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Men's basketball drops WAC opener to Utah State, 67-56
Courtesy: San Jose State Athletics
San Jose, Calif.-----Despite four players in double-figure scoring, the San Jose State University men's basketball team lost a 67-56 decision to Utah State University in its 2005-06 Western Athletic Conference opener at The Event Center on Thursday, January 5.
San Jose State's fifth straight loss drops its record to 4-10 overall and 0-1 in the WAC. Utah State improves to 9-3 overall, 1-1 in league play.
SPARTANS TRAIL FOR MOST OF FIRST
Nate Harris, the Aggie senior forward named WAC "Player of the Week" on January 3, had 15 points, including nine of the first 13 for the visitors. Barbary produced a personal scoring run of five straight points late in the period to pull San Jose State to within one at 15-14, before Utah State settled on an eight-point halftime advantage, 34-28.
RUN FALLS SHORT
Harris picked up in the second half where he left off in the first, registering the first four Aggie points coming out of the locker room in helping Utah State to a 40-29 lead. San Jose State answered with an 11-4 run to close back to within 44-40, with five points coming from senior leader Alex Elam. Utah State scored the next seven points of the game, however, to go up 51-40 with just over 10 minutes left.
"We were gaining confidence and starting to feel like we could come back," said Tyree Gardner, who scored the bucket to make it a 44-40 game. "It was a big shot. The momentum was changing. They came right back and scored, and that hurt us. We needed a big stop or a big basket, to really get the crowd involved, and we would make a mistake and hurt us."
Utah State eventually extended to its largest lead of the night at 63-48 at the 4:50 mark. The Spartans could get no closer than nine the rest of the way.
"They did some good things defensively (in the first half in particular)," said Utah State head coach Stew Morrill. "We were moving like (we were) in the mud, which is a credit to them. Fortunately in the second half, we got it going a little bit, and made some fairly tough shots. We got a couple of open looks but we also made some tough shots. We got it to a comfortable margin down the stretch, which is nice on the road."
Harris finished with a game-high 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field, while also grabbing a team-high nine rebounds. Jaycee Carroll added 15 points, with 12 coming after the break.
"Nate Harris abused us inside, and that was the deciding factor tonight," said San Jose State head coach George Nessman.
BARBARY TIES SCHOOL RECORD
Barbary had 13 points for San Jose State, as did Demetrius Brown. Elam and Tyree Gardner were also in double digits with 12 and a season-high 10 points, respectively. Barbary pulled down a game-high 11 boards for his third double-double as a Spartan, and tied a school record with a game-high six blocked shots. Brown provided six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a game-high four steals in addition to his scoring.
"Utah State is an outstanding team and a great program," remarked Nessman. "Our guys certainly didn't play a bad game. Utah State just played better. They finished better around the basket. We gave them too many easy looks. They will be a team to contend with (in the WAC)."
The Spartans as a team tied an Event Center record with nine blocks. Utah State outshot San Jose State, 47.6 percent to 39.3, with its bench outscoring that of the home side, 13-1. The Aggies had 20 assists in the game.
"We've had a number of nights (this season), where we had trouble finishing around the basket," Nessman added. "(Utah State) converted more chances than we did. Right now, they are a better team than we are."
San Jose State returns to the court on Saturday, January 7, hosting the University of Nevada in more WAC action. Tip-off at The Event Center is set for 3:00 p.m., with Comcast SportsNet providing live television coverage.
Utah State (67) Harris 11-17 2-5 24; Peterson 1-5 0-0 3; Matheus 4-7 0-0 8; Pak 2-8 0-0 4; Carroll 6-12 2-2 15; Sessions 2-3 0-0 4; Huber 0-1 0-0 0; Hammer 0-0 0-0 0; Spicer 4-10 1-2 9; Bendall 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-63 5-9 67.
San Jose State (56) Elam 5-11 1-1 12; Brown 6-17 1-1 13; Barbary 6-11 1-3 13; Gardner 4-6 0-0 10; Spencer 1-5 5-10 7; Richardson 0-0 0-0 0; Cozad 0-0 1-2 1; Thomas 0-1 0-0 0; J. Smith 0-1 0-0 0; Fleming 0-2 0-0 0; Misko 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 22-56 9-17 56.
Halftime score – Utah State 34, San Jose State 26. Three-point field goals – Utah State 2-13 (Carroll 1-3, Peterson 1-4, Harris 0-1, Huber 0-1, Pak 0-4), San Jose State 3-9 (Gardner 2-3, Elam 1-4, Brown 0-1, Spencer 0-1). Rebounds – Utah State 39 (Harris 9), San Jose State 34 (Barbary 11). Assists – Utah State 20 (Huber 5), San Jose State 8 (Spencer 3). Total fouls – Utah State 16, San Jose State 12. Fouled out – none. Technical fouls – none. Attendance – 1,042.
Spartans rope Aggies 63-51
Courtesy: San Jose State Athletics
Logan, Utah---The San Jose State women's basketball team improved to 4-6 by defeating the Utah State Aggies 63-51 in Logan, Utah.
The Spartans are now 1-0 in Western Athletic Conference and got their first win since defeating Colorado State Dec. 10.
The Spartans were lead by freshman guard Natalie White who came off the bench to lead all scorers with a season-high 21 points, including four three-pointers. The Spartans had two other players score in double-figures, with senior forward Lamisha Augustine scoring 14 and junior guard Brittany Imaku pouring in a season-high 13 of her own. Augustine has scored in double figures in all of the Spartans' games this season.
"It was a very much-needed win for both teams," head coach Janice Richard said. "Our veterans really stepped up tonight."
It was uncertain whether as to whether Imaku would play because of a fracture sustained in her left foot, but she started the game and added seven assists and six steals to her 13 points in 33 minutes of play.
"This team has made a big turn, in terms of other players stepping up," Imaku said. "I wanted to do everything I could to help us get the win."
Richard said it was critical to have Imaku in the game.
"She came in and made the biggest difference," Richard said. "She's our leader on the floor."
The Spartans got out to a 22-10 lead at 6:40 in the first half when Augustine made a jumper. The Aggies came back and went on a 7-0 run, making it 22-17 at 3:42. They got as close as 23-22 at 1:21, but the Spartans maintained a 25-22 lead going into the lockerroom.
The Aggies came out firing in the second half. They got their first lead of the game at 19:17 when Jenny Gross made a layup to make it 26-25. Gross was the Aggies' leading scorer with 12 points.
The game stayed close, with neither team getting ahead by more than five, until Imaku made a layup with 3:35 remaining in the game to make it 50-43. White hit her fourth three-pointer of the night at 2:34 to all but assure the Spartans the victory.
"I know we'll face a lot of zone defense this year," Richard said. "And in situations like that, we need Natalie to hit big shots and she did what we've asked her to do."
"I was just glad to be able to contribute and help get the win now that the conference season has started," White said.
Several Spartans also had big defensive games. Sophomore forward Amber Jackson led all players with 13 rebounds and was a point short of another double-double. Augustine finished the evening with five blocks. Senior guard Anetero Uiagalelei also added five steals of her own to go with five assists.
The Spartans continue WAC action on the road when they take on Nevada Saturday, January 7, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. PST in Reno, Nevada.
San Jose State (63) Uiagalelei 0-6 1-2 1; Augustine 6-18 2-3 14; Jackson 3-8 3-4 9; Imaku 5-10 0-0 13; Fields 0-1 0-0 0; White 6-15 5-5 21; Barnes 0-2 0-0 0; Hall, A 2-4 1-1 5; Hicks 0-1 0-0 0; Hall, J 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-65 12-15 63.
Utah State (51) Gross 6-7 0-0 12; Hagen 1-6 0-0 3; Marchant 1-2 2-3 4; Richards 0-3 0-0 0; Brox 0-3 1-3 1; Rutledge 3-8 0-0 8; Snelgro 0-3 2-2 2; Torp 0-1 0-0 0; Tressler 3-5 0-0 8; Freeze 3-9 0-0 7; Freeman 3-4 0-2 6; Totals: 20-53 5-10 51
Halftime score - San Jose State 25, Utah State 22. Three-point field goals –San Jose State 7-24 (Uiagalelei 0-5, Augustine 0-1, White 4-11, Barnes 0-1, Imaku 3-5), Utah State 6-21 (Hagen 1-5, Richards 0-2, Rutledge 2-5, Snelgro 0-1, Tressler 2-3, Freeze 1-5) Rebounds San Jose State 33 (Jackson 13), Utah State 41 (Freeman 8). Assists – San Jose State 17 (Imaku 7), Utah State 17 (Brox 7). Total fouls – San Jose State 14, Utah State, 14 Fouled out - None. Technical fouls – Utah State (Brox, Camille) Attendance - 270.