Pennington Scores 16 In Loss to James Madison

Las Vegas, Nev.-LaVanne Pennington led all Spartan scorers with a career-high 16 points, but James Madison was perfect from three-point range in the second half as San Jose State fell, 77-68, at the Vegas Holiday Hoops at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Pennington made his first start of the season and led the team in scoring with a career-high 16 points.  He was 5-for-13 from the field including 3-of-7 from the three-point line.  Pennington suffered a left calf cramp with 8:05 left in the game and was unable to return.

"LaVanne was given an opportunity to fill a role," said Spartan head coach George Nessman. "He did a good job getting us off to a positive start in the game."

Three other Spartan players scored in double figures.  D.J. Brown had 15 points including 8-of-10 from the free throw line.  He added eight assists and just two turnovers in 39 minutes played.  Xavier Jones came off the bench and scored 11 points.  Chris Jones also came off the bench and scored 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting from the field. 

Alex Brown led the team on the boards with eight and added eight points and a blocked shot.  Chris Jones added seven rebounds including four offensive boards.

The Spartans played without the services of leading scorer James Kinney who was suspended on Saturday for a violation of team rules that occurred prior to the Las Vegas trip.

James Madison was 7-for-7 from three-point range and 18-for-23 from the field in the second half.  A.J. Davis led all scorers with 18 points and was 4-for-6 from three-point range.

"I think the key to the game was James Madison going 7-for-7 from three-point range in the second half," said Nessman.  "They were able to catch us in bad defensive positions and found the openings to make the shots.  Our defensive rotation was not what it needed to be in the second half."

San Jose State (5-5) led 34-24 at halftime and took a 37-24 lead on a D.J. Brown three-pointer at 19:47 to start the second half.  The Dukes (5-6) then scored the next 14 points to take a 38-37 lead at 14:55. 

The Spartans then fought back to take a 49-41 lead on a Brown jumper at 12:17.  But James Madison would not go away and continued to press, taking the lead for good at 58-57 on a three-pointer by A.J. Davis.

"We are letting bad plays impact us on the next one," said Nessman.  "We need to take it one play at a time or answer whatever play our opponent made.  We struggled offensively and need to finish our easy chances around the basket."

 After taking a short holiday break, San Jose State opens Western Athletic Conference play next weekend with games at Texas State on Saturday, December 29 at 2 p.m. CST, and at UTSA on Monday, December 31, at 2 p.m. CST.

San Jose State vs James Madison

12/22/12 8:30 p.m. at MGM Grand Garden Arena (Las Vegas, Nev.)

At MGM Grand Garden Arena (Las Vegas, Nev.)

JAMES MADISON 77, SAN JOSE STATE 68

SAN JOSE STATE (5-5)

Pennington, LaVanne 5-13 3-3 16; Brown, D.J. 3-9 8-10 15; Jones, Chris 4-9 3-6 11; Jones, Xavier 4-6 3-4 11; Brown, Alex 4-6 0-2 8; Garrett, Louis 2-7 1-2 5; Cunningham, Chris 0-3 2-2 2; Grieves, Nick 0-0 0-0 0; Andoh, David 0-1 0-0 0; Moor, Aalim 0-0 0-0 0; Smith, Stephon 0-1 0-0 0; Williams, Jaleel 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 22-57 20-29 68.

JAMES MADISON (5-6)

Davis, A.J. 6-8 2-2 18; Goins, Rayshawn 3-10 7-8 13; Moore, Devon 4-7 3-6 12; Cooke, Charles 3-7 3-4 11; Semenov, Andrey 4-7 0-0 9; Nation, Andre 3-5 1-2 7; Curry, Ron 1-5 0-0 3; Bessick, Taylor 1-3 0-0 2; Diouf, Alioune 1-2 0-0 2; Swindle, Gene 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-54 16-22 77.

San Jose State................   34   34  -   68

James Madison.................   24   53  -   77

3-point goals--San Jose State 4-15 (Pennington, LaVanne 3-7; Brown, D.J. 1-5; Garrett, Louis 0-1; Williams, Jaleel 0-1; Jones, Chris 0-1), James Madison 9-21 (Davis, A.J. 4-6; Cooke, Charles 2-5; Semenov, Andrey 1-3; Moore, Devon 1-2; Curry, Ron 1-3; Diouf, Alioune 0-1; Nation, Andre 0-1).

Fouled out--San Jose State-None, James Madison-None. Rebounds--San Jose State 36 (Brown, Alex 8), James Madison 30 (Goins, Rayshawn 9). Assists-San Jose State 12 (Brown, D.J. 8), James Madison 13 (Moore, Devon 7). Total fouls--San Jose State 18, James Madison 23. Technical fouls--San Jose State-Brown, Alex, James Madison-Nation, Andre; Cooke, Charles. A-840

#                        #                        #