For the first time in his life in any form of organized basketball, Brown scored more than 30 points in a game. His 33 points ended the Spartans’ five-game losing streak in a 78-70 comeback win over CSU Bakersfield.
Brown’s 33 points are the most scored by a San Jose State freshman in school history and the most by a Western Athletic Conference player this season.
“My jumper started to fall tonight,” said the 6-foot-2 redshirt freshman making his fourth start of the season. Brown’s previous season high was 14 points in an 81-66 win at Coppin State in the Elgin Baylor Classic.
The win by the Spartans (7-13) was the third time this season San Jose State overcame a double-digit deficit. And, it exceeded the 15-point first-half deficit in the Coppin State triumph.
The Spartans did little right at the start on both ends of the court. San Jose State committed five of its 10 turnovers for the game in the first 10 minutes and allowed CSU Bakersfield (11-10) to run out to a 23-4 lead with eight minutes gone. The Roadrunners made six of their first seven shots to take the lead.
Brown then ignited a 19-2 run over a 5:19 stretch with his first of three 3-point baskets in the first half. By halftime, the Spartans went into the locker room with a 36-35 lead with Brown scoring 16. Reserve Calvin Douglas, scoreless in the previous two games, added seven of his 10 in the first half and put his team ahead for the first time with a 3-point basket with 32 seconds before halftime.
“We were lethargic. They came out on fire,” said San Jose State coach George Nessman about the early stages of the game that ended CSU Bakersfield’s four-game winning streak.
“Tonight’s game was an example of keeping composure. You’ve got to keep playing for 40 minutes.”
The teams exchanged leads three times in the second half before a 10-0 run that included a pair of three’s by Brown put the Spartans ahead to stay, 64-55, with 8:04 remaining.
“Their freshman had an exceptional game,” said CSU Bakersfield coach Rod Barnes who echoed Nessman’s comment about playing a full 40 minutes. “Down the stretch, he hit some big shots.
“San Jose State is a team of runs. He (Brown) got open and we didn’t defend well. In the second half, we missed some key shots and took a few bad shots.”
After failing to make at least 42 percent of its field goal tries in any of its first five conference games, San Jose State converted 49.0 percent and was sharp from the free throw line making 20-of-24.
CSU Bakersfield couldn’t keep its torrid shooting pace going and finished with a 39.4 percent field goal percentage.
Two other Spartans, forward Wil Carter with 14 points and guard James Kinney with 10, also scored in double figures.
Forward Adam Young led the Roadrunners with a season-high 17 points. Leading scorer Stephon Carter got into early foul trouble and finished with just 10 points. A year ago, Carter led CSU Bakersfield to an 82-77 win over the Spartans with 32 points.
Brown was one better and the Spartans can return to conference play in Idaho on January 26 with its first win of the calendar year.
San Jose, Calif.---CSU Bakersfield vs San Jose State
1/23/12 7:00 p.m. at Event Center
SAN JOSE STATE 78, CSU BAKERSFIELD 70
CSU BAKERSFIELD (11-10)
Young, Adam 7-10 0-0 17; Grayson, Issiah 4-14 3-3 14; Carter, Stephon 4-8
2-2 10; Hughley, Mo 3-7 3-3 9; White, Tyrone 3-14 0-0 8; Johnson, Donald 2-4
0-0 6; Savage, Rashad 2-3 0-1 4; Lamb, Zach 1-6 0-0 2; Matip, Ivan 0-0 0-0
0. Totals 26-66 8-9 70.
SAN JOSE STATE (7-13)
Brown, D.J. 9-11 9-10 33; Carter, Wil 5-9 4-4 14; Douglas, Calvin 3-7 2-2
10; Kinney, James 4-10 0-0 10; Smith, Stephon 3-3 0-0 6; Shamburger, Keith
0-8 3-4 3; Jones, Chris 0-1 1-2 1; Ballard, Matt 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 24-49
CSU Bakersfield............... 35 35 - 70
San Jose State................ 36 42 - 78
3-point goals--CSU Bakersfield 10-28 (Grayson, Issiah 3-8; Young, Adam 3-5;
Johnson, Donald 2-2; White, Tyrone 2-10; Lamb, Zach 0-2; Carter, Stephon
0-1), San Jose State 10-24 (Brown, D.J. 6-7; Douglas, Calvin 2-6; Kinney,
James 2-5; Shamburger, Keith 0-6). Fouled out--CSU Bakersfield-None, San
Jose State-None. Rebounds--CSU Bakersfield 35 (Hughley, Mo 6; Johnson,
Donald 6; Grayson, Issiah 6), San Jose State 29 (Carter, Wil 5; Ballard,
Matt 5; Shamburger, Keith 5). Assists--CSU Bakersfield 14 (Grayson, Issiah
7), San Jose State 17 (Shamburger, Keith 7). Total fouls--CSU Bakersfield
18, San Jose State 11. Technical fouls--CSU Bakersfield-None, San Jose
00:50 1st - Flagaent foul on CSUB #44
05:21 2nd - Flagrant foul on SJSU #52
03:53 2nd - Flagrant foul on CSUB #01