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Spartan Basketball: Air Force slams the door

The Falcons were 60% from the field in the first half

San Jose State head coach, Jean Prioleau Photo by: Vic Aquino |

When your team’s flat out losing?

  • The mind can wander off course
  • You get writer’s block
  • All of the above

Of course, it’s all of the above - I can imagine it being a lot easier to be winning and writing about all the chicken dinners.

For the Spartans of the hardwood, I can’t even begin to imagine the frustration and disappointment of the season, but can clearly see in the players that they have the same drive, passion and dedication as anyone.

It just takes so much more above and beyond them that it’s another dissertation altogether.

The visiting Spartans (4-25, 1-17 MWC) lost soundly and completely to the Falcons (12-18, 6-12 MWC) to end the regular season.

In the 83-61 loss, the Spartans never led and could never find an offensive groove. Freshman Keith Fisher and junior Jaycee Hillsman grinded their way to 18 and 10 points for the game, respectively, with balanced single-digit scoring from most of the remaining Spartans (…if there is such a thing as “balanced single-digit scoring”).

The crux of the game for the Spartans was the 60% shooting and the 3-point carpet-bombing in the first half by Air Force of which the Spartans never recovered.

As most teams have done, the Spartans generally cannot counter the 3-pointer and aren’t effective defending against it. It’s easier to say guard the arc, rotate and box out than to naturally think it, recognize it and execute it as a team.

In the second half, the Spartans did find one good 11-1 run in them but moreso found a couple of big multi-minute scoring droughts. The Falcons easily answered with scoring runs of their own, though overall, Air Force’s second-half shooting cooled down significantly from the first half.

The Falcons started subbing with about 7 minutes left with the game well in control; taking out seniors Jacob Van, Trevor Lyons and Ryan Manning. Senior day was good for Van who had a game high 23-points and for Lyons who grabbed 13 rebounds.

The Spartans will try their hand in Las Vegas, Wednesday, March 7th against the Wyoming Cowboys in the first round of the MWC tourney.