Aggies Stumble At San Jose State In Overtime 72-70

The New Mexico State men's basketball team's quest for a second place finish took a hit as they lost 72-70 in overtime to San Jose State on Wednesday night. Troy Gillenwater scored a team-high 18 point but was outplayed most of the night by Adrian Oliver who finished with 36 points in a battle of the league's top two scorers.

The Aggies trailed the majority of the game as they fell behind early 8-4 after a dunk by Will Carter and a layup from Justin Graham. The Aggies tried the game at 8-8 after a three pointer from Gordo Castillo but the Spartans would retake a three point lead at 15-12 as Adrian Oliver was fouled while shooting a three pointer and he would make the three free throws. The Aggies would fall behind by seven at 24-17 after a Calvin Davis layup with 10:11 left in the half but would go on a 10-2 run to take a 27-26 lead after another Gordo Castillo three pointer. SJSU would quickly retake the lead on a layup from Matt Ballard and the Spartans would stretch their lead back to six on a layup by Oliver. The Aggies would get a layup from Hernst Laroche to cut the Spartans' lead to 35-33 right before halftime.

The Aggies would get a pair of free throws from Tshilidzi Nephawe just 26 seconds into the second half to tie the game at 35 but the Aggies would go scoreless over the next three minutes until a Tyrone Watson layup cut the Spartans' lead to three at 40-37. The Spartans would outscore the Aggies 7-3 over the next two and a half minutes to retake a seven point lead and they would extend their lead to 11 on a three pointer from Calvin Douglas with 11:31 left to play. The Aggies would answer with a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to one at 52-51 with 8:30 left.

The two teams would trade three pointers but a layup from Keith Shamburger was followed by a Will Carter dunk to give SJSU a five point lead at 59-54 with 5:48 left to play in regulation. The Aggies would tie the game at 59 on a Tyrone Watson dunk with 3:48 left to play but the Spartans would take a two point lead at 65-63 after a three pointer from Adrian Oliver. Out of a San Jose State timeout, Gillenwater would bury a three to give the Aggies a one point lead at 66-65 with 56 seconds left. Adrian Oliver would miss a jumper with five seconds left and a tip attempt from Will Carter would sail just past the rim but Matt Ballard would grab the offensive rebound for SJSU and put up a shot with 0.7 seconds left and was fouled by Tyrone Watson. Ballard would miss the first free throw but sink the second to send the game to overtime tied at 66.

In the overtime period the Spartans would take the lead on an Adrian Oliver jumper. Hernst Laroche would tie the game at 68 with a layup but the Spartans would retake the lead on a tip-in by Will Carter. B.J. West would get a dunk to tie the game at 70 with 3:04 left to play in overtime but Keith Shamburger would hit a jumper with 1:59 left to give the Spartans a 72-70 lead.

The Aggies would force a turnover with 18 seconds remaining and Gillenwater's three point attempt would miss. Laroche would grab the offensive rebound but his put back attempt was short sending the Aggies on to Honolulu with a 72-70 defeat.

The loss drops the Aggies to 8-5 in conference play, just a half game ahead of Nevada for second place.

Tyrone Watson finished with 11 points, Christian Kabongo also added 11 and B.J. West finished with 10 for the Aggies. Will Carter added 10 for the Spartans while Justin Graham, Keith Shamburger and Calvin Douglas each added seven for SJSU.

The Aggies out-rebounded the Spartans 38-35 but shot just 56.3 percent from the free throw line (9-of-16) while the Spartans hit 8-of-11 (72.7 percent) from the line. The Aggies hit just 28-of-70 shots from the field while SJSU hit 28-of-67 shots from the field including eight three pointers.