Dec. 18, 2013
San Jose, Calif.-----Guard Devante Wilson converted 6-of-8 free throws in the final 1:10 in the third overtime leading San Jose State University to an 89-85 non-conference men's basketball victory over UC Davis.
Wilson, with his 22 points, was one of three Spartans to finish with a season scoring high. Teammates Rashad Muhammad came off the bench to lead all players with 28 points, 19 of them after intermission, and guard Isaac Thornton chipped in with 12 and a game-high six assists.
San Jose State (4-6) won its second game in a row overcoming a double-digit, second-half deficit. Prior to taking 11 days off for final exams, the Spartans won at Houston after trailing by 15 points in the second half.
It wasn't until 49-30 with 14:32 left in regulation before the San Jose State offense began clicking. Three consecutive field goals by Muhammad including a pair of three-pointers and a lay-in by Wilson fueled a 10-0 run and got the Spartans within single-digits for the first time since midway through the first half.
"Our team chemistry is getting a lot better. We're trusting each other more and more. It makes it easier for us to play together as a team," Wilson said about the Spartans recent ability to stage second half comebacks.
"We stayed mentally tough. Coach (Wojcik) talks about staying mentally tough, playing physical and not showing any mental fatigue....We came up more mentally tougher at the end and came out with the win."
"We came out slow. The whole game we were fighting (our way back). I don't know what it was. We couldn't make any shots in the first half," said Muhammad who was 6-of-13 from 3-point range. San Jose State, which trailed 37-23 at hafltime, shot 42.2 percent for the game, but was 15-of-26 from the field in the second half.
A Thornton 3-point field goal with 2:29 to go in regulation tied the game for the first time at 60-60. Wilson followed up with the Spartans' seventh 3-point basket of the second half, a 30-footer from the left side, giving San Jose State its first lead of the game, 63-62 at the 1:26 mark. UC Davis reserve guard Brynton Lemar converted his first 3-point basket of the season with 22.1 to go to send the game into overtime tied, 65-65.
"In the second half, we came out with more energy. All those conditioning days helped us," said Thornton, who had all of his points and more than doubled his season total of four assists after halftime. "I just tried to bring the energy and make a few plays and my teammates put me in position to make plays. Tonight, I was able to do it."
"I coach off of feel. We never practiced Isaac running the point guard position. I just felt like he gave us a better chance to get back into the game. He's a terrific defensive player and he ran the offense for us," the San Jose State coach said about the 6-foot-3 freshman that had added a blocked shot and a pair of steals on the defensive end.
"I could go down the line. Rashad and Devante started making some shots. Dylan Alexander comes in and gives great minutes. He makes a 3 and (one off of) a spin move (in the second half). It was a total team effort."
UC Davis (3-9) led by as many as five points in the first and second overtimes, but the Aggies were unable to finish off the Spartans. UC Davis missed three free throws with under a minute to go in each of the first two overtimes. The loss for the Aggies was their seventh in a row and second in an overtime game this season.
"We started making some shots. Then, we added some defensive stops that allowed us to chip away at it, chip away at it," Wojcik said about the second-half comeback. The Spartans coach felt the team's 12 first-half turnovers played a big role in falling behind.
Thornton put the Spartans ahead to stay in the third overtime with a three-point play on a drive to the basket as the shot clock expired. After his free throw, San Jose State led 83-81 with 3:06 left. Wilson, who was 8-of-10 from the free throw line for the game, then finished off the Spartans scoring.
"Isaac had some real good assists for me. He drove and would kick the ball to me," added Wilson about his offensive contributions.
Starting guard Corey Hawkins, the son of former NBA star Hersey Hawkins, led six UC Davis double-figure scorers with 18 points. Hawkins went scoreless in the final two overtime periods.
"There were a ton of big plays on both sides. San Jose State made a few more at the end," said UC Davis head coach Jim Les who did not have the services of leading scorer and rebounder Josh Ritchart out for the third game in a row due to a lower leg injury.
UC Davis vs San Jose State
12/18/13 7:00 p.m. at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
SAN JOSE STATE 89, UC DAVIS 85
UC DAVIS (3-9)
Hawkins, Corey 7-18 3-7 18; Graham, Darius 2-8 12-14 16; Nujic, Iggy 4-10 2-4 13; Funtarov, Georgi 5-10 2-5 12; Sypkens, Ryan 3-9 2-2 11; Lemar, Brynton 4-8 2-3 11; Bozner, Clint 2-3 0-2 4; Johnson, Avery 0-2 0-0 0; Betu, Olivier-Paul 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-68 23-37 85.
SAN JOSE STATE (4-6)
Muhammad, Rashad 9-16 4-5 28; Wilson, Devante 5-14 8-10 22; Cunningham, Chris 5-8 3-3 13; Thornton, Isaac 3-8 5-7 12; Alexander, Dylan 3-5 0-2 7; Williams, Jaleel 1-6 3-6 5; James, Jalen 1-3 0-0 2; Pollard, Matt 0-0 0-2 0; Mitchell, Brandon 0-1 0-0 0; Brown, D.J. 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 27-64 23-35 89.
UC Davis...................... 37 28 9 6 5 - 85
San Jose State................ 23 42 9 6 9 - 89
3-point goals--UC Davis 8-28 (Nujic, Iggy 3-4; Sypkens, Ryan 3-8; Lemar, Brynton 1-1; Hawkins, Corey 1-6; Johnson, Avery 0-2; Funtarov, Georgi 0-4; Graham, Darius 0-3), San Jose State 12-36 (Muhammad, Rashad 6-13; Wilson, Devante 4-10; Thornton, Isaac 1-3; Alexander, Dylan 1-2; Mitchell, Brandon 0-1; Brown, D.J. 0-2; James, Jalen 0-2; Williams, Jaleel 0-3). Fouled out--UC Davis-Sypkens, Ryan; Nujic, Iggy, San Jose State-JAMES, Jalen; Cunningham, Chris. Rebounds--UC Davis 31 (Funtarov, Georgi 8), San Jose State 56 (Williams, Jaleel 11). Assists--UC Davis 12 (Hawkins, Corey 3; Johnson, Avery 3), San Jose State 19 (Thornton, Isaac 6). Total fouls--UC Davis 29, San Jose State 31. Technical fouls--UC Davis-Nujic, Iggy, San Jose State-MUHAMMAD, Rashad. A-1229.