Friday, December 6th, 2019

San Jose State makes early season statement as five players score in double digits in win over Buffalo, 95-88

Published on November 21, 2019

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Spartans halt Bulls win streak

Nov. 21, 2019 (San Jose, Calif.) SJSU beats Buffalo 95-88

Nov. 21, 2019 (San Jose, Calif.) SJSU beats Buffalo 95-88

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SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose State Spartans fought back from a second-quarter 14-point deficit to defeat the Buffalo Bulls Thursday night, 95-88. Buffalo (4-1) came into the contest undefeated on their very first road trip to California. However, the Spartans halted that streak largely due to tenacious defense and balanced scoring. Five SJSU players finished in double figures led by two transfers: junior forward Tyra Whitehead (Wake Forest) and sophomore guard Ayzhiana Basallo (Cal Poly).

“That is a program that’s very well-respected around the country,” SJSU head coach Jamie Craighead said about Buffalo. “When you have a chance to make a statement like that, you need to do it. It was great to see.”

At the outset, after the Spartans won the tip, the game was a back and forth affair as no team could gain a significant advantage. However, midway through the quarter, the Bulls went on an 11-1 run fueled by the offense of senior guard Theresa Onwuka and freshman guard Dyaisha Fair. Both guards made three-point shots in the stretch to help Buffalo accumulate a 22-10 lead at 2:48 before SJSU began to fight back get within double digits.

The Bulls went into the second period with a 25-18 lead. The fast-paced contest continued into the second period. Both teams saw a balanced offensive effort with Fair and Onwuka continuing to score for Buffalo along with eight points from sophomore forward Keowa Walters.

Basallo, Whitehead and junior guard Megan Anderson led the way for SJSU in the second quarter. Anderson capped a 7-0 run for her team with a three-point jumper heading into the break. Nevertheless, at halftime, the Bulls still held the advantage 48-41.

The third quarter was the juggernaut for the Spartans. Led by junior guard Danae Marquez who nailed all three of her trey attempts in the period, SJSU outscored Buffalo 30-13 in the quarter. Whitehead and Anderson contributed six points while Fieme’a Hafoka added five plus two assists. The effort gave the Spartans a double-digit lead, 71-61 heading into the final ten minutes.

Buffalo made a run to start the fourth quarter, a 13-4 spree that got them within one point after a three-pointer from Fair. However, after Hafoka grabbed a defensive rebound at 6:04 that led to a pull-up jumper from Basallo, the Spartans began to pull away again. Buffalo never got closer than four after that and the home team came away with the hard-fought victory in the first-ever meeting between the programs.

SJSU shot 50% from beyond the arc, including 7-of-9 in the second half. They also made 17-of-19 (89.4%) attempts from the free-throw line compared to just 62.5% for the Bulls.

“They turned a second half into a phenomenal performance,” Craighead said. “That third quarter, they came out and just really took over the game. We took away some of their second-chance points, and I thought it was the difference in the game. And we made a lot of free throws and fast-break opportunities. That’s just tremendous…a lot of people scoring. That’s good team basketball and a great team win.”

Overall, Anderson led SJSU with 19 points. Basallo finished with a double-double of 18 points plus 10 assists. Whitehead also scored 18, pulled down eight rebounds and earned four steals. Marquez added 12 points plus four rebounds and sophomore guard Raziya Potter contributed 10 pints.

Buffalo’s Fair led all scorers with 28 points plus seven assists. Onwuka earned a double-double of 21 points, 12 rebounds plus five assists. Walters also had a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Junior forward Marissa Hamilton chipped in 10 points.

The Spartans are now on a three-game winning streak. They face another undefeated team on Saturday when they host West Coast Conference team, San Diego.

Buffalo’s West Coast trip does not get any easier as they head up the highway to face Pac-12 power, No. 3 Stanford, Sunday afternoon.

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