Comeback Overtime Win For Men's Hoops Over Air Force

Isaac Thornton matched his career scoring high with 17 points, all coming in the second half.
Feb. 18, 2017

Final Stats

San Jose, Calif. ---  Isaac Thornton matched his career scoring high with 17 points, all in the second half, and San José State overcame a 13-point deficit for an 83-78 overtime win against Air Force in Mountain West play.
 
The comeback win was the Spartans' fourth time this season overcoming a deficit of 10 or more points and their first overtime win since defeating UC Davis, 89-85 in triple overtime on December 18, 2013.
 
Like Thornton, Spartan forward Brandon Mitchell had been held scoreless in the first 20 minutes, but matched his career scoring high in the second half with 12 points. His 3-pointer with 2:07 left in overtime made it 74-73 Falcons lead, and gave the Spartans new life after surrendering consecutive baskets and missing the first four attempts to begin the period.
 
On the ensuing Air Force possession Thornton, who is second all-time at SJSU in steals, grabbed a loose ball off the floor and hit a cutting Brandon Clarke for the jam which put SJSU ahead for good, 75-74, with 1:24 left in overtime.
 
Thornton and SJSU's late-game free throw expert Jaycee Hillsman both knocked down 4-of-4 attempts from the line in the final 26 seconds to secure the win for San José State.
 
The overtime period was a microcosm of the game itself, with Air Force (10-17, 3-11 MW) jumping out to a four-point lead only to have it stolen right back by San José State (14-11, 7-7 MW).
 
Ryan Welage hit the game's first shot, but from there, Air Force went on a 10-2 run and wouldn't relinquish the lead until 3:16 left in regulation.
 
A nine-point Falcons lead with 7:13 to play in the second half would vanish over the next 3:57. Thornton nailed a three and then got three points the hard way with the bucket and the foul with 5:03 remaining to make it 65-62.
 
Then Cody Schwartz's 3-ball made it a one-point Air Force lead, and it was Mitchell's and-1 layup with 3:14 to go that put SJSU back in front, 70-68, for the first time since 2-0. It ended up being the Spartans' last basket of regulation and Air Force's Trevor Lyons hit a fast-break layup to tie the game 70-70 with 2:33 left.
 
Both teams went scoreless the rest of the way. Jalen James had space for a potential game-winning jumper from the top of the nail with five seconds remaining, but it went off front iron.
 
Brandon Clarke hit 9-of-12 from the field to lead San José State with 22 points, and grabbed 13 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the year. Clarke added a career-high six assists, two of which came on the afore mentioned and-1 baskets for Mitchell and Thornton. Welage finished with 10 points rounding out SJSU's four double-figure scorers.

San José State had one of its best free throw shooting games of the season converting 20-of-23. The Spartans were 8-for-8 in the overtime, all in the last 26.0 seconds, 11-for-11 since the 10:00 mark of the second half.
 
Air Force lost its sixth in a row despite its best shooting effort in conference play. The Falcons converted 52.5 percent of their field goal tries compared to the Spartans' 45.9. San José State missed its first 12 three-point field goal tries in the game, but got three key three-pointers from Cody Schwartz as part of the second-half comeback. The Spartans were 7-of-29 from outside the arc in the game.
 
San José State seeks to make it two in a row and six out of seven Wednesday, February 22 against Utah State in a 7:00 p.m. home game in The Event Center.

Newspaper Box Score

Air Force vs San Jose State
2/18/17 2:00 PM at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
At San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)

SAN JOSE STATE 83, AIR FORCE 78

AIR FORCE (10-17, 3-11 MW)
MANNING, Ryan 8-15 3-4 23; VAN, Jacob 5-6 2-2 12; SCOTTIE, Lavelle 5-8 1-2
11; KOCUR, Zach 4-5 0-0 9; TOOHEY, Frank 2-8 4-4 8; LYONS, Trevor 4-5 0-0 8;
GRAHAM, Hayden 3-6 1-2 7; LOUDER, Pervis 0-0 0-0 0; SWAN, Ryan 0-2 0-0 0;
TOMES, Sid 0-2 0-0 0; SIPLES, CJ 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 31-59 11-14 78.

SAN JOSE STATE (14-11, 7-7 MW)
4-6 3-3 12; Welage, Ryan 5-9 0-0 10; Schwartz, Cody 3-9 0-0 9; HILLSMAN,
Jaycee 1-2 4-4 7; James, Jalen 1-6 1-2 4; Nichols, Isaiah 1-1 0-0 2; BOYCE,
E.J. 0-4 0-0 0; Brown, Terrell 0-3 0-0 0; WILLIAMS, JR. GARY 0-1 0-0 0.
Totals 28-61 20-23 83.

Air Force.....................   41   29    8  -   78
San Jose State................   28   42   13  -   83

3-point goals--Air Force 5-15 (MANNING, Ryan 4-8; KOCUR, Zach 1-2; TOOHEY,
Frank 0-1; GRAHAM, Hayden 0-3; TOMES, Sid 0-1), San Jose State 7-29
1-2; Mitchell, Brandon 1-2; Boyce, E.J. 0-4; Brown, Terrell 0-2; WELAGE,
Ryan 0-3). Fouled out--Air Force-None, San Jose State-None. Rebounds--Air
Force 27 (GRAHAM, Hayden 6), San Jose State 33 (Clarke, Brandon 13).
Assists--Air Force 14 (VAN, Jacob 4), San Jose State 22 (Clarke, Brandon 6).
Total fouls--Air Force 19, San Jose State 13. Technical fouls--Air
Force-None, San Jose State-None. A-2254