SAN JOSE STATE USES HUGE SECOND HALF TO GET PAST MENâ€™S BASKETBALL
Sophomore Jackson Carbajal scored a career-high 24 points, including four three-pointers
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- San Jose State shot a blistering 68.2 percent (15-22) from the field and 85.7 percent (6-7) from the three-point line in the second half to overcome a six-point halftime deficit and beat Sacramento State, 79-67, in a non-conference men’s basketball game Saturday evening at the Nest.
The game was part of the ESPN BracketBusters event which features 142 teams from 17 conferences competing in 71 games from around the nation over a three-day span (Feb. 17-19). Every team in the Big Sky Conference played a BracketBusters game this evening.
Sacramento State controlled the tempo and the game in the first half, racing out to a 37-31 halftime lead after shooting 48.3 percent from the field. The Hornets pushed that lead to a game-high 12 points (46-34) after a Joe Eberhard jumper with 16:05 remaining in the contest. However, it was all San Jose State from there. On the Spartans’ next possession, Wil Carter hit a pair of free throws, and that started a run that would see the Spartans score points on 16 of their next 18 possessions.
By the time that 18-possession span concluded, San Jose State had put together a game-clinching 37-16 run that took up 10:32 of the second half and gave the Spartans a nine-point lead (71-62) with 5:03 remaining. Seven different San Jose State players scored during the run as seemingly every Spartan caught fire, including 11 points from Keith Shamburger during the spurt. Prior to the run, Shamburger had scored two points the entire evening, including no points in the first half.
The Hornets closed to within six points (73-67) of the Spartan lead with 1:26 to play, but James Kinney answered with a pair of free throws. The Hornets did not score the final 1:26 of the contest as the 12-point outcome was also San Jose State’s largest lead of the night.
With the victory, San Jose State (9-17) won for the second time in three games, and is now 19-2 all-time against Sacramento State in a series which dates back to 1950. The Hornets lost their third straight game while falling to 9-17. Sacramento State will jump back into Big Sky Conference play next week for its final two games of the regular season, including a home tilt with Portland State on Thursday, and a road game at Idaho State on Saturday. The Hornets need to win their final two games and get help from other teams in the conference to have an opportunity to qualify for the six-team Big Sky Tournament field.
San Jose State finished the game shooting 53.1 percent (26-49) from the field, 44.4 percent (8-18) from the three-point line and 90.5 percent (19-21) from the free throw line. Sacramento State shot well from the field (.462, 24-for-52) while hitting eight three-pointers, but the Spartans’ scorching second half was too much for the Hornets.
Sacramento State was led by sophomore Jackson Carbajal’s career-high 24 points as the shooting guard went 9-of-17 from the field and 4-of-9 from the three-point line. Carbajal has now scored in double figures in seven of his last eight games and is averaging 14.5 points over that span.
Carbajal was joined in double figures by John Dickson (15 points, six rebounds), Dylan Garrity (10 points, 12 assists) and Joe Eberhard (10 points). Josh McCarver added eight points and a team-best seven rebounds. For Garrity, it was his third double-double of the season, and he has now posted at least 12 assists on four occasions this year.
For San Jose State, Carter had 19 points and eight rebounds on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Kinney had 19 points and seven rebounds, and Shamburger added 15 points (all in the second half). D.J. Brown had nine points and Stephon Smith tallied eight points.
Thursday’s game against Portland State is the home finale for Sacramento State, and Hornet seniors Heath Hoffman and McCarver will be honored for their contributions to the program prior to the game.