Sacramento, Calif.-----For the fourth time this season, the San Jose State University men's basketball overcame a double-digit deficit to win. In a non-conference game at Sacramento State, the Spartans were down, 46-34 with 16:01 remaining, found their offensive rhythm and went on to post a 79-67 victory.
San Jose State (9-17) countered a 7:57 scoreless span of the first half with its best second-half field goal shooting of the season, 68.2 percent, for its second win in its last three outings. The Spartans were 6-of-7 from three-point range in the final 20 minutes with all six 3-pointers coming in a run of 16 consecutive scoring possessions.
Forward Wil Carter and guard James Kinney each scored 19 points for the Spartans. Guard Keith Shamburger poured in all 15 of his points after halftime and was credited with eight assists. Shamburger accounted for three of the 3-pointers including a pair back-to-back that put San Jose State ahead, 67-59 with 6:05 remaining.
"We weren't playing our game. We weren't being patient. We were forcing up shots. We let them take us out of the game by the way they were playing," said Shamburger.
"Coach told us at halftime to keep playing. He told us what we didn't do at halftime. We came out and did it in the second half and it was a whole different ball game."
San Jose State looked energized at the start of the game, but went 8:42 between field goals early on and trailed 20-9 before a D.J. Brown three-point basket broke the Spartans' dry spell. With Kinney and Carter combining for San Jose State final 11 points of the first half, the Spartans were down just 37-31.
"Sacramento State played better than us and with purpose in the first half. They really exploited some of the things we do and were rebounding harder than us," said San Jose State head coach George Nessman about the team's second road win of the season. "Even though they got the lead back to 12 in the second half, I didn't feel like it was the same problem like I did before. I just encouraged them to keep competing one play at a time. Our guys showed a lot of character and discipline.
"It's another step for us. We're on the road, down 12 and we find a way to claw out and win going away. It validates some of the progress we've been making over the last two to three weeks.
"Keith really controlled the game in the second half," concluded the San Jose State coach.
Jackson Carbajal led Sacramento State (9-17) in scoring with a career-high 24 points. Guard Dylan Garrity scored 10 and handed out 12 assists for the third time this season.
San Jose State heads out a road trip to Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State next week.