SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Justin Graham scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half to lead short-handed San Jose State to a 72-64 victory over Idaho on Thursday night.
The Spartans (12-14, 5-8 WAC) won without starting forward Tim
Pierce, who was out for what the school called academic reasons.
Pierce had started every game this season and he was second on the
team in scoring and third in rebounding.
The Spartans had five players score in double-figures, including
Adrian Oliver (14 points), C.J. Webster (12), Robert Owens (11) and
DeVonte Thomas (10).
San Jose State used dominating play on the glass to get the victory. The Spartans outrebounded the Vandals 43-18. Idaho, which came into the game last in the conference in rebounding, managed only four offensive rebounds all night.
Mac Hobson scored 20 points to lead Idaho (13-14, 6-7), but also had a critical gaffe late in the game.
Idaho, which had trailed for much of the second half, was within one point with 4:31 remaining. Hobson was looking to the bench while dribbling when he was stripped of the ball by Graham. Hobson then fouled Graham intentionally. Graham hit one free throw and a jumper on the ensuing possession to put San Jose State back up by four.
The Vandals' chances sunk further when they missed five consecutive free throws in the final minutes.
Idaho led by as many 10 points in the first half, taking a 29-19 lead on Luciano de Souza's 3-pointer with 5:39 to go. San Jose State was able to climb back and go into the break down just 33-32.
Graham's jumper in the opening seconds of the second half gave San Jose State its first lead since the game's opening five minutes. Owens hit a 3-pointer to give the Spartans a 45-38 lead at the 15:23 mark. The Spartans hit seven of their first 10 shots after halftime.
The Vandals came back to tie the game at 51 on Trevor Morris' 3-pointer with 10:51 to go, but they could not pull ahead.
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