San Jose, Calif.-----Guard D.J. Brown made four free throws in the final 1:02 of overtime giving San Jose State University a 68-67 win over Weber State in a non-conference men's basketball game.
San Jose State's James Kinney led all players with a season-high 24 points. Forward Chris Cunningham was the Spartans (1-2) only other double-figure scorer with 10 points. For San Jose State, it was third game decided by four points or less early in the season.
"It feels good to get a win, finally. The first two games, we struggled a little bit down the stretch," said Kinney who has a pair fo 20-plus point games in the first three contests. "Today, we did all the little things."
"It was a grinder of a game. We had double-digit lead early in the second half that is very, very elusive at this level. Weber ground themselves back into the game. It was just a dog fight," said San Jose State head coach George Nessman.
Forward Davion Berry led Weber State (1-1) in scoring with 21 points. Guard Scott Bamforth added 11 and Gelaun Wheelwright scored 10 for the Wildcats.
San Jose State had a 35-27 halftime lead and built two 14-point advantages early in the second half before Weber State fought its way back. A Berry 3-point field goal gave the Wildcats its first lead of the second half, 59-57 with 1:32 remaining.
"What I was most happy about was we surrendered the lead, but we stayed positive. We came back inside of two minutes in regulation and had a chance to win in regulation," said Nessman. "Then, in the overtime, they go up three when we had the ball. That's hard to accept, but we got a big stop, converted, stop and converted. That's pretty good.
"We needed a win. We've had three games that have gone down to the last play."
Cunningham scored six of his 10 points in the final four minutes including a pair of hook shots in the lane in the last 80 seconds to send the game into overtime at 61-61.
FREE THROW SHOOTING HELPS SPARTANS TO VICTORY
A Berry put-back basket off of his own missed shot gave Weber State a 67-64 lead with 1:07 left in the overtime before Brown, who only had a first-half three-point basket, closed out the scoring with his free throws.
"They finished it off and we did not," said Weber State coach Randy Rahe. "I like San Jose. They've got talent. They're going to have a nice season."
In the win, San Jose State had its best free throw shooting night of the early season connecting on 13-of-18 tries. The Spartans made 9-of-10 after halftime. San Jose State needed every free throw since Weber State knocked down 13-of-15 from the line.
San Jose State also received solid contributions from reserve forward Louis Garrett with 7 points and 3 assists, all in the first half; stout defense by starting swingman Chris Jones on Weber State guard Scott Bamforth, a returning second-team All-Big Sky Conference choice; and center Alex Brown who blocked five shots in the final 25 minutes of the game.
Weber State vs San Jose State
11/15/12 7:30 p.m. at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
SAN JOSE STATE 68, WEBER STATE 67
WEBER STATE (1-1)
BERRY, Davion 8-17 3-3 21; BAMFORTH, Scott 3-10 4-4 11; WHEELWRIGHT, Gelaun 4-7 1-2 10; OTIS, Frank 4-6 0-0 8; RICHARDSON, Jordan 3-5 0-0 8; BOLOMBOY, Joel 1-4 3-4 5; HAJEK, James 1-2 0-0 2; TRESNAK, Kyle 0-8 2-2 2; WILLIAMS,
Royce 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 24-61 13-15 67.
SAN JOSE STATE (1-2)
Kinney, James 9-22 3-4 24; Cunningham, Chris 4-8 2-2 10; Brown, D.J. 1-5 4-4 7; Garrett, Louis 3-4 1-2 7; Jones, Chris 3-3 0-0 6; Brown, Alex 2-2 1-4 5; Jones, Xavier 1-5 2-2 4; Pennington, LaVanne 1-3 0-0 3; Smith, Stephon 1-5 0-0 2; Andoh, David 0-0 0-0 0; Williams, Jaleel 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-58
Weber State................... 27 34 6 - 67
San Jose State................ 35 26 7 - 68
3-point goals--Weber State 6-14 (RICHARDSON, Jordan 2-3; BERRY, Davion 2-4; BAMFORTH, Scott 1-3; WHEELWRIGHT, Gelaun 1-3; WILLIAMS, Royce 0-1), San Jose State 5-12 (Kinney, James 3-9; Brown, D.J. 1-1; Pennington, LaVanne 1-1;
Garrett, Louis 0-1). Fouled out--Weber State-OTIS, Frank, San Jose State-Cunningham, Chris. Rebounds--Weber State 39 (BOLOMBOY, Joel 11), San Jose State 34 (Brown, Alex 7). Assists--Weber State 14 (BERRY, Davion 3; BAMFORTH, Scott 3), San Jose State 13 (Brown, D.J. 5). Total fouls--Weber
State 17, San Jose State 15. Technical fouls--Weber State-None, San Jose State-None. A-1236