In the meantime, SJSU basketball came off a very close 51-50 win in its home opener v UC Irvine. The win resulted from the referees deciding that a UC Irvine player didn't get a successful shot off his hands before the buzzer. A similar thing happened in SJSU's 75-74 WAC tournament win last season v Hawaii, as seen in this fan-created video (starting at the 1:25 mark)
Tonight, SJSU lost at the War Memorial Arena to San Francisco 83-81 in overtime. The Spartans rallied from a 20-8 deficit early in the 1st quarter to lead 37-35 at halftime. Then the Spartans had led as many as 8 for the majority of the 2nd half (similar to the previous game v UCI) before San Francisco rallied to force OT, tied 71 both. USF began OT with a 7-2 run. Finally, SJSU had the chance to tie or win with a three after USF's Cody Doolin missed both free throws. There were 7 seconds left. James Kinney (a transfer from the Mid-American Conference Ohio and then the jr. college Eastern Utah) tried a desperation half-court shot when he really could've gotten within reasonable range for a buzzer beater. No good. Although SJSU had a good defensive effort and Keith Shamburger once again showed his offensive talents--he even opened the 2nd half with two consecutive three-pointers--the team just found yet another way to give the game away in the last minute. A similar OT loss happened in Feb. 2011 v Nevada, except the loss was by 8.
San Jose State has yet to win on the road but has another opportunity Saturday night when the Spartans face cross-town rival Santa Clara. Unlike the past two games in which SJSU made less than 30% of field goals, tonight the Spartans made 48.5%. Because it's so early in the season, average statistics are not reliably predictable, as Santa Clara has a 39.1% FG average based on two lopsided games: 44.8% v the D-III UC Merced and 32.8% v the defending Big West champions UC Santa Barbara. SJSU's average, in contrast, so far is a measly 28%. The past two of SJSU's games were within close margins, while SJSU's opening game was a 79-52 loss to Cal Poly. On the individual player level, it appears that Santa Clara has the offensive advantage in its leading scorer. A comparison:
- Keith Shamburger (SJSU) averages: 35 mins, 12.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3 assists, 30% field goals made, 73.3% free throws, 22.2% 3-pointers. Committed 7 turnovers. Grabbed 5 rebounds, all defensive.
- Kevin Foster (SCU): 21 mins, 14.5 points, 2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 33.3% field goals, 71.4% free throws, 28.6% 3-pointers. Committed 2 turnovers. Of 4 rebounds, 2 each in offense and defense.
- Field goals: SJSU 48.5% v USF, UCSB 47.5% v SCU
- 3 pointers: SJSU 35.7% v USF, UCBS 30.0% v SCU