Spartans Claim to be Pushovers No More.

The Spartans are serving notice to the WAC that they will not be pushed around anymore. San Jose State upset Fresno State 64-61 on Jan 13th and then had a week to take aim at Utah State, another team expected to be among the best in the WAC. And the Spartans took the last shot, rallying with a game-ending 13-4 run. They trailed 57-56 in the final seconds, but Julian Richardson traveled to seal it.

The Spartans are serving notice that they won't necessarily be pushovers anymore.

At least at home.

San Jose State upset Fresno State 64-61 on Jan. 13 and then had a week to take aim at Utah State, another team expected to be among the best in the WAC.

This time, the Spartans took the game down to the last shot, rallying with a game-ending 13-4 run. They trailed 57-56 in the final seconds, but Julian Richardson was called for traveling with six seconds left.

Utah State's Chaz Spicer, fouled with 4.6 seconds left, missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity. Carlton Spencer got the rebounder and was able to launch a 40-footer at the buzzer that looked like it had an excellent chance of going in.

It hit off the backboard, the front rim and then, after a high bounce, fell to the ground.

"From where I was down on the floor, and I had a pretty good view of it, I thought it was going to teeter back in," SJSU coach George Nessman was quoted as saying in the San Jose Mercury News. "That's kind of where we are as a program. We need the ball to teeter right, and it teeters left."

The loss left the Spartans at 2-15 overall and 1-4 in the WAC.

The return of guard Carlton Spencer has given the Spartans a boost.

The returning starter from last season wasn't eligible until mid-December, but he has started all seven games since, scoring in double figures each time. Spencer averages a team-high 15.9 points per game.

"(Spencer) has continued where he left off last year," coach George Nessman said. "He was so busy in the fall getting back to become eligible, but he has come back at a high level. He brings a lot of confidence to our players."

Spencer also has 27 assists through seven games.

--San Jose State is last in the WAC in scoring defense, allowing 74.6 points per game.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I like the way we played, but I wish the end result would have been different. Utah State is a savvy team. They found a way to beat us, and I respect the heck out of them." -- San Jose State coach George Nessman, after a 57-56 loss to Utah State on Jan. 20.

Only one Spartan has started every game, that being guard Jamon Hill, who is averaging 9.4 points. The shooting guard isn't hitting at a high percentage, though, making just 31.6 percent of his three-pointers (25 of 79).

PLAYER ROTATION: Usual Starters -- PG Carlton Spencer, SG Jamon Hill, G Kevin Buggs, F Devonte Thomas, C Menelik Barbary. Key Subs -- F Tim Pierce, G Julian Richardson, F Kerry Wooldridge, G Darion Goins, PF Harry Brown, F Lance Holloway.

GAME REVIEW:

Nevada 72, San Jose State 62

San Jose State 64, Fresno State 61

Utah State 57, San Jose State 56

GAME PREVIEW:

at Fresno State, Monday, Jan. 22.

at Hawaii, Thursday, Jan. 25.

vs. New Mexico State, Saturday, Jan. 27.

KEYS: After playing well at home, San Jose State enters a difficult stretch. Fresno State will be out for revenge after losing in San Jose 64-61, and playing at Hawaii is one of the toughest assignments in the league. And, of course, having to face New Mexico State and all its athleticism is no fun, no matter where the game is. San Jose State feels it is close to getting over the hump, but these three games will test that theory.

ROSTER REPORT:

--C Menelik Barbary hit 7 of 9 shots against Utah State on Jan. 20, scoring a team-high 16 points.

--Sophomore F Tim Pierce, who had missed the previous two games because of an ankle injury, returned against Utah State on Jan. 20, although he played just six minutes. He went scoreless.

--Backup G Kevin Buggs, a freshman, scored eight points against Utah State, which was his season-high for a conference game.

(Credit: FOX Sports)


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