Trailing 53-44, the Mustangs scored 18 straight points to pull ahead 62-53 and never looked back. The stretch was part of a 25-3 run that helped lead SMU to its sixth win in the last eight games.
Down 40-30 at the half, SMU Head Coach Mike Dement inserted sophomore guard Bobby Aiktenhead into the lineup to start the second stanza and the Guatemala City, Guatemala native responded by injecting some much-needed energy into the Ponies.
The walk-on scored five points and added a steal and an assist in just six minutes of play in leading the Mustangs back for the win.
"I thought Bobby was the best player on the floor for us tonight," said Dement. "He attacked from the time we put him on the floor and he gave us a real lift off the bench."
SMU dominated the second period, shooting 64.5 percent on 20-of-31 marksmanship while limiting San Jose to nine field goals on 26 attempts and outrebounding San Jose 21-13.
Defensively, SMU recorded a team- and Moody Coliseum-record 13 blocks, led by Justin Isham's four rejections. On the offensive end, the Ponies were led by Quinton Ross and Bryan Hopkins with 20 points a piece, while Patrick Simpson and Eric Castro each added 14 points and nine boards.
"We played a very good first half. We had a hard time rebounding and being physical in the second half. It was like dying a slow death," said San Jose State coach Phil Johnson, whose team is winless on the road in five conference games. The SMU loss marked the third time that the Spartans had at least a seven-point halftime lead without producing a victory.
"They took some difficult shots and would get the rebound. We gave up too many easy baskets on put-backs."
Spartan forward Antonio Lawrence led all players with season bests of 24 points and 13 rebounds.
"We lost our intensity and didn't play as a team," said Lawrence about the team's second-half failures.
San Jose State returns to action Saturday at Louisiana Tech in a 7:00 p.m. (CDT) game.
In Spartan Womens action:
SAN JOSE, Calif.— At one point in the first half, the San Jose State University women's basketball team led by 16 points, but were unable to contain visiting Southern Methodist in a 61-58 loss in a Western Athletic Conference match-up at The Event Center on Thursday night. In the game three Spartans, juniors Cricket Williams, Teoma Taylor and Tatiana Taylor recorded double-doubles.
The Spartans (8-11, 4-6 WAC) took control of the game early, outscoring the Mustangs (12-8, 6-4 WAC) 21-9 in the first 10 minutes of play. San Jose State went on a 20-4 tear to open the game, but lost its steam in latter part of the half.
Taking advantage of a stagnant Spartan offense, SMU went on an 18-6 run to pull the team within four points with 3:55 left in the period. San Jose State would make one last charge before the break, but SMU scored the last five points to trail, 32-29, at the half.
Both teams battled back-and-forth in the second frame, with SMU taking its first lead of the game, 34-33, at the 17:41 mark. The Spartans edged back, using a 14-4 run over the next 6:24 to build the lead back up to nine.
The Spartans were unable to score in the last 6:36 of the game. With a 58-49 lead, San Jose State missed its final eight shots, while SMU was able to pull ahead and retain the lead for the remainder of the game.
It was just the second loss of the season at home for the Spartans and the first conference loss at home this year.
It also marked the first time this season three Spartans were able to record double-doubles. Williams had a game-high 25 points and tied a season-high mark with 12 assists. Tatiana Taylor had 12 points and 12 rebounds, while her sister, Teoma, had 12 points and 10 rebounds. It is Williams' and Tatiana Taylor's fourth double-double of the season and Teoma Taylor's second.
Andrea Cossey led SMU with 15 points. Kaci Alexander had 11 points, four rebounds and four assists. Shanta Ramdhanny recorded 10 points. Sarah Davis led the team with nine rebounds.
The Spartans continue Western Athletic Conference play at home hosting No. 9 Louisiana Tech on Saturday, February 8, at The Event Center with a 7:00 p.m. (PST) tip off. The Spartans will host Hawaii next Sunday, February 16 at 2:00 p.m. (PST), also at The Event Center.