Jan. 22, 2014
San José, Calif.----- Early in the second half, the San José State University men's basketball team came to life offensively as Jalen James made back-to-back baskets on driving lay-ins and Isaac Thornton followed up with one of his own.
In front of a crowd of 4,117, the largest at The Event Center in many years, #7-ranked San Diego State (17-1, 6-0 Mountain West) held just a five-point lead, 35-30 with 17:33 left in the game. Then, the Aztecs turned on the jets with a 32-2 explosion over the next 4:40 en route to a 75-50 victory over the Spartans.
"I talk to them every day about getting better. This was a great stage for them and a great opportunity. As I told them all, this is the reason why you came here," said San José State head coach Dave Wojcik.
"We came out and played hard. We came out strong. Then we hit a little wall. We just couldn't put it together. It's something we need to work on as a team and get better at," said James who finished with 10 points.
"San Diego State is known for pressing. We made a couple of mistakes in the second half, and they got easy baskets. Coach Wojcik told us he didn't want easy baskets. That's how they beat teams."
Neither team shot the ball well for any long period of time. The Aztecs picked up their 16th win in a row making only 39.3 percent of their field goals. San José State (6-13, 0-7 Mountain West) made just six field goals in the first half and finished the game with a 33.3 shooting percentage.
"They're a very good team. I called one timeout during that stretch, but I wanted my guys to play through it, experience it a little bit and have that bad taste in their mouth for down the road," added the Spartans head coach who changed up the starting lineup with 7-foot freshman making his first start of the season in place of Chris Cunningham and Thornton starting a game for the first time in conference play. Thornton was 1-of-2 from the field before fouling out. Pollard pulled down four rebounds before leaving the game with five fouls in 14 minutes of action.
"We have to learn from our mistakes. We have to see what we were doing to get in that position and learn from what we did wrong to let the game get out of hand. We have to learn how to take care of the ball more than we we've been doing and we will make progress," James said.
Xavier Thames was one of four San Diego State starters to score in double figures with a game-high 15. Josh Davis chipped in with 10 points and 12 rebounds as the longer Aztecs out-rebounded the Spartans, 46-36.
Devante Wilson led the Spartans in scoring with 14. After struggling with his shot for a four-game stretch that included the Colorado State and New Mexico, Wilson is 9-for-16 from the field in the last two games.
San José State's next opportunity for its first Mountain West win is Saturday, January 25, at Boise State in a 4:00 p.m. (MT) game.
San Diego State vs San José State
01/22/14 7:02 p.m. at San José, Calif. (The Event Center)
SAN DIEGO STATE 75, SAN JOSÉ STATE 50
SAN DIEGO STATE (17-1, 6-0 MW)
THAMES, Xavier 4-10 6-8 15; SHEPARD, Winston 3-12 6-8 12; SPENCER, Skylar 4-4 4-6 12; DAVIS, Josh 3-8 4-7 10; POLEE II, Dwayne 3-7 2-2 9; QUINN, Aqeel 1-3 2-3 4; ALLEN, Dakarai 2-6 0-2 4; O'BRIEN, JJ 2-3 0-1 4; SHRIGLEY, Matt 2-8 0-0 4; WILLIAMS, D'Erryl 0-0 1-2 1; JOHNSON, James 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-61 25-39 75.
SAN JOSÉ STATE (6-13, 0-7 MW)
Wilson, Devante 5-8 2-3 14; James, Jalen 5-12 0-0 10; Brown, D.J. 2-4 2-4 7; Williams, Jaleel 2-12 0-1 5; Muhammad, Rashad 1-7 2-2 5; Mitchell, Brandon 1-1 2-2 4; Cunningham, Chris 1-5 1-3 3; Thornton, Isaac 1-2 0-2 2; Pollard, Matt 0-3 0-0 0; Alexander, Dylan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-54 9-17 50.
San Diego State............... 29 46 - 75
San José State................ 19 31 - 50
3-point goals--San Diego State 2-13 (THAMES, Xavier 1-4; POLEE II, Dwayne 1-3; QUINN, Aqeel 0-1; SHRIGLEY, Matt 0-4; SHEPARD, Winston 0-1), San José State 5-19 (Wilson, Devante 2-5; Williams, Jaleel 1-5; Brown, D.J. 1-2; Muhammad, Rashad 1-5; James, Jalen 0-2). Fouled out--San Diego State-None, San José State-POLLARD, Matt; Thornton, Isaac. Rebounds--San Diego State 46 (DAVIS, Josh 12), San José State 36 (Cunningham, Chris 6). Assists--San Diego State 10 (SHEPARD, Winston 6), San José State 6 (James, Jalen 2; Brown, D.J. 2). Total fouls--San Diego State 21, San José State 26. Technical fouls--San Diego State-None, San José State-None. A-4117.
1st Half 7:51 Flagrant Foul on SJSU #15.