Las Cruces, N.M.-LaVanne Pennington tied his career high with a team-best 16 points, and the bench contributed 25 points, but a seven-minute scoring drought by San Jose State contributed to a 70-53 loss at New Mexico State Saturday night.
Pennington scored 16 points for the third time this season on 6-of-13 shooting from the field. He grabbed four rebounds and recorded a career-best five steals in 32 minutes of action.
Aalim Moor, Jaleel Williams and Stephon Smith came off the bench to score 25 points for San Jose State. Moor scored a career-best nine points on 4-of-5 shooting including his first made three-pointer of the year, had a block and a steal in 14 minutes of action. Williams contributed a season-best nine points including his first made three-pointer of the year. Smith added seven points, a rebound and an assist.
"Jaleel took some bad shots in the first half, and he came out in the second half, was much more focused, took the shots he needed to take and played a lot better " said Spartan head coach George Nessman.
"Aalim really sparked us with confidence and poise. I am really proud of the way he is handling his senior year. He is a positive force on our team, and I am happy with the way he played and defended tonight."
FIELD GOAL DROUGHT IN TWO HALVES
The Spartans stayed with New Mexico State for the first 16 minutes of the game, leading by as many as three points and had cut the Aggie deficit to five points at 23-18 on a Pennington three-pointer with 3:57 left in the first half.
That would be the final field goal made for the first half and the first 3:00 of the second half. During that time, New Mexico State went on a 12-0 run to end the first half and a 4-2 run to the start the second. The only points for the Spartans in that stretch came on two Chris Cunningham free throws one minute into the second half.
The field goal drought ended on a Smith field goal at the 17:00-minute mark, but New Mexico State led 39-22. San Jose State got within 12 points at 52-40 with 9:24 left in the game but could get no closer the rest of the game.
"The game was 19-16, get a steal, take a horrible off-balanced shot, they come the other way and make the shot. We never recovered from that one stretch," said Nessman."
"We have to be mentally tougher and bring more shot discipline. We did that better in the second half and had a much better performance. We made some decided runs and got open jump shots around the rim. We started running our offense in the second half and generate better looks and open shots.
"We can do a lot of damage down the stretch with seven home games and four road games. Let's use these 11 games productively and get some success, get some wins and build some momentum heading into March."
After spending the past two weeks playing road games, San Jose State plays at The Event Center for the next two games. The Spartans face Louisiana Tech on Thursday, January 24, and UT Arlington on Saturday, January 26. Both games begin at 7 p.m.
On Thursday, the 21st-ranked Spartan football team will be honored in the first half with the Military Bowl Championship Trophy. The trophy will be on display, and fans can have their picture taken with the trophy.
San Jose State vs New Mexico State
01/19/13 7:00 p.m. at Las Cruces, N.M. (Pan American Center)
At Las Cruces, N.M. (Pan American Center)
NEW MEXICO STATE 70, SAN JOSE STATE 53
SAN JOSE STATE (9-9 (3-4 WAC))
Pennington, LaVanne 6-13 2-2 16; Williams, Jaleel 3-8 2-3 9; Moor, Aalim 4-5 0-0 9; Smith, Stephon 3-6 1-4 7; Brown, D.J. 2-5 0-1 6; Cunningham, Chris 1-8 4-4 6; Andoh, David 0-0 0-0 0; VanKirk, Mike 0-0 0-0 0; Jones, Chris 0-1 0-0 0; Jones, Xavier 0-3 0-0 0; Brown, Alex 0-1 0-2 0. Totals 19-50 9-16 53.
NEW MEXICO STATE (12-8 (6-2 WAC))
Sy, Bandja 6-12 4-4 16; Mullings, Daniel 5-9 3-3 13; Watson, Tyrone 3-4 3-6 10; Dixon, Renaldo 3-6 3-3 9; de Rouen, Terrel 3-8 1-2 8; Aronis, Kevin 2-5 0-0 6; Bhullar, Sim 1-7 4-9 6; Buovac, Matej 1-1 0-0 2; Ross-Miller, K.C. 0-2 0-0 0; Barry, Remi 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 24-56 18-27 70.
San Jose State................ 18 35 - 53
New Mexico State.............. 35 35 - 70
3-point goals--San Jose State 6-15 (Brown, D.J. 2-4; Pennington, LaVanne 2-5; Williams, Jaleel 1-4; Moor, Aalim 1-2), New Mexico State 4-11 (Aronis, Kevin 2-5; de Rouen, Terrel 1-2; Watson, Tyrone 1-1; Barry, Remi 0-1; Mullings, Daniel 0-1; Sy, Bandja 0-1). Fouled out--San Jose State-Cunningham, Chris, New Mexico State-None. Rebounds--San Jose State 24 (Brown, Alex 6), New Mexico State 46 (Bhullar, Sim 9). Assists--San Jose State 10 (Brown, D.J. 4), New Mexico State 11 (Watson, Tyrone 4). Total fouls--San Jose State 23, New Mexico State 16. Technical fouls--San Jose State-None, New Mexico State-None. A-6644
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