Mens Hoops Losing Streak at Six and Counting...

Coach Phil Johnson on the UTEP loss: "We have to play mistake free. Allowing 24 points in the first half was a good effort. 56 points in the second half was an embarrassment."

Last Thursdays Loss at Boise Game Re-Cap: Jan 2nd, 2003.

Boise, Idaho – Around Boise State it's starting to be known as "BD-Time." Bryan Defares, a.k.a. "BD," has a knack for heroic endings, one of which he supplied Thursday night in Boise State's 58-56 win over San Jose State in the Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams at the BSU Pavilion.

Defares capped a night where the Broncos fell behind 15-2, making just one-of-nine shots to start the game, with a game-winning shot with two seconds to play. With the game tied at 56, the junior guard ran the clock down to seven seconds before he started to make his move.

Defares drove from the left side of the floor into the key, where he spun and made a seven-foot leaner over a pair of defenders to give the Broncos the lead.

San Jose State (3-7, 0-1) looked like they would supply the heroics. Boise State led 56-52 with 45 seconds to play, but Keith West made a pair of shots in an eight second span to tie the game with 37 seconds to play.

Defares' last second shot capped a big second half that saw him score 18 of his 20 points. Junior Booker Nabors added 17 points, on 7-of-10 shooting, while junior Aaron Haynes had six points, six rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and two steals off the bench for Boise State (7-4, 1-0 WAC).

"It's mostly about possessions. We wanted to keep our defense off the floor," said San Jose State coach Phil Johnson, who has not been happy with his team's defensive performance during the Spartans' losing streak.

Each of San Jose State's last three opponents shot better than 50 percent from the field in defeating the Spartans.

"We weren't expecting it. It caught us off guard and we couldn't make shots," said former Spartan assistant coach Greg Graham, who now is in his first season as head coach at Boise State. Graham was an assistant at San Jose State from 1985 through 1989. "We talked about keeping our poise. We did a good job of waiting them out."

Keith West led San Jose State with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting. Keith Everage added 11 points, while Brandon Hawkins chipped in 10 points for the Spartans who milked the shot clock down to 20 seconds before running their offense on nearly every possession.

"They got more aggressive with their man-to-man defense," added Johnson. "And we didn't play mistake-free down the stretch."

"I'm upset we didn't execute defensively (in the last minute) as we were taught."

And last nights loss at UTEP Game Re-Cap: Jan 4th, 2003.

"Big Second Half Carries UTEP Past San Jose State, 80-68".

UTEP scored 56 second-half points to erase a seven-point deficit, as the Miners beat San Jose State, 80-68, on Saturday night at the Don Haskins Center.

UTEP (3-8, 1-1 WAC) shot a blistering 68.2 percent in the second half in notching its first conference win of the season. The Miners outscored the Spartans 56-37 following the break to wipe away a 31-24 San Jose State lead.

UTEP opened the second half with a 16-2 run, and led 40-33 on a John Tofi layup with 12:41 to play.

San Jose State (3-8, 0-2 WAC) closed the gap to a point (49-48) on a jumper by Brandon Hawkins with 7:40 remaining, but the Miners upped their advantage to 10 points (68-58) on an Omar Duran jumper with 3:01 left, and weren't seriously threatened afterwards.

Duran had a career-high 19 points for UTEP, which had four players score in double figures. The Miners improved to 3-1 this season when four or more players score in double figures. Chris Craig added 16 points, Giovanni St. Amant 15 and Tofi 13. Justino Victoriano had nine points and a game-high 15 rebounds for UTEP.

The 56 points marked the 12th-most scored in a second half by the Miners.

"Our problems, first, were our inability to defend the drive and kick. Then they ran some double screens for Duran and we didn't do a good job of guarding the three-point line," said San Jose State coach Phil Johnson about the Spartans' defensive collapse in the second half. "For them to score 56 points says it all.

"We have to play mistake free. (Allowing) 24 points in the first half was a good effort. 56 points in the second half was an embarrassment."

Brandon Hawkins netted 28 points for the Spartans, who shot 39.4 percent for the game.

UTEP went to the line 38 times, making 30, as St. Amant was 11 for 12. The Spartans were 10 for 12 from the charity stripe.

"The game changed the first five minutes of the second half. They were aggressive and we weren't. Our inability to guard (Giovanni) St. Amant had a lot to do with it," the Spartan coach added about the UTEP guard who had 15 points and six assists.

"It was our best half of basketball. We attacked on every possession," said first-year UTEP coach Billy Gillispie.

Attendance in UTEP: An impressive 5,359 fans.

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