Fort Collins, Colo. --- The San José State men’s basketball team had no answer for Colorado State’s Gian Clavell in the second half and the Spartans suffered an 81-72 loss to the Rams on the road in Mountain West play.
Clavell scored 17 of his game-high 24 points in the final 20 minutes, helping Colorado State (13-8, 5-3 MW) jump out to a lead as large as 15 points during that span.
Heading into halftime trailing 33-29, San José State’s leading scorer Brandon Clarke was limited to just four points and three rebounds. He would end up matching Clavell with 24 points after battling to balance out the CSU guard’s production during the second half.
Clavell and backcourt running mate Prentiss Nixon combined to score the Rams’ first 16 points of the second half, building a 50-37 lead by the 11:51 mark. Then Clarke went to work on the offensive end, scoring 10 straight points for the Spartans.
But SJSU had no answer on the other end of the floor. Clavell hit two more field goals and Nixon buried a 3-pointer that gave Colorado State a 15-point, 57-42, lead.
The two teams fought through a close first half with good pace. Jalen James hit a 3-ball and Clarke made a layup on back-to-back possessions which gave SJSU a 19-17 advantage at the 8:22 mark. Jaycee Hillsman connected on a jumper putting the Spartans ahead 27-24 with 4:28 left, and that would be their last lead of the game.
Cody Schwartz hit a three with 1:43 left and Clarke hit a couple of late free throws to make it 71-65 with 1:12 left to play. Ryan Welage’s free throws with 22 seconds left made it 77-72, but that would be all.
Clavell grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds to go along with his 24 points for a double-double. Emmanuel Omogbo also notched a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Nixon finished with 17 points while J.D. Paige and Nico Carvacho each scored 10.
It was Clarke’s fourth 20-point effort in the last five games and he notched his sixth double-double of the year. He made 9-of-15 field goal attempts extending his streak of shooting over 50 percent to 12 games. Terrell Brown with 13 points and Schwartz with 12 points were the other double-figure scorers for San José State.
San José State returns home to face UNLV inside The Event Center on January 28 for a 2:00 p.m. (PT) tip.
San Jose State vs Colorado State
COLORADO STATE 81, SAN JOSE STATE 72
SAN JOSE STATE (9-10,2-6 MW)
COLORADO STATE (13-8, 5-3 MW)
San Jose State................ 29 43 - 72