Spartan Basketball Playing WAC competitive.

Coach George Nessman states that 10 of the team's 12 conference games have come down to the final minute, but those final minutes have been troublesome. SJSU is 4-20 overall and 3-9 in the WAC. Nessman, however is continuing to mold this program from a perrenial loser to a competitive WAC team. Here is an update as to where the team currently stands, and the outlook for the remainder of the year.

San Jose State was a shot away from its first winning streak since early last season.

Alas, guard Carlton Spencer couldn't hit a last-second shot in the lane and the Spartans fell 65-64 to Boise State on Feb. 10 -- yet another close loss for SJSU.

"I saw the lane, I did a spin move, I thought I felt contact, but this is college basketball so who knows," said Spencer. "I thought it was going in. It seems like we can't get over that hump or get that extra basket we need at the end."

Coach George Nessman says 10 of the team's 12 conference games have come down to the final minute, but those final minutes have been troublesome. SJSU is 4-20 overall and 3-9 in the WAC.

"They all hurt in a different way," Spencer said.

The record doesn't show it, but progress is being made just by playing close games. Nessman, in his second season, has been steadfast in saying that the program is growing.

"We keep making strides that are indications of good growth, not only in terms of this season, but especially in terms of our program," he said. "We feel good about that."

--San Jose State hasn't had much success against Louisiana Tech since the Bulldogs joined the WAC, but the ball bounced its way last week.

The Spartans survived a potential game-tying three pointer by Chad McKenzie in a 53-50 victory over Tech on Feb. 8. It was only San Jose State's third victory over the Tech since it joined the league in 2001.

--San Jose State has lost five conference games by seven points or less. It doesn't help matters than the Spartans are last in the WAC in free throw shooting, hitting just 61.1 percent.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "They're a very good team and their record is probably one of the most deceiving in the country. They're starting to play better right now. They remind me a lot of New Mexico State. They are big, long and athletic." -- Boise State coach Greg Graham, on San Jose State.

Freshman G Kevin Buggs has started the past 12 games, although he is still playing limited minutes, averaging 15.8 in conference games. Buggs is scoring just 2.9 points per game in WAC games but is someone worth watching on the perimeter as he has hit 10 of 26 three-pointers (38.5 percent).

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, F Devonte Thomas.

GAME REVIEW:

Utah State 66, San Jose State 57

San Jose State 53, Louisiana Tech 50

Boise State 65, San Jose State 64

Nevada 68, San Jose State 60

GAME PREVIEW:

at Northern Arizona, Saturday, Feb. 17.

at Boise State, Thursday, Feb. 22.

KEYS: The Northern Arizona game begins a two-game road stretch for San Jose State, which is 1-14 away from home.

NAU enters the week at 13-11 and can really shoot the long ball.

Stephen Sir is one of the nation's foremost catch-and-shoot players, hitting 51.3 percent of his attempts from behind the arc (99 of 193).

ROSTER REPORT:

--Junior F Lance Holloway scored a career-high 12 points against Boise State on Feb. 10. He hit 6 of 8 shots, all of which came from inside the lane.

--C Menelik Barbary led the team in scoring (15 points) and rebounding (seven) against Boise State on Feb. 10, and he also had four blocks.

--G Jamon Hill, who scored a career-high 16 points against Idaho on Feb. 1, came close to that with 15 points against Louisiana Tech on Feb. 8. Hill is a junior college transfer.


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