Idaho 50, San Jose St. 49
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP)—Keoni Watson hit a baseline jumper with 1.3 seconds left to give Idaho a 50-49 win over San Jose State in the opening game of the Western Athletic Conference tournament Tuesday night.
Idaho (4-26) snapped a 12-game losing streak and advanced to Thursday’s quarterfinals against No. 10 ranked Nevada (27-3).
Watson led the Vandals with 18 points, scoring all of them in the second half. His game-winner was a high floater that hit nothing but net.
San Jose State got the ball to midcourt on its last possession but Lance Holloway had trouble handling it and put up a desperation shot that was short.
Carlton Spencer, who scored 21 points, had given San Jose State (5-25) a 49-48 lead with an off-balance layup with 11 seconds left. Spencer was fouled on the shot by Idaho’s Desmond Nwoke, but missed the free throws.
San Jose State center Menelik Barbary set a WAC tournament record with 9 blocks. He just missed a triple-double, with 10 rebounds and 10 points. Barbary’s 9 blocks broke the previous tournament record of 7 by David Van Dyke of UTEP in 1992.
Idaho, which had not won since Jan. 18, led 22-21 at halftime and traded leads with the Spartans throughout the second half behind the scoring of Watson, who scored the Vandals’ final eight points.
Nwoke added 11 points for Idaho and Watson had 8 rebounds. Holloway had 13 rebounds but was scoreless for San Jose State.