SJSU trailed by 18 with 6:19 left before making the game uncomfortably close for the Aggies, who had to hit 6 of 10 free throws in the final minute to hold off the Spartans.
"The hallmark of our program is that we are not giving up, and we were never going to give up tonight," Nessman said. "We had to find a formula to attack, but it's hard to attack this team. Our conference is really good."
The Spartans have played enough close game in the WAC that no league foe should take them lightly.
"We play hard," said Nessman. "We got back into the game by being aggressive and I thought NMSU got a little tentative. But the Aggies have so many weapons and it's tough to stop them."
Once Nessman gets a few more weapons of his own, the victories will come.
San Jose State never wants a repeat of what happened in the first half against Hawaii.
The Spartans were 6 of 31 from the field, finishing the half with 15 points. They were 1 of 9 from behind the arc, and also just 2 of 5 on free throws.
"I thought their defense was excellent," SJSU coach George Nessman said of Hawaii.
"There's not much chance of winning a basketball game when you miss 24 of your first 27 shots. More than half of them were pretty good looks, we just didn't knock them down and it was game over."
Hawaii won 72-52 on Jan. 25.
--San Jose State is next-to-last in the WAC in home attendance, averaging 1,698 fans per game. Idaho is last at 1,419.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "San Jose State has good guards and they play hard. I don't think they are as bad as their record." -- New Mexico State G Shaun Davis.
With some injuries up front, F Lance Holloway has started the past four games and has played heavy minutes, averaging 34 per game.
PLAYER ROTATION: Usual Starters -- PG Carlton Spencer, SG Jamon Hill, G Kevin Buggs, F Lance Holloway, C Menelik Barbary. Key Subs -- F Tim Pierce, G Julian Richardson, F Kerry Wooldridge, G Darion Goins, PF Harry Brown, F Devonte Thomas.
Fresno State 67, San Jose State 64
Hawaii 72, San Jose State 52
New Mexico State 85, San Jose State 78
at Idaho, Thursday, Feb. 1.
at Utah State, Saturday, Feb. 3.
vs. Louisiana Tech, Thursday, Feb. 8.
KEYS: San Jose State and Idaho are in the midst of major rebuilding projects and are battling to avoid last place in the league. Both coaches seem pleased with the effort and improvement of their respective squads, and this first meeting of the season will show which team has come the furthest. San Jose State nearly knocked off Utah State in the first meeting, losing 57-56, when a 40-footer from Carlton Spencer bounced off the backboard and the rim at the buzzer. The challenge will be much greater in Logan, though.
--G Carlton Spencer played 40 minutes against a fast-paced New Mexico State team on Jan. 27, finishing with a team-high 22 points. He also tied a school record with six steals, as well as having six rebounds and four assists.
--G Jamon Hill bounced back a bit from an awful game at Hawaii (five points, 1 of 14 from the field) by scoring 12 points on 4 of 10 shooting vs. New Mexico State.
--Sophomore F Tim Pierce continues to be bothered by an ankle injury, playing just five minutes against New Mexico State.