San Jose, Calif. --- There were three different times in the first half when the San José State men's basketball team trailed rival Fresno State by 15 points. While the Spartans were down, they were never out and Gary Williams, Jr. matched a career-high with 18 points fueling the Spartans to a 69-62 win over the Bulldogs inside The Event Center.
The result makes it consecutive San José State victories over Fresno State for the first time since 2009. SJSU held the Bulldogs to a season-low 62 points and forced them to commit a Mountain West season-high matching 23 turnovers.
Williams made his fifth start of the year - his first since December 7 at Montana - and went 11-of-12 from the free throw line helping the Spartans (8-6, 1-2 MW) convert 20-of-24 as a team. All of the senior guard's free throws came in the second half and he nailed 3-of-4 in the final 16.3 seconds to secure the win.
Karachi Edo's layup with 3:53 remaining in the game gave Fresno State a 61-56 lead. That was wiped out by five straight points for the Spartans on two physical Brandon Clarke layups and a free throw by Brandon Mitchell sandwiched in between.
A Cullen Russo free throw at the 1:02 mark gave the Bulldog's their last lead of the game, 62-61. With 21 seconds left Jalen James drove down the right side and drained a stop-and-pop 10-foot jumper from the baseline to make it 63-62 Spartans lead. On the ensuing Fresno State possession it was James who planted in front of Bulldogs' season-scoring leader Paul Watson for the charge.
Consecutive technical fouls within two seconds of game-time on Fresno State head coach Rodney Terry sent Williams to the line for four attempts where the game was iced.
It was a sloppy game overall, but especially in the first half when the two teams combined for 21 turnovers. SJSU trailed at the break, 37-29.
The Spartans started the second period on a roll with a jumper by James, a Ryan Welage 3-point basket and four straight free throws by Williams. Welage cashed another one from downtown which tied the game, 41-41, at the 17:06 mark. SJSU went ahead for the first time in the contest when Cody Schwartz banged a three on the next possession.
Clarke scored 15 points and James finished with 12 points and team-highs of six rebounds and four assists. Bulldogs forward Karachi Edo led all players with 20 points and eight rebounds. Fresno State (10-6, 2-2 MW) failed to make field goal in the final 3:54 of the game. Russo was the only other Bulldog to score in double-figures with 11 points.
The Spartans came away with the win despite 19 turnovers and being outrebounded 35-25.
San José State will take the win into a road trip next week which begins on Tuesday night at San Diego State for an 8:00 p.m. (PT) on ESPN U.
Newspaper Box Score
Fresno State vs San Jose State
1/7/17 2:00 PM at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
At San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
SAN JOSE STATE 69, FRESNO STATE 62
FRESNO STATE (10-6, 2-2 MW)
EDO, Karachi 10-13 0-2 20; RUSSO, Cullen 4-10 2-4 11; HOPKINS, Jaron 3-13
3-4 9; TAYLOR, Deshon 3-4 0-0 8; TAYLOR, Jahmel 2-8 2-2 6; WATSON, Paul 3-6
0-0 6; WILLIAMS, Bryson 0-0 2-2 2; CARTER II, Terrell 0-1 0-0 0; BITTNER,
Sam 0-0 0-0 0; MCWILLIAMS, Johnny 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-55 9-14 62.
SAN JOSE STATE (8-6, 1-2 MW)
WILLIAMS, JR. GARY 3-8 11-12 18; Clarke, Brandon 6-11 3-4 15; James, Jalen
5-8 0-0 12; Welage, Ryan 2-6 2-2 8; Schwartz, Cody 2-5 0-0 6; MITCHELL,
Brandon 1-3 2-4 4; Nichols, Isaiah 1-4 2-2 4; Thornton, Isaac 1-3 0-0 2;
Chastain, Ashtin 0-0 0-0 0; Hillsman, Jaycee 0-0 0-0 0; Boyce, E.J. 0-1 0-0
0. Totals 21-49 20-24 69.
Fresno State.................. 37 25 - 62
San Jose State................ 29 40 - 69
3-point goals--Fresno State 3-11 (TAYLOR, Deshon 2-3; RUSSO, Cullen 1-3;
TAYLOR, Jahmel 0-3; WATSON, Paul 0-2), San Jose State 7-16 (Schwartz, Cody
2-5; Welage, Ryan 2-5; James, Jalen 2-2; WILLIAMS, JR. GARY 1-2; Boyce, E.J.
0-1; Mitchell, Brandon 0-1). Fouled out--Fresno State-None, San Jose
State-None. Rebounds--Fresno State 35 (EDO, Karachi 8; HOPKINS, Jaron 8),
San Jose State 25 (James, Jalen 6). Assists--Fresno State 16 (HOPKINS, Jaron
8), San Jose State 12 (James, Jalen 4). Total fouls--Fresno State 22, San
Jose State 16. Technical fouls--Fresno State-TEAM 2, San Jose State-TEAM.
FSU Head Coach Rodney Terry ejected at :13 seconds in 2h