San Jose, Calif.-----Four San Jose State starters scored in double-figures and Keith Shamburger had a career-high 12 assists, but Hawaii hung on for an 83-81 overtime victory in a Western Athletic Conference men's basketball game.
Forward Wil Carter led the Spartans (7-16, 0-8 WAC) in scoring with a career high 22 points and shared game high rebound honors with 12. It was Carter's second career scoring high of the season - both against Hawaii (13-9, 5-3 WAC). When the teams opened conference play in Honolulu, Carter scored 21 points and hauled down 20 rebounds.
James Kinney added 21 and had a chance to win the game in overtime, but missed a 3-point basket try near the halfcourt line at the buzzer. Guard D.J. Brown and center Stephon Smith scored 18 and 12, respectively.
"Anytime you blow a lead, it's frustrating. We obviously didn't execute when we needed to. We've got to keep pushing," Kinney said about the Spartans giving up a 14-point lead in the second half.
San Jose State led, 54-40, but the Rainbow Warriors ran off 16 points in a row over a 6:12 span to take a 56-54 lead. Forward Joston Thomas hurt the Spartans again with 29 points and 12 rebounds. He made all seven of his second-half field goal tries and scored 11 points during the Hawaii comeback. Thomas went for 27 points in the first meeting between these teams this season.
Despite trailing by six points with three minutes to go in regulation time, San Jose State inched its way back on a Kinney 3-pointer and two baskets by Carter. Two missed free throws by Thomas with 10.9 seconds left gave the Spartans an opening. Hawaii guard, who scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half, fouled Keith Shamburger in front of the San Jose State bench. Shamburger made the second of two free throws to tie the game at 70-70 with three seconds remaining to create overtime.
The Spartans battled back again in the overtime trailing, 82-78 with 22.8 seconds to go. Kinney canned his fifth three-pointer of the night, and center Vander Joaquim made just 1-of-4 free throws leaving San Jose State one more opportunity.
"It was a very disappointing result. Our team is showing the character and the toughness to succeed, but we're not showing the composure to succeed. We had a stretch there when Joston Thomas really took over the game. We took some bad shots, there, too," said San Jose State coach George Nessman. "Down the stretch, we had some clear opportunities to win the game that we didn't take advantage of."
Hawaii made 53.7 percent of its field goal tries compared to San Jose State's 38.9 percent. The Rainbow Warriors also had four starters in double-figure scoring. Joaquim finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. Forward Hauns Brereton scored 10.