By Casey Geier:
San Jose State traveled to Las Vegas on a three game winning streak against Mountain West opponents, including their first ever win against New Mexico and its first win against San Diego State since 1999. The game did not disappoint.
With just under 40 seconds left in the game and the score tied at 74, freshman guard Terrell Brown took the ball slowly down the court and dribbled the ball near the half court line to run the clock down. With the shot clock winding down, he drove the ball hard to the left of the basket and made a running bank shot to give the Spartans the lead.
The Spartans would hold on to the lead in nail-biting fashion, extending their conference winning streak to four games, the first time since 1996.
SJSU started the game on a 7-0 run including a three-pointer by Jaycee Hillsman as well as a steal and dunk. Hillsman finished the game with a team high 16 points.
San Jose State (13-10, 5-6 MW) struggled to score and rebound against the larger built UNLV Rebels (10-16, 3-10 MW) players in the paint early, only scoring 14 points in the first half and getting out rebounded on the offensive and defensive end.
UNLV went on a 14-0 run halfway through the first half due to a few Spartan turnovers. SJSU had nine in the first half.
Turnovers and getting out rebounded were the main two reasons why San Jose State was down 36-31 at the half, despite shooting over 50% in the first 20 minutes.
Head coach Dave Wojcik and the Spartans team made the proper adjustments at halftime.
Brandon Clarke had a ferocious and-one after taking a dropstep and rising up over a UNLV defender a few minutes into the second.
The Spartan’s offensive attack was very balanced, with four players scoring in double figures, including Clarke, Ryan Welage, Hillsman and Terrell Brown as well as Clarke.
The Spartans shot the three ball well, 7-13 for the game including two clutch threes down the stretch from sophomore forward Cody Schwartz.
UNLV was led by the tandem of senior forward Tyrell Green’s career high 28 points and junior guard Jovan Mooring’s 18 points. The two Rebels took over the second half offensively, combining for all the Rebel field goal makes after the 10 minute mark in the second half.
San Jose State was able to finish the game despite the late game pressure that cost the team early in conference season. With the win, the Spartans moved into fifth place in the Mountain West standings.
San Jose State will look to improve their winning streak to five at Fresno State on 2/15 at 7 p.m