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San Jose State beat Air Force 83-78 in overtime

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The Spartans looked to start a new winning streak after losing 77-59 to the Bulldogs Wednesday night.

NCAA Basketball: San Jose State at UNLV Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose State Spartans beat the Air Force Falcons 83-78 in overtime at the Event Center Saturday afternoon.

The Spartans edged the Falcons 89-85 in the first meeting of the season. However, this time around, San Jose State found themselves trailing in the first half and were unable to make a substantial comeback.

The Falcons’ offense smothered the Spartans in the first half. Brandon Clarke scored six consecutive points to cut the Falcons’ lead to 20-14 at 9:53. Air Force held their largest lead of the game, 39-26, over SJSU late in the half.
The Spartans trailed the Falcons 41-28 at halftime. 11 first-half turnovers cost them along with a lack of shots. They were 0-for-12 from beyond the arc.

The Spartans played much better in the second half. They trailed the Falcons 63-59 with 5:32 left in the half. Around the same time, the officials reviewed a loose ball play, confirming the Falcons’ ball at the free throw line.

Brandon Mitchell’s field goal gave the Spartans their first lead, 69-68, since their first possession of the game. In addition, Isaac Thornton matched his season-high point total with 12, all in the second half.

The Spartans received the scoring chance they wanted, but Jalen James didn’t hit the game-winning shot from the free-throw line for the victory. The game headed into overtime tied at 70-70. Clarke finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

The Spartans had some good looks in the overtime period. They regained the lead, 75-74, after Mitchell hit a two-point jumper. SJSU reset the shot clock when Clarke scored his 13th of the game. Isaac Thornton went to the free throw line and made it a three-point game.

Then, the Spartans maintained its three-point lead over the Falcons with 22.2 seconds left in overtime. Thornton recorded a season-high 15 points, all in the second half. Thornton went on to tie his career-high of 17 points with two free throws.

Jaycee Hillsman sealed the scoring in the Spartans’ first overtime game of the season. They improved to 14-11 overall and 7-7 in conference play with an 83-78 win over the Falcons.

The Spartans host the Utah State Aggies next Wednesday at 7:00 pm PST on Mountain West Network and KLIV 1590 AM.