San Jose State beats Hawaii, 61-59
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)—Adrian Oliver scored 20 points, including a pair of tie-breaking free throws with 3.8 seconds remaining, as San Jose State tied its largest Western Athletic Conference win total in program history with a 61-59 victory over Hawaii on Saturday.
The Spartans (13-14, 6-8), who are assured of a first-round bye in the WAC conference tournament for the first time since 2001, also received 12 points and eight rebounds from C.J. Webster.
Roderick Flemings scored 20 points to lead Hawaii, but the Warriors (13-15, 5-10 WAC) went scoreless over the final 3:36 to lose for the fourth time in five games.
Bill Amis added 10 points, nine rebounds and five blocks, but missed a pair of critical foul shots with 9.4 seconds to go that would have put Hawaii ahead.
Hawaii’s Adhar Mayen initially grabbed Amis’ second miss, but his pass out to the perimeter was scooped up by the Spartans’ DaShawn Wright.
Wright quickly found Oliver, who went up for a left-handed layup try but missed while his jersey was being grabbed by Kareem Nitoto. Nitoto, who was injured on the play and remained down for a couple minutes before gingerly walking off the court, was assessed an intentional foul.
Oliver hit both of those shots, but missed another pair that would have iced the game after being fouled on the ensuing inbounds play.
Amis collected the second attempt, but with 2.7 seconds left and inbounding under their own hoop, the Rainbows could only generate a 40-foot desperation heave by Hiram Thompson, which came up well short.
Little-used reserve DeVonte Thomas hit all four of his shots to contribute eight points for the Spartans, who have won three of four games and swept their season series with Hawaii for the first time since 2003.
San Jose has won six conference games only twice in its 12 previous seasons as a WAC member, in 2000-01 and 2001-02. The Spartans have two chances to top that mark, but it will be a tall order; San Jose finishes its WAC regular-season schedule with road games at Nevada and Utah State, the conference’s top two teams.