Spartans' Win Clinches Spot in WAC Tourney

SJSU's 72-45 win over Fresno State assured the Spartans a spot in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament. Inside Sparta Associate Editor Chris Consorte reviews the game, and how it bodes for San Jose State's chances in the WAC tourney.

SJSU's teamwork in tonight's game showed how much they've grown as a team this season. Although, Adrian Oliver had an off game, his ability to be a team player allowed Mac Peterson and Chris Oaks to be stars in tonight's game. Peterson and Oaks developed a solid chemistry which was invaluable in the SJSU domination of Fresno State all through the first period.

Mac Peterson scored eight points and Robert Owens scored nine points. Other notable players were C.J. Webster and Justin Graham who scored four points each. C.J. Webster said that tonight's game was a, "team game. Everyone else picked it up."

Fresno State passed the ball well but was unable to make shots when they needed to. Their overall field shots were 25% in the first half. Fresno Coach Steve Cleveland said that, "we shot poorly and got casual defensively." The only bright spot for Fresno State was that, "players who didn't get a chance to play got to play," Cleveland said.

Towards the end of the first period, Oliver finally got on the board with three points which allowed SJSU to take a commanding 32-16 lead heading at the half.

In the second half, lead by Steven Shepp who had 12 overall points tonight, Fresno State began to come alive. Throughout the second period, he made several three point shots which gave Fresno a brief chance of hope. The score was 53-34 with 9:20 left to play. However, SJSU regained their intensity when Oliver began to recover his outstanding performance. In short, the SJSU teamwork was too much for Fresno to handle.

SJSU took a 61-40 lead and never looked back. The final score was 72 - 45. SJSU's victory tonight was the first time they held a team under 50 points since 2001. Tonight's win clinched a spot in the WAC tournament. SJSU Coach George Nessman said that his team, "brought hard effort". In his reaction to clinching a spot in WAC tournament, said that his team can, "beat any team in the conference".

Robert Owens, who scored 20 points overall, said he, "feels great to clinch spot [and plans on] working hard." Mac Peterson scored 16 points. C.J. Webster scored nine points and Justin Graham scored eight. Although Adrian Oliver had an off night, he still managed to score 12 points but it was his assists that were invaluable in the team's victory. This win should help the SJSU's confidence as they finish their last two games on the road versus Idaho and Boise State.

SJSU made 75% of their field shots where as Fresno made 50%. SJSU took advantage of Fresno's poor play which allowed them to cruise through much of the game. SJSU's victory was a symbol of a solid defensive effort, much different from their last home game versus Nevada. In that game, SJSU played their hearts out but nevertheless, they could not to stop Nevada's final push in the end. In tonight's victory, they stressed defense and it showed because Fresno was unable to generate anything offensively.

Overall, if SJSU plans on winning their last two games (as well as making any waves in the WAC tournament), Oliver must regain his stellar performance. Also, SJSU must play solid defense by closing opposing passing lanes. SJSU must gain as many rebounds as possible. If this happens, SJSU could go far in WAC tournament.

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Chris Consorte is an Associate Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Chris with any questions, comments, or tips at Chris@InsideSparta.com

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