While San Jose State came painfully close to winning its third WAC game of the season last week, in the end, the Spartans dropped a trio of close decisions and fell to 6-22 overall and 2-12 in the WAC.
"I'll say this, (San Jose State) deserved to win this ball game," Hawaii coach Riley Wallace said. "But I'm not going to give it to them, by any means. I'll take the win, trust me."
It was without debate the toughest loss of the season for San Jose State, especially considering it was the last home game of the season.
"It wasn't like he got a wide open look," said San Jose State coach George Nessman. "He had to extend his body up over the top of a defender who was right on him and fade backwards. That's a hard shot to make. You win a lot of games in 'horse' if you can make that shot consistently. I thought we did a heck of a job on Julian.
"He's (Sensley) a great player. Defensively, overall, we did a much better job this game than when we played them in Hawaii. In the second half of the first game, they got a lot of shots in transition and a lot of shots at the rim which they didn't get this game."
San Jose State led by as many as 11 in the first half and took a 33-28 advantage into the intermission.
SJSU notes and quotes:
--Unlike most teams, San Jose State has been better this season away from the friendly confines. The Spartans are 2-11 at home this winter and 4-11 elsewhere.
--San Jose State ranks last in the WAC with just 3.8 three-point field goals per game. That's also among the nation's lowest totals, too. For comparison, several teams are knocking down double-digit treys per game.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "(It) was a fun game. There was a lot of intensity from both sides. Selfishly, I would have liked it to go our way. Fresno State was anxious and sluggish to start the game. Then, they shook off the uncomfortable feeling of being on the road." -- San Jose State coach George Nessman on his team's 87-80 loss to Fresno State on Feb. 23.
SJSU roster report:
PLAYER ROTATION: Usual Starters -- G Devonte Thomas, G Carlton Spencer, G Alex Elam, F Demetrius Brown, F Menelik Barbary. Key Subs -- C Matt Misko, F Kevin Fleming, G Julian Richardson, G Jared Cozad, G Tyree Gardner.
GAME REVIEW: New Mexico State 66, San Jose State 61
Fresno State 87, San Jose State 80
Hawaii 61, San Jose State 60
at Nevada, Thursday, March 2.
at Utah State, Saturday, March 4.
WAC Tournament, at Nevada, March 9-11.
KEYS: The key for San Jose State, against to many the conference's two best teams, is draining some early three-pointers and taking the defensive pressure off the interior. The Spartans also need to create more offense. In the loss to New Mexico State, San Jose had a mind-numbing three assists and 19 turnovers.
--G Carlton Spencer, a 6-2 junior, poured in a team-high 22 points and added seven assists and five rebounds in the loss to Fresno State on Feb. 23.
--F Demetrius Brown, a 6-6 senior, had 20 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots in the Fresno loss. He also fouled out with 4:52 remaining.
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