James Kinney led all players with 19 points and continued his sharp shooting from three-point range converting 5-of-9 tries. For the week, the 6-foot-2 junior set a San Jose State single-season record for three-pointers made and was 9-of-18 from three-point range.
Keith Shamburger scored 14 points and Wil Carter added 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the Spartans. However, for the fourth game in a row, San Jose State (9-21, 1-13 WAC) did not shoot at least 40 percent from the field. The Spartans converted 39.7 percent of their tries compared to Idaho shooting 53.5 percent.
Idaho (18-12, 9-5 WAC) won for the seventh time in the last eight games and shot 64.7 percent in the second half. The Vandals a 16-4 run in the first five minutes to pull away from San Jose State before the Spartans inched their back.
San Jose State trailed 54-50 with 3:54 to go. Despite not making a field goal the final 6:37 of the game, the Vandals went 16-of-22 from the free throw line for the win.
"It was a very hard-fought game. We've been in this spot so many times when we've had a chance. We've done a lot of things right. We're not playing badly, but we're not playing well enough to win. The gap between those two is not very big. It's a couple of mental errors, a couple of missed assignments and we have been plagued with that in many games this year," said San Jose State coach George Nessman.
"Their bigs (center Kyle Barone and forward Djim Bandoumel) inside really protected the rim and made it hard for us to score around the basket. We didn't finish in there and I thought that was one of the two or three keys of the game."
Carter came into the game shooting 64.8 percent from the field in the last 10 games, but was only 6-of-18 with the 6-foot-11 Barone and the lanky 6-foot-8 Bandoumel seemingly contesting everything the Spartan senior put up.
Guard Deremy Geiger led Idaho in scoring with 16 points. Reserve guard Connor Hill was 4-of-5 from three-point range and finished with 12 points.
"We played very well tonight. I couldn't be happier with the way we played. San Jose showed a lot of heart. They played us extremely hard. In the second half, we got three stops in a row and converted some easy baskets to get a little bit of a lead. But they battled us all the way to the end," said Idaho coach Don Verlin.
"Deremy Geiger played very well for us and Kyle Barone was dominant inside blocking shots and rebounding the ball," Verlin added. Barone had nine rebounds and three blocked shots for the Vandals.
The Spartans head on to the Western Athletic Conference Tournament in Las Vegas and face regular-season champion Nevada, Thursday, March 8, in a 6:00 p.m. game at the Orleans Arena.
Newspaper Box Score
Idaho vs San Jose State
At The Event Center, San Jose, Calif.
IDAHO 70, SAN JOSE STATE 64
IDAHO (18-12, 9-5 WAC)
Geiger, Deremy 5-7 5-10 16; Hill, Connor 4-5 0-0 12; Tatum, Landon 3-5 4-6
10; Madison, Stephen 4-8 0-0 9; Barone, Kyle 3-8 3-4 9; Bandoumel, Djim 3-6
2-4 8; McChristian, Mike 0-1 3-4 3; Habeeb, Mansa 1-2 1-1 3; Faines, Wendell
0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-43 18-29 70.
SAN JOSE STATE (9-21, 1-13 WAC)
Kinney, James 7-17 0-1 19; Shamburger, Keith 5-11 2-2 14; Carter, Wil 6-18
0-0 12; Smith, Stephon 4-7 0-0 8; Brown, D.J. 1-3 3-4 5; Jones, Chris 2-3
0-0 4; Ballard, Matt 0-0 2-2 2; Ton, Garrett 0-1 0-0 0; Grieves, Nick 0-0
0-0 0; Douglas, Calvin 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 25-63 7-9 64.
Idaho......................... 26 44 - 70
San Jose State................ 25 39 - 64
3-point goals--Idaho 6-14 (Hill, Connor 4-5; Madison, Stephen 1-2; Geiger,
Deremy 1-3; McChristian, Mike 0-1; Barone, Kyle 0-1; Tatum, Landon 0-2), San
Jose State 7-18 (Kinney, James 5-9; Shamburger, Keith 2-4; Brown, D.J. 0-2;
Douglas, Calvin 0-2; Carter, Wil 0-1). Fouled out--Idaho-None, San Jose
State-Ballard, Matt. Rebounds--Idaho 31 (Bandoumel, Djim 9; Barone, Kyle 9),
San Jose State 32 (Carter, Wil 12). Assists--Idaho 16 (Barone, Kyle 4), San
Jose State 18 (Brown, D.J. 5). Total fouls--Idaho 15, San Jose State 21.
Technical fouls--Idaho-None, San Jose State-None. A-1822