Spartan Notes: The SJSU men’s hoops team gets into win column

san_jose_stateSan Jose State is going to do certain things that are just expected. The custom of a rebuilding season is that a team isn’t going to move the ball well, won’t shoot well, will be caught with their pants down on defense, and will lose. A lot. And it is the new coach’s job to make sure the young team learns from all of this so they get better next year.

Fans got a reprieve from the standard operating procedures of Dave Wojcik’s total rebuild, because few of those customary things actually happened Wednesday.

The Spartans (1-4) got their first win after being left for dead, as per protocol this season, trailing by 10 at halftime Wednesday against Pepperdine. They opened on a 21-10 run to open the second half, outscored the Waves by 16 points in the half to pick up their first win, on the road no less, 83-77 on Wednesday.

They shot a little better overall from the field and certain from 3-point range, played strong defense in the second half, grabbed rebounds and moved the ball some. And it all equaled a win over a decent West Coast Conference squad that entered the game undefeated (3-0).

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Spartan Notes: Bubble bursts in second half of WAC championship on SJSU soccer

san_jose_stateFor 56 minutes and 11 seconds, it looked like the San Jose State men’s soccer team could do the impossible.

Then Seattle scored, and everything came crashing back to Earth. The Spartans, nearly flawless through the first two-and-a-half games of the Western Athletic Conference men’s soccer tournament, couldn’t hold off the conference’s only elite team, falling to Seattle 2-1 thanks to two second half goals by the Redhawks.

San Jose State took an early lead on an unassisted goal by Ben Cowdrill. But Seattle had spent the first half peppering goalkeeper Emmanuel Espinoza, throwing 10 shots his way with two needing to be stopped.

In the 57th minute (at 56:12 to be exact), the dam finally broke for the Spartans. Miguel Gonzalez netted his team leading 13th goal of the season with the help of Ian Hines-Ike. The Redhawks took the lead for good when Hines-Ike assisted Hamza Haddadi on his fifth goal of the game in the 71st minute. All told, of Seattles eight shots in the second half, seven were on net, with Espinoza stopping five others.

The Redhawks earn the WAC’s automatic bid into next week’s NCAA tournament, concluding the regular season 10-8-2, and undefeated (7-0-3) in WAC play. Despite a valiant showing at the conference tournament, San Jose State ends its season with a record of 4-13-4.

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Spartan Notes: San Jose State soccer scores another upset, makes WAC final

Freshman Eric Mendez lifted San Jose State to another upset at the Western Athletic Conference men’s soccer tournament at the Air Force Academy in Colorado, scoring the only goal of Friday’s game against Cal State Bakersfield to lift the Spartans to a 1-0 win.

The Spartans lost twice to the Roadrunners in the regular season, 4-3 at home and 1-0 in Bakersfield.

Now, the Spartans get No. 1 seed Seattle, a team that beat the Spartans to close out the conference season, 1-0.

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Spartan Notes: Spartans’ soccer scores upset at WAC tournament

san_jose_stateThree wins. That’s it. At least they were all in conference.

It’s been a hard year for the San Jose State men’s soccer team. They didn’t get into the win column until late September, a month and a half into the season. They struggled to score at times, and lost a lot of games by wide margins to mediocre competition (5-0 to Houston Baptist; 6-1 to Cal Poly).

So, they were going to be easy pickings at the WAC tournament at the Air Force Academy on Thursday, right? Wrong. the Spartans, the sixth seed in the tournament, knocked off No. 3 UNLV on penalty kicks, 9-8, after playing to a 2-2 tie through two overtimes.

They got a lift from freshman Uriel Ayala, who score the game-winning goal in a shootout. Frankie Beauchamp had a goal and assist, and team scoring leader Rory Knibbs added his eighth goal for San Jose State.

The Spartans entered the WAC soccer tournament at the Air Force Academy not exactly riding a high. Yes, they were better in their last five games — 2-2-1 — then they had been all season. It helped that the Spartans had beaten UNLV for their first win of the season.

If the Spartans are to run the table at the WAC tournament, it will likely have to include defeating the conference’s top three seeds. They knocked off UNLV Thursday, will have to knock off No. 2 seed Cal State Bakersfield on Friday to reach the final, where top-seeded Seattle will likely be waiting.

They face the Roadrunners at 5 p.m. Friday.

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