Logan, Utah-Three Spartans starters scored in double figures but Utah State made 17-of-their-21 free throws in the second half as San Jose State fell 66-60, in a Western Athletic Conference game.
D.J. Brown led the Spartan scorers with 16 points, while Chris Cunningham scored 15, points grabbed eight rebounds and dished out a season-high four assists. Xavier Jones, making his first start in a Spartan uniform, scored 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting and had two assists and a steal in 35 minutes of action.
The Spartans made the trip without starters James Kinney and Louis Garrett who account for 39 percent of the team's offense and led the team in scoring the past five games.
"James and Louis were left behind this trip for failure to meet team policies," said Nessman. "They had some thing they need to do at home. They will be unavailable to us, by our choice, until they get these situations rectified. It is unfortunate, but it happens. They are young men and are going to make mistakes."
San Jose State committed just six turnovers in the game but got to the line just 14 times in the game, compared to 25 for the Aggies. The Spartans also shot just 35.9 percent from the field, making just 23-of-64 attempts.
The Spartans got as close as four points in the second at 49-45 on a Stephon Smith tip-in with 6:33 left in the game. From that point, Utah State made 10-of-12 free throw attempts to end the game.
Reigning WAC Player of the Week Preston Medlin led Utah State with 25 points including 11-of-11 from the free throw line.
"We just could not get a big defensive stop in the second half and a conversion to get it to a one-possession game," said Nessman. "I thought our guys played with a lot of determination and tenacity tonight, but Utah State just had a little too much for us today. When you get outscored at the line, it is tough to win.
"Xavier had an injury very early in the season and got trapped behind a couple of others in playing time. His offensive output did not surprise me tonight. "
San Jose State kept the game close in the first half, leading by as many as five at 13-8. Utah State then used a 9-0 run to lead by four at 17-13. The Spartans battled back and took a 19-18 lead on an Aalim Moor jumper, and tied the game at 27-27, before Utah State took a 29-27 lead into halftime.
San Jose State continues on the road next week with games at Denver on Thursday and at New Mexico State on Saturday.
San Jose State vs Utah State
01/11/13 7:07 p.m. at Logan, Utah (Dee Glen Smith Spectrum)
At Logan, Utah (Dee Glen Smith Spectrum)
UTAH STATE 66, SAN JOSE STATE 60
SAN JOSE STATE (9-7, 3-2 WAC)
Brown, D.J. 5-14 4-4 16; Cunningham, Chris 5-11 5-6 15; Jones, Xavier 7-12 0-0 14; Brown, Alex 2-3 3-4 7; Smith, Stephon 3-8 0-0 6; Moor, Aalim 1-1 0-0 2; Grieves, Nick 0-1 0-0 0; Pennington, LaVanne 0-9 0-0 0; Jones, Chris 0-4 0-0 0; Andoh, David 0-0 0-0 0; Williams, Jaleel 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-64 12-14 60.
UTAH STATE (14-1, 5-0 WAC)
Medlin, Preston 6-12 11-11 25; Butterfield, Spencer 5-6 2-2 13; Shaw, Jarred 5-10 2-4 12; Reed, Kyisean 3-6 4-6 10; Jean, Marvin 1-2 0-0 3; Davis, Marcel 1-5 0-0 2; Roland, TeNale 0-1 1-2 1; Stone, Jordan 0-0 0-0 0; Clifford, Ben 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 21-44 20-25 66.
San Jose State................ 27 33 - 60
Utah State.................... 29 37 - 66
3-point goals--San Jose State 2-11 (Brown, D.J. 2-6; Jones, Xavier 0-1; Grieves, Nick 0-1; Pennington, LaVanne 0-2; Williams, Jaleel 0-1), Utah State 4-12 (Medlin, Preston 2-6; Jean, Marvin 1-2; Butterfield, Spencer 1-2; Davis, Marcel 0-2). Fouled out--San Jose State-Brown, Alex, Utah State-None. Rebounds--San Jose State 32 (Brown, Alex 9), Utah State 33 (Shaw, Jarred 10). Assists--San Jose State 11 (Cunningham, Chris 4), Utah State 14 (Medlin, Preston 5). Total fouls--San Jose State 18, Utah State 13. Technical fouls--San Jose State-None, Utah State-None. A-9191
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