Dec. 23, 2009
Santa Clara's Robert Smith scored 16 points, but it was not enough to stop Adrian Oliver and San Jose State as the Spartans defeated the Broncos 74-68 on Wednesday night. Santa Clara drops to 7-6 and San Jose State is now 6-5 overall.
"We played much better in the first half. Our transition defense in the second half was awful and instead of defending the ball in the second half, we fouled them and sent them to the line," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "We have squandered three double digit leads this season and luckily the two games on the road we won. We let them score 49 points in the second half, including 45 in the last 16 minutes. We have to have a better effort on defense than that and respond better on offense."
"Right now Robert Smith and Ray Cowels are playing too many minutes and part of that is the loss of Kevin Foster," continued Keating. "But, we have to get other players to step up and play better to take some of that time on the court."
Santa Clara shot 37.9 percent, including 27.8 percent from beyond the arc. Santa Clara had 36 rebounds and eight steals with 16 turnovers. San Jose State shot 42 percent, including 54.5 percent from beyond the arc. San Jose State had 38 rebounds, one blocks and five steals with 17 turnovers.
Smith led the Broncos with 16 points and five assists. Troy Payne added 15 points and Harrison finished with 10 points. Adrian Oliver led the Spartans with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Mac Peterson finished with 17 points and Robert Owens added 12.
Santa Clara took a quick 5-0 lead early in the first half after Smith opened the scoring with a three at 18:06, and Trasolini hit two free throws at 17:38. San Jose State responded and tied the score at five, but Harrison scored five straight points for the Broncos from 14:15 to 13:12 to put the Broncos up 10-7.
Oliver hit a three for the Spartans at 12:30 and Justin Graham's layup at 12:06 put San Jose State in the lead for the first time in the game.
Santa Clara went on an 10-2 run from 11:06 to 8:23 to take a 20-14 lead after a three from Ray Cowels, but the Spartans scored the next six points and tied the score at 20 on a jump shot by Oliver at 6:17.
The Broncos hit four free throws in a row, Trasolini at 5:37 and Smith at 5:05, to put the Broncos back in the lead 24-20. The Broncos continued cash in at the free throw line as Ben Dowdell and Michael Santos hit two free throws each and the Bronco's lead was extended to 30-23.
Santa Clara lead the Spartans at the half 30-25.
Santa Clara extended the lead early in the second half after Cowels nailed a three and Harrison finished a fast break dunk at 16:13 to put the Broncos up 39-29. The Spartans responded with a 10-2 run to cut Santa Clara's lead to 41-39.
Trasolini's three-point play at 12:29 stopped the Spartan's run and put the Broncos up by five, but Peterson nailed six consecutive free throws to push the Spartans in the lead 45-44. San Jose State took the lead for the first time since 11:06 left in the first half.
Santos knocked down a three to put the Broncos in front 47-45 at 10:05, but the Spartans scored nine straight points to take the lead 54-47 after a corner three by Owens at 8:02.
Harrison stopped the bleeding for the Broncos as he converted a three-point play with 7:44 to cut the Spartan's lead to four. Peterson hit a three for the Spartans at 4:01 to push the score to 62-54.
Smith's layup with 18.6 seconds cut the Spartan's lead to 70-67 but Oliver hit two free throws for the Spartans with 1.7 seconds remaining and closed out the Spartans win 74-68.