By Kavin Mistry:
In a blink of an eye last night, euphoria turned to solemness as the San Jose State’s win streak came to an abrupt halt in Fresno.
The young Spartans team which had found success at every turn over the past few weeks found themselves in a familiar setting heading into halftime last night against Fresno State.
The emergence and maturity of freshman Terrell Brown had continued, the speedy guard scored 15 of the Spartans first 29 points to start the night.
But all was lost once the second half began. The over-confident SJSU team fell hard to a 22-3 run by the Bulldogs over the middle seven minutes of the second half.
FSU used the run to fuel the comeback which ended its three game losing streak and gave head coach Rodney Terry his 100th win at Fresno.
Falling to the run — In the bulk of the Spartans 11 losses this season, the biggest issue they had was giving up a big run at some point of the game. Last night proved the same. SJSU needs to limit runs and allow themselves a chance to come back if it wants to make a run at a Mountain West title this season.
Somebody score — In games this season when Brandon Clarke struggles, the team goes by the wayside. As head coach Dave Wojcik has reiterated over and over, in order for the team to be successful, they will have to help Clarke. Last night the Spartans forward finished with a season low four points on 2 of 8 from the field. Brown, who has been the biggest aid to Clarke over the past five games was lights out from the floor in the first half, but scored just one point in the second. Ryan Welage added a solid game of 19 points, but no other Spartans finished with more than six points.
Take care of the ball — While Fresno State is 17th in the country in steals this season, it’s no excuse to turn the ball over 20 times in a game. When your team is not scoring and you can’t stop the transition attack, turnovers will become backbreakers. Last night it fueled the Bulldogs run.
Rebound the ball — SJSU has never been known as a team that will out-muscle teams on the offensive glass this season, but a mere four offensive boards will not give yourself a chance. Fresno State outscored SJSU by 16 in the paint and had 24 points off turnovers. Two areas that make offensive boards more vital.