Breaking a 17-game losing streak and on a short turnaround, the Spartans (4-23, 1-14 MW) pulled off a strong 89-82 win at home over the New Mexico Lobos (11-16, 5-10 MW) for its first Mountain West win. It was SJSU’s second win ever over the Lobos and the first time beating New Mexico at home, considering the Lobos 92-60 shellacking over the Spartans just two weeks ago.
For a struggling team with little to show for its efforts, the young Spartans have continued to fight and not give up, while growing with experience with each loss. The last few games have seen a lower turnover rate and its young guards have brought the energy to the team. And finally, a Tuesday night effort had the Spartans shooting well all around; belying the fact SJS is the worst shooting team in the conference.
Spartan highlights of night
- Sophomore guard Noah Baumann had a fire show with 26 points on 8-11 from 3s. Baumann’s 8 3s sets a program record.
- Forward Michael Steadman earned his ninth double-double and his second consecutive 21-point scoring night.
- Freshman guard Zach Chappell notched his best game of the season with 17-points on 5-8 shooting and 2-2 from 3s. Chappell also had 9 assists.
- The Spartans finally had less turnovers (14 vs. 16) and made more 3s (11 vs. 8) than the Lobos. A notable feat that’s only happened a handful of times this season for SJS.
Both teams were shooting well in the first half in an even matchup that ended with 47-46 halftime lead for the Spartans. SJS shot 61% from the field in the first half and 48% overall for the game.
In the second half, the Lobos were sluggish, while the Spartans continued to go to the hot hands. SJS ballooned their lead to 13 points at one point. Lobos Keith McGee, Corey Madigault, Carlton Bragg and Makuach Maluach ended with 25, 17, 17 and 14 points, respectively, but were only 8-34 on 3s. Leading Lobo scorer Anthony Mathis had an off night with only 5 points.
The Spartans next visit the San Diego State Aztecs Saturday. who just loss to Utah State Tuesday night.