Spartans Can't Climb Back Against Wyoming

Jan. 18, 2017

Final Stats

San Jose, Calif. --- San José State entered Wednesday night’s tilt against Wyoming as the Mountain West leader in turnover margin. But 12 first-half turnovers hurt the Spartans most of all in their 80-70 loss to the Cowboys in MW play inside the Event Center.

San José State dug itself a hole in the opening 20 minutes with 12 turnovers while shooting 38.7 percent (12-31). Despite a game-high 19 points and 13 rebounds  from Brandon Clarke, the Spartans (9-8, 2-4 MW) were unable to come back from the tough start.

“We gave 12 turnovers away in the first half and that led to easy baskets for them,” said Spartans’ head coach Dave Wojcik. “We only had five turnovers in the second half and that’s when we made our run. Our turnovers were killing us tonight, especially in the first half. You can’t do that against good teams.”

Wyoming (13-6, 3-3 MW) hit 9-of-15 shots to begin the game, and an 11-0 run put the Cowboys ahead 26-12 at the 10:35 mark. Jordan Naughton hit all five of his field goal tries and scored 11 of his team-high 15 points in the first half.

Foul trouble has hurt the Spartans this season, and it did again against Wyoming when forwards Clarke and Brandon Mitchell each picked up two early fouls. Clarke only played 11 minutes in the first period and Mitchell was on the floor for five.



Clarke played every minute of the second period when he scored 12 points and grabbed 12 of his 13 rebounds.

Isaiah Nichols hit a pair of shots, Ryan Welage laid one in and then Nichols buried two from the line for an 8-0 San José State run which cut the lead down to 10, 59-49, with 13:34 left to play. Wyoming’s Luis Adams put it right back to 15 points with a layup and a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions.

SJSU got the deficit to less than 10 points three more times throughout the remainder of the half. Despite holding Wyoming to zero field goals in the final 6:58, the Spartans could never get closer than six points, 76-70, with 1:14 remaining.

Two turnovers by Clarke on the final Spartan possessions led to four consecutive free throws for Wyoming which put the game away.

Wyoming grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and had 21 second-chance points. The Spartans have yet to win in the rebounding category against a conference foe and were topped 41-35 by the Cowboys.

SJSU corrected the turnover problem in the second half, committing just five, but Wyoming scored 19 points on SJSU’s 17 turnovers for the game.

“They were more aggressive then we were,” said Wojcik. “They were more focused.  Dribbling the ball, shooting the ball, offensive rebounding. They looked like the more desperate team than us. 50-50 balls, loose balls, they got them and we were a step slower. I have to credit Wyoming.”

With the 19 points and 13 rebounds Clarke notched his fifth double-double of the year and led the team in scoring for the 10th time. Welage scored a conference-season high 14 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Adams with 14 points, and Jeremy Lieberman and Jason McManamen each with 10 points rounded out the double-figure scorers for Wyoming. It was just the second win of the season on the road for the Cowboys – the only one besides a 73-72 win at Montana on November 14.

San José State is back at it on Saturday against Boise State in a 2:00 p.m. (PT) tip inside The Event Center.

Newspaper Box Score

Wyoming vs San Jose State
1/18/17 7:00 PM at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
At San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)


WYOMING (13-6, 3-3 MW)
NAUGHTON, Jordan 7-9 1-2 15; ADAMS, Louis 6-8 1-2 14; MCMANAMEN, Jason 3-10
3-4 10; JAMES, Justin 3-10 4-5 10; LIEBERMAN, Jeremy 4-9 0-0 9; DALTON,
Hayden 2-4 2-2 6; Herndon, Alan 2-7 2-3 6; MOEMEKA, Andrew 2-2 0-0 4; AKA
GORSKI,Alexander 1-5 2-5 4; MARSHALL, Morris 1-2 0-0 2; KELLEY, Cody 0-1 0-0
0. Totals 31-67 15-23 80.

SAN JOSE STATE (9-8, 2-4 MW)
Clarke, Brandon 8-15 3-7 19; Welage, Ryan 6-15 1-2 14; Nichols, Isaiah 3-3
3-4 9; WILLIAMS, JR. GARY 4-9 0-0 8; Boyce, E.J. 2-5 3-3 8; Schwartz, Cody
2-2 0-0 6; Mitchell, Brandon 1-5 0-0 2; James, Jalen 1-6 0-1 2; HILLSMAN,
Jaycee 1-2 0-0 2; Thornton, Isaac 0-0 0-0 0; Brown, Terrell 0-0 0-0 0.
Totals 28-62 10-17 70.

Wyoming....................... 50 30 - 80
San Jose State................ 31 39 - 70

3-point goals--Wyoming 3-18 (LIEBERMAN, Jeremy 1-5; MCMANAMEN, Jason 1-5;
ADAMS, Louis 1-2; Herndon, Alan 0-1; AKA GORSKI,Alexander 0-3; DALTON,
Hayden 0-1; JAMES, Justin 0-1), San Jose State 4-19 (Schwartz, Cody 2-2;
Boyce, E.J. 1-4; Welage, Ryan 1-8; Mitchell, Brandon 0-1; James, Jalen 0-3;
WILLIAMS, JR. GARY 0-1). Fouled out--Wyoming-None, San Jose State-None.
Rebounds--Wyoming 41 (Herndon, Alan 6; DALTON, Hayden 6), San Jose State 35
(Clarke, Brandon 13). Assists--Wyoming 10 (AKA GORSKI,Alexander 4), San Jose
State 13 (WILLIAMS, JR. GARY 3). Total fouls--Wyoming 17, San Jose State 19.
Technical fouls--Wyoming-None, San Jose State-None. A-1468