Spartans Rally But Lose 77-75 To Houston

San Jose, Calif.-----San Jose State guard D.J. Brown scored 16 of his game-high 24 points in the second half, but a late Spartan fell short in a 77-75 non-conference men's basketball loss to the University of Houston.

            Backcourt teammate James Kinney added 15 of his 19 in the second half as the Spartans attempted to overcome an 18-point halftime deficit. San Jose State finally got Houston's lead into single digits, 69-60, with 1:58 remaining on a Brown lay-up and was as close as 74-72 with 17 seconds remaining.

            Houston reserve guard Joseph Young, one of two Cougars to score a team-high 17 points, then made a pair of free throws to boost his team's lead to 76-72. Overall, Houston (2-0) made 8-of-10 free throws in the final minute for the win.

            "We played hard all the way through the game. I'm happy with our effort, but we need to get a win," said Brown, whose second-half drives to the basket could not be stopped by Houston's man-to-man defense.

            Cougar forward TaShawn Thomas also scored 17 points and had a team-high 10 rebounds for Houston.

            The Cougars initially pulled away from the Spartans near the midpoint of the first half breaking a 16-16 tie with a 17-2 spurt fueled by three baskets from starting guard J.J. Thompson for a 33-18 advantage.

            "Give Houston credit, they had a good stretch there in the first half and we handled it poorly," said San Jose State coach George Nessman who acknowledged the Cougars did a good job defensively switching on the Spartans' screens. "Once we settled in, we got much better shot opportunities in the second half."

            San Jose State hurt its chances for an earlier comeback in the second half making just 9-of-16 free throws. The Spartans shot just 58.3 percent from the line, 14-of-24, for the game.

            "It was the second game we hurt ourselves at the free throw line in the second half, added the San Jose State coach. In the opener at New Orleans made just 7-of-17 free throws.

            Forward Chris Cunningham was a third double-figure scorer for the Spartans with 15 points before he fouled out with 4:13 remaining and San Jose State trailing 67-52. From then on, the Spartans elected to go small with Stephon Smith as their only frontcourt player and began cutting into the deficit.

            "It was tale of two halves. San Jose State did a great job in the second half. Brown and Kinney were outstanding and we got tentative (on defense)," said Houston coach James Dickey. "We gave up too many points in the second half."

             San Jose State outrebounded Houston, 40-38. The 6-foot-2 Kinney led the wayy with a career-high 10 rebounds for his first major college double-double.

            San Jose State (0-2) returns to action, Thursday, November 15, hosting Weber State, in a 7:30 p.m. game in The Event Center.

Houston vs San Jose State
11/13/12 7:00 p.m. at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)


THOMAS, TaShawn 7-23 3-5 17; YOUNG, Joseph 6-11 5-6 17; HOUSE, Danuel 4-6 2-4 11; MORRIS, Brandon 3-6 2-2 10; STIGGERS, Jherrod 3-6 2-4 9; THOMPSON, J.J. 3-5 2-2 9; GIBSON, Leon 1-2 0-0 2; IZUNDU, Valentine 1-2 0-0 2; WOMACK, Tione 0-0 0-0 0; McLEAN, Mikhail 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-61 16-23 77.

Brown, D.J. 7-13 7-7 24; Kinney, James 7-23 1-1 19; Cunningham, Chris 7-11 1-3 15; Brown, Alex 3-7 0-2 6; Jones, Xavier 1-4 3-6 5; Jones, Chris 1-3 1-2 3; Smith, Stephon 1-2 1-2 3; Garrett, Louis 0-0 0-0 0; Pennington, LaVanne
0-3 0-1 0; Williams, Jaleel 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-66 14-24 75.

Houston.......................   44   33  -   77
San Jose State................   26   49  -   75
3-point goals--Houston 5-12 (MORRIS, Brandon 2-3; STIGGERS, Jherrod 1-3; HOUSE, Danuel 1-2; THOMPSON, J.J. 1-2; YOUNG, Joseph 0-1; THOMAS, TaShawn 0-1), San Jose State 7-19 (Kinney, James 4-11; Brown, D.J. 3-6; Jones, Xavier 0-1; Pennington, LaVanne 0-1). Fouled out--Houston-None, San Jose
State-Cunningham, Chris. Rebounds--Houston 38 (THOMAS, TaShawn 10), San Jose State 40 (Kinney, James 10). Assists--Houston 16 (MORRIS, Brandon 5; THOMPSON, J.J. 5), San Jose State 16 (Brown, D.J. 5). Total fouls--Houston 22, San Jose State 22. Technical fouls--Houston-None, San Jose State-None.