Nov. 12, 2013
Santa Clara, Calif.-----A cold-shooting first-half was too much for San Jose State University to overcome in an 89-77 season-opening loss to Santa Clara in a non-conference men’s basketball game.
The Spartans (0-1) made only 7-of-24 field goal tries in the first 20 minutes in their season debut. Santa Clara (2-0) took advantage of San Jose State’s quick shot selections to build a 20-10 lead with 10:44 to go in the first half and extended the lead to as many as 19 points before taking a 42-28 lead into halftime. The Spartans had five intervals going more than 2:00 without a basket including a stretch of 6:14.
“It was a totally two different halves for us. I thought we lost our poise a little bit in the first half. We didn’t execute very well offensively. Defensively, they were dribbling right by us. They got more of the loose balls and the 50-50 balls in the first half. You can’t do that,” San Jose State head coach Dave Wojcik said.
“I told the kids, ‘You’ve got to play two halves in college to have a chance to win a game. You can’t just play 20 minutes. They were just the more aggressive team in the first half.”
Led by forward Jaleel Williams’ career-high 20 points, the Spartans showed some life on offense early in the second half. Williams hit back-to-back 3-point field goals, but the Spartans could not get enough stops defensively allowing the Broncos to build a 63-43 lead with 13:02 to go. Santa Clara led by as many as 22 points, 71-49.
“We came back and were the more aggressive team in the second half. … I’m proud we had some guys step up and didn’t quit. We will never quit.”
San Jose State got back into the game with an 11-0 to close the deficit to 73-64 with 4:49 to go. Freshman guard Dylan Alexander came off the bench and got in the middle of the rally with his own pair of 3-point baskets.
Santa Clara never led its lead get fewer than eight points the rest of the way.
Santa Clara guard Brandon Clark led all players in scoring with 23 points. Forward Jerry Brown was a force inside with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Despite shooting only 29.2 percent in the first half, the Spartans reversed its shooting woes in the final 20 minutes and finished with a 43.6 percent shooting percentage. Santa Clara finished at 46.7 percent.
San Jose State returns to action Friday, November 15 facing Wisconsin Milwaukee in the three-day Northern Illinois Invitational in DeKalb, Ill.