Spartans spank 'Bows
Revenge was a dish best served cold to the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team last night.
San Jose State — and Adrian Oliver — got its revenge on the cold-shooting Rainbow Warriors, 83-60, at The Event Center in San Jose, Calif.
Oliver scored 33 points as the Spartans avenged a 68-67 loss at Hawai'i on Jan. 17. Oliver missed a crucial free throw in the closing seconds of that loss.
The 'Bows struggled with their shooting touch all night — even at the free-throw line — to drop to 9-12 overall and 2-6 in the WAC with their third consecutive loss.
"Just disappointed with the effort and execution, especially in the second half," Hawai'i head coach Bob Nash said. "It was a lack of concentration in a lot of areas, and that's what makes this one hard to take."
Hawai'i is now tied with Idaho for seventh place in the nine-team WAC, one game ahead of last-place Boise State.
The Spartans improved to 12-8 overall and 5-3 in the WAC with their third consecutive victory.
Roderick Flemings scored 19 points to lead the 'Bows. Jeremy Lay added 12 points and four assists, and Brandon Adams contributed nine points and eight rebounds.
It was hardly enough on a night when the 'Bows got beat in virtually every statistical category.
The 'Bows shot 42.4 percent from the field, including just 1 of 10 from 3-point range. Hawai'i is now 2 for 23 (8.7 percent) from 3-point range in its last two games.
"I don't know if we're in a shooting slump, but we're not making shots so we must be in something," Nash said.
The 'Bows even struggled at the free-throw line, going just 9 of 21 (42.9 percent).
"I thought our preparation was good, I thought we were ready to play," Nash said. "Then once the game started, we got behind early and were never able to get back in it. We just didn't have that pop in us that we normally have."
In contrast, the Spartans shot 50.8 percent from the field, including 7 of 16 from 3-point range (43.8 percent). They also converted 16 of 23 free throws.
"We didn't play great, but we played with a lot of intensity," San Jose State head coach George Nessman said. "We were able to hold them off. They made some nice runs at us. We got one last run and put it away with five, six minutes to go."
In truth, it was over much earlier.
Hawai'i had a 7-6 lead, but it was all Spartans after that.
San Jose State took control with a 16-6 run that gave it a 22-13 lead. Oliver scored 17 in the first half to guide the Spartans to a 41-32 lead at intermission.
"Adrian draws so much attention," Nessman said. "He makes it easier on everyone else."
Oliver leads the WAC and ranks sixth in the country in scoring with 22.5 points per game. He finished 12 of 18 from the field, including 3 of 3 from 3-point range. He also made all six of his free throws.
"He made some tough shots on us in the first half, and that got him in a rhythm," Nash said. "But we gave up some easy baskets in the second half, too many fastbreak points."
Hawai'i never got closer than nine in the second half. The Spartans broke it open with a 10-2 run that increased the lead to 59-40.
Chris Oakes added 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting, and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Spartans to a 39-32 advantage on the boards.
"The guy who really hurt us was Oakes," Nash said. "We didn't have a post presence to deal with him."
Hawai'i played its fourth consecutive game without junior guard Dwain Williams, who was in California last weekend for the funeral of his cousin. He averages 14.0 points per game and is considered the team's best 3-point shooter.
The 'Bows will stay on the road for a WAC game at Nevada tomorrow. It will be televised on ESPNU at 5 p.m. (Hawai'i time).