Clutch Factor Puts Spartans Over UNLV, 76-72

Jan. 28, 2017

Final Stats |  USATSI Gallery 

San Jose, Calif. --- Ryan Welage found his stroke, freshmen guards Isaiah Nichols and Terrell Brown took the reins for the first time, and Brandon Clarke notched another double-double in San José State's 76-72 win over UNLV in Mountain West play inside The Event Center.
 
A number of big shots fell for the Spartans in a victory which gives San José State a 10-win season for the first time since 2010-11, and ends a three-game slide.
 
Any thought of Welage's poor shooting start to the conference season was forgotten when he hit perhaps his most clutch shot of the year, a 3-ball from the right wing which broke a 63-63 tie and put the Spartans ahead for good with 2:49 remaining. Welage finished with a conference-season high 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting.
 
After UNLV's Zion Morgan nailed a three to cut SJSU's lead to two, 70-68 with 1:11 left, Nichols banged a three of his own on SJSU's next trip down - which you might call his most clutch shot of the season.
 
Jovan Mooring's NBA-range 3-pointer with 21.4 second left brought UNLV back within two, 73-71, but that would be all as Jaycee Hillsman's two free throws with six seconds left made it a four-point game.

The Spartans (10-10, 3-6 MW) shot 57.1 percent (16-28) in the second half and were 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. For the game SJSU outrebounded the Rebels 36-31, for their first advantage on the glass over a conference opponent this season.
 
Clarke was was a big part of that with his career-high tying 15 boards, and he was in on the scoring action theough the entire half. First he helped the Spartans erase a 13-point deficit beginning with a layup with 18:30 left in the period which made it 40-29 UNLV lead and got momentum going for SJSU's eventual comeback. Clarke's and-one layup with 10:10 to play gave the Spartans their first lead since 17-16 midway through the first half.
 
Later, Clarke followed Welage's go-ahead 3-ball with a tip-in to make it 68-63. He grabbed his fifth offensive rebound and put it back to make it 70-65 Spartans lead with 1:23 left. He would finished with a game-high 23 points.
 
Terrell Brown played a season-high 38 minutes and his fellow freshman Nichols was his backcourt running mate for 25 minutes. Brown finished with a season-high 14 points, 10 of which came in the first half. Nichols hit all three of his shots from the field, two of which were critical 3-point baskets down the stretch of the second period - He finished with nine points.
 
Hillsman only hit one shot, but that one fell into the "big-shot" theme of the night. UNLV had trailed by five midway through the second half, but came back to take the lead again, 57-56, on two free throws by Cheickna Dembele. Hillsman made sure the Rebels lead was short lived when he took a pass from Brown and nailed a corner three that put the Spartans back ahead by two with 6:25 remaining.
 
Mooring led UNLV with 17 points. The Rebels leading scorer for the season Jaylen Poyser (12.5 ppg) had 13 points in the game but was held to 1-of-7 shooting. Uche Ofoegbu was another Rebel in double-figure scoring with 10 points.
 
After beating UNLV for the first time since 1996, the Spartans will have a mid-week bye before going for two in a row when they travel to The Pit to face New Mexico on February 4. 

Newspaper Box Score

UNLV vs San Jose State
1/28/17 2:00 PM at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
At San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)

SAN JOSE STATE 76, UNLV 72

UNLV (10-12, 3-6 MW)
MOORING, Jovan 4-11 7-8 17; POYSER, Jalen 1-7 11-13 13; OFOEGBU, Uche 4-8
0-0 10; JONES, Christian 3-8 2-2 8; MORGAN, Zion 3-7 0-0 7; DEMBELE,
Cheickna 2-5 2-2 6; GREEN, Tyrell 3-9 0-0 6; CLYBURN, Kris 1-4 2-2 5. Totals
21-59 24-27 72.

SAN JOSE STATE (10-10, 3-6 MW)
Clarke, Brandon 9-16 5-7 23; Welage, Ryan 8-14 2-2 19; Brown, Terrell 3-10
6-8 14; Nichols, Isaiah 3-3 1-2 9; Hillsman, Jaycee 1-4 4-4 7; James, Jalen
0-3 2-2 2; Thornton, Isaac 0-0 2-2 2; Schwartz, Cody 0-0 0-0 0; Boyce, E.J.
0-1 0-0 0; Mitchell, Brandon 0-1 0-1 0. Totals 24-52 22-28 76.

UNLV.......................... 36 36 - 72
San Jose State................ 27 49 - 76

3-point goals--UNLV 6-17 (OFOEGBU, Uche 2-4; MOORING, Jovan 2-4; MORGAN,
Zion 1-2; CLYBURN, Kris 1-3; GREEN, Tyrell 0-3; POYSER, Jalen 0-1), San Jose
State 6-15 (Brown, Terrell 2-6; Nichols, Isaiah 2-2; Hillsman, Jaycee 1-1;
Welage, Ryan 1-4; Boyce, E.J. 0-1; James, Jalen 0-1). Fouled out--UNLV-None,
San Jose State-BROWN, Terrell. Rebounds--UNLV 31 (JONES, Christian 8), San
Jose State 36 (Clarke, Brandon 15). Assists--UNLV 9 (MOORING, Jovan 4), San
Jose State 14 (Hillsman, Jaycee 5). Total fouls--UNLV 21, San Jose State 23.
Technical fouls--UNLV-OFOEGBU, Uche, San Jose State-None. A-2106