San Jose State has been exceptionally bad this season, but an overtime thriller on January 9 proved the Spartans can hang with the Colorado State Rams. The second CSU-SJSU matchup of the season came down to the wire in Fort Collins. Both teams experienced several-minute scoring droughts at different points in the first half, but things heated up as the game went on, and Colorado State came out on top, 74-66.
Cody Schwartz managed to keep the Spartans in the game by knocking down three-pointers that always kept them within striking distance. Schwartz's shooting this season has been unpredictable, and should he find consistency from deep, San Jose State will be in a better place as they enter the second half of conference play. Schwartz's surprisingly abundant 3-pointers were complemented by a second half surge by Princeton Onwas to 20 points.
For Colorado State, there were moments where the Rams seemed poised to pull ahead by a lot, but could not quite put it out of San Jose State's reach. A 23-point showing from Antwan Scott kept the Rams ahead for most of the game. Most importantly, Scott answered Onwas' scoring rampage in the second half by making plays on both ends and scoring 8 of the Rams' final 12 points. San Jose State botched the game in the final few minutes, despite being tied with 3:00 left, with crucial turnovers that led to Colorado State baskets.
The feel-good moment of the night came when Emmanuel Omogbo got on a roll in the second half. Amazingly, Omogbo looked undistracted despite tragically losing his parents and his sister's twin nieces last week. Not only did Omogbo play, but he played exceptionally well down the stretch. Omogbo muscled his way to 11 points, seven rebounds, and a huge bucket late in the second half to put the game away.
This puts Colorado State at 12-8 and San Jose State at 6-15. The Rams travel to Wyoming to face the Josh Adams and company on Saturday. The Spartans host the Air Force Academy on Saturday, where they hope to capitalize on a very realistic shot at victory.