Pierce helps San Jose St rally to 77-71 win over South Dakota St

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)—Tim Pierce scored 14 points, including a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime and San Jose State rebounded from a 17-point deficit to beat South Dakota State 77-71 on Sunday night.

Pierce sank an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer after the Spartans missed three 3-point attempts in the final seconds. He grabbed a long rebound and threw up a shot while he was falling backward. The officials took several minutes to review the final play before declaring it a 3-pointer.

The Spartans took their first lead when Pierce sank a pair of free throws with 1:21 left in overtime, winning their second straight game in overtime after trailing by as many as 17 points.

DaShawn Wright matched his career high with 17 points, 15 after halftime, to lead the Spartans (6-5), which enters WAC play with a winning record for the first time since the 2000-01 season. Justin Graham added 16, followed by C.J. Webster with 11 and Chris Oakes with 10.

Kai Williams scored 18 points for the Jackrabbits (5-8), who lost their fifth straight on the road. Garrett Callahan scored 15 points and Clint Sargent had 10.

Callahan hit consecutive 3-pointers to help the Jackrabbits open a 57-40 with just over eight minutes remaining to play.

San Jose State quickly climbed back into contention with 12 unanswered points, sparked by a couple of baskets and key defensive plays from Wright.

South Dakota State was still up 61-55 with 3:07 remaining. Pierce and Wright then hit 3-pointers to tie the game at 61-all heading into the final two minutes.

Michael Palarca made one of two free throws to give the Jackrabbits a 65-62 advantage with 24 seconds remaining, setting up the chaotic ending to regulation.

The Jackrabbits made their first five baskets and nine of 10 to grab the early lead. They shot 64 percent in the half but also committed 11 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, allowing San Jose State to hang close.

That changed when the Spartans started rushing shots and managed just six defensive rebounds to South Dakota State’s 18. The Jackrabbits began pulling away and scored the final four points of the first half to take a 39-25 lead into halftime.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 South Dakota St.
K. Williams K. Williams
6-11,  18 Pts
7 Rebs, 0 Assists
 San Jose St.
J. Graham J. Graham
3-10,  16 Pts
2 Rebs, 5 Assists

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Sunday, Dec 30