SJS scored a season-high 43 points in the first 20 minutes, and with a 22-point halftime lead, the Spartans held on for one of it's elusive victories!
Center Marion Thurmond scored 16 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, blocked four shots and was credited with three steals to lead the Spartans.
Brandon Hawkins scored 11 of his points in the second half to help the Spartans hold off a second half rally by the Miners, who were down by 22 points at halftime. Their first half total was the Spartans' season high for points in any half so far this season.
San Jose State built a 37-22 lead and went into halftime ahead, 43-21.
"Coach (Barnes), he knew it was a big concern for us. He harped on it. We wanted to come out with some intensity on the defensive end and our shots fell for us – for the whole team," said Thurmond, who posted his third "double-double" of the season.
However, San Jose State (7-15, 2-8) was held scoreless through the first six minutes of the second half by Texas-El Paso (9-13, 3-7), which scored 13 unanswered points after the intermission to get back into the game.
The Spartans' first half dominance was keyed by center Marion Thurmond's 13 points in the first half.
"We came out tentative (in the second half). We wanted to do well, but we came out tentative," said San Jose State coach Steve Barnes. "Sometimes when your offense isn't going well, it affects your defense, but we didn't cave in."
The Miners closed to within 3 points of the lead at 65-62 on Nick Enzweiler's 3-point basket with 7 seconds remaining.
Andre Valentine's 2 free throws with 4 seconds remaining secured the Spartans' win. Thurmond led all rebounders in the game with 10 to go with his 16 points. Valentine added 11 points and Moises Alvarez had 10.
"This was a win we deserved. We worked hard for it," added Thurmond, who will be back on The Event Center floor Saturday night when the Spartans take on Boise State in an 8:00 p.m. contest.
Roy Smallwood, with 20 points and 8 rebounds, led the way for the Miners, who have lost all 8 of their road games so far this season. Texas-El Paso connected on 60 percent (18 of 30) of its shots in the second half after making only 32 percent (9 of 28) in the first period.