under the lights and we couldn't get a rhythm."

James Kinney led the Spartans scoring attack with 16 points. Sophomore guard Keith Shamburger followed with 12 points on the night. In all there were four Spartans in double figures. Senior forward Will Carter had 11 points and senior guard Chip Douglas had 10. Carter had 12 rebounds, tops in the game.

SJSU shot 39.7 percent from the floor, including eight from the beyond 3-point-line. The Spartans never trailed in the game.

"I liked the way we responded in the second half, Nessman said. "In the locker room we said 'just keep grinding.' We'll find a place where we'll get some separation."

Senior guard Tyler Fricke led the Argonauts with 14 points. Notre Dame De Namur shot a measly 28 percent from the floor.

"We have a lot of things to work on," Nessman said. "But that's the way it is in November, that's how it works." Some of the things Nessman pointed out that needed improvement were the way in which the offense moved the ball. He also pointed out the he'll be looking for the team to do better in the post game.

"Obviously there is a lot of room for improvement," Carter said. "I think that's normal for the first game."

On the positive side, Nessman said he was really happy with the play of Joe Henson, and that Kinney's performance was expected, and that people will begin to notice that he's a really good player. He also talked about the team overall.

"I thought our effort was really hot," Nessman said. "We dove on the floor a lot and we took a lot of charges. We played with a lot of what we call intensity of movement, which is very important to us."

Nessman also praised the guys coming off the bench and added that he feels that will be a strength for the Spartans throughout the season.

"In the second half we came out more relaxed," Kinney said. "We played with more togetherness and everything just started clicking for us."

San Jose State opens the regular season Nov. 12 on the road against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Gametime is 2:00 p.m.

Don Hoekwater is the Publisher of Inside Sparta. You are welcome to contact Don with any questions or suggestions at

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