The game see-sawed in the second half as there were seven lead changes and four ties. With the Spartans holding a 34-31 lead with 13:49 to play, SJSU head coach Steve Barnes was ejected from the game after earning his second technical foul. Hawaii seemed to gain momentum, scoring five straight to take a two-point lead.
Hawkins made a steal but was whistled for a foul. Barnes protested and was hit with his second technical and thus ejected.
``Coach Springer calmed us down, got us going again, because at the time we were in kind of a funk,'' said David Granucci, who led all scorers with 17 points, including 10 in the second half.
But after the Spartans regained the lead on a Moises Alvarez 3-pointer, Hawaii answered with a lay-up by Burneika and a pair of Savovic free throws. The lead changed hands two more times before the Spartans went on a 7-0 run spurred by a Phil Calvert trey to take a 52-46 lead with 1:44 left.
The 'Bows closed to within two twice, but SJSU made their free throws down the stretch, connecting on 5-of-6 in the final minute. Hawkins and Andre Valentine combined to hit 5 of 6 free-throw attempts in this final minute to preserve the victory for SJSU!
David Granucci scored a career-high 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Spartans.
Four players for Hawaii scored in double figures, with guard Predrag Savovic and forwards Mindaugas Burneika and Phil Martin sharing team highs of 12 points each for Hawaii. Carl English added 11 points and a team-high five assists as the 'Bows recorded a season-low in points.
The 'Bows struggled from the floor, shooting a dismal 34 percent, including a 3-of-20 performance from 3-point range. Savovic finished 1-of-7 and English 2-of-7 from beyond the arc. But Hawaii was forced to take those shots as their big men were plagued in foul trouble for much of the game. Center Haim Shimonovich played just 13 minutes before fouling out late in the game.
The 'Bows scored the game's first nine points and later jumped out to a 13-4 lead. But after Martin's lay-up with 15:48 to play, Hawaii went cold as they missed its next 10 shots and were out-scored 11-1. In all, the 'Bows suffered through 11:10 without a field goal.
``San Jose State came out with heart,'' Hawaii Coach Riley Wallace said. ``They could have folded down the stretch, but they didn't.''