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Emptying the notebook: Oops, Lobos did it again in San Jose

The Provident Credit Union Event Center on the campus of San Jose State University on Jan. 1, 2020. (Geoff Grammer/Albuquerque Journal)

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Here are a few extra notes, quotes, stats, tweets, videos and whatever else I could empty out of the old notebook from Wednesday night’s 88-85 San Jose State win over the UNM Lobos:

Déjà vu all over again

It isn’t as if the Lobos haven’t been down this road before.

Wednesday’s loss to San Jose State had some similarities to the Lobos’ 89-82 loss in the Event Center from Feb. 26.

“You know this is the second year in a row that we’ve beat a really good team — I think I think New Mexico is really good,” San Jose State coach Jean Prioleau said. “They’re really athletic I think coach Weir does a great job and I’m just proud of our guys that they were able to hold on, show that they’re good enough to play at this level.”

Yes, it was, indeed, the second time in a row the Spartans beat the Lobos in San Jose. And both of the losses in San Jose had some similar themes:

Score
• 2019-20 season: 173 points (88-85)
• 2018-19 season: 171 points (89-82)

Possessions
• 2019-20 season: 80
• 2018-19 season: 79

3-pointers
• 2019-20 season: SJSU hit 12 (have had only one game this season with more)
• 2018-19 season: SJSU hit 11 (had only one game all season with more)

That guy
• 2019-20 season: Richard Washington hit career-high seven 3-pointers
• 2018-19 season: Noah Baumann hit a career-high eight 3-pointers

Pregame predictions
• 2019-20 season: KenPom.com predicted a 12-point Lobos win with an 86% win probability
• 2018-19 season: KenPom.com predicted an 11-point Lobos win with an 84% win probability

Turnovers
• 2019-20 season: SJSU had 29 points off 18 UNM turnovers
• 2018-19 season: SJSU had 22 points off 16 UNM turnovers

Steals
• 2019-20 season: SJSU had a season high 10
• 2018-19 season: SJSU had a season high 10

Referee
• Bob Staffen officiated both games
(OK, so that one is probably just random)

Last year, the Lobos had no excuse to be caught off guard by Baumann’s eight 3s as he hit 81 in the season.

But Washington’s seven on Wednesday one could at least acknowledge had to be surprising for the Lobos as he was shooting just 24.1% coming into the game and averaged 1.0 made 3s per game prior. In the entire month of December, he was just 3-of-19 (15.8%) from beyond the arc.

“It came pretty much from the one kid (Washington), who was awesome tonight,” Weir said of the struggles defending the 3-point line as SJSU hit 12 triples. “His percentages over the last few games were not even close to that. Especially that last one. That was a heck of a shot. I thought we had two guys contesting that shot. You’ve got to give him credit. That’s a high level shot to win the basketball game.”

Regardless, the Lobos simply left way too much space for Washington to hit his game-winner, even if Weir said after the game he felt the shot was well contested.

In a loss, but still…

Lobos junior Vance Jackson, the much-criticized forward this season who hasn’t yet performed up to the lofty standards he set for himself at the end of last season, had easily his best game of this season on Wednesday night.

The 6-9 Jackson seems to be finding a comfortable, and effective balance of inside and out to his game. On Wednesday, much like he did in the Mountain West Tournament in March, he was effective at the rim and on the perimeter which kept opposing defenders guessing in his season-best 25-point performance.

Inside the arc, he attacked the rim regularly, drawing seven fouls. He went 8-of-10 at the free throw line and hit 4-of-6 of his 2-point shots. He also pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds.

On the perimeter, he matched a season-high with three 3-pointers made.

For Jackson, not only was Wednesday his best statline, by far, for the season, it was his fourth consecutive double-figure scoring game after he had just two in the first 12 games (and neither of those were more than 11 points).

Whether or not his suspended teammates Carlton Bragg Jr. and J.J. Caldwell return to the Lobos, Jackson’s momentum will be important for the Lobos.

The gamer

Here is the gamer I filed Wednesday night from the Event Center in San Jose:

A number to know: 1000

JaQuan Lyle also scored 25 points in Wednesday’s game for the Lobos to go along with eight assists and three steals.

As I’ve been posting for several weeks (and even some last season when it appeared former Lobo Anthony Mathis might reach the milestone before late season inconsistent games kicked in), Lyle was approaching the 1,000 career points scored milestone.

He was six away from that figure in Sunday’s game against UC Davis and turned in his worst game of the season and scored just 3 points.

On Wednesday, though, he easily reached the mark.

Lyle’s 25 points gives him 279 in 16 games with UNM. Combined with his Ohio State total of 743 in two seasons, Lyle now has scored 1,022 points scored in college.

• OHIO STATE (66 gms): 743 points
• UNM (16 gms): 279 points
• TOTAL (82 gms): 1,022 points

It wasn’t all hoops

Just a few hundred yards away from the arena where San Jose State and UNM played on Wednesday night is something far more meaningful.

Pretty cool tribute on the SJSU campus to 1968 Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos.

He said it

“It’s a unique situation, what happened. We lost our best rebounder and our best ball handler. (Wednesday night,) we lost with rebounding and ball handling.” — UNM head coach Paul Weir

There is no timetable from UNM on when it will decide on the longterm status of the indefinite suspensions of point guard J.J. Caldwell and forward Carlton Bragg Jr.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas…

At least the Lobos don’t hold the distinction of being the only Mountain West team with a shockingly bad loss on the road to start the new year.

Utah State was favored by seven points and lost by 17, a 24-point swing. The Lobos were favored by 10 and lost by three, a 13-point swing. For the Aggies, who were receiving votes in this week’s AP Top 25, losing to the Rebels, even in Las Vegas, is a pretty bad look. Maybe not SJSU bad, but that’s still a pretty bad UNLV team that USU wasn’t even competitive with.

Around the Mountain

There was a full slate of five Mountain West games on Wednesday and there will be five more on Saturday.

WEDNESDAY
• No. 13 San Diego State 61, Fresno State 52
• Boise State 65, Wyoming 54
• Nevada 67, Colorado State 61
• San Jose State 88, New Mexico 85
• UNLV 70, Utah State 53

SATURDAY
• Wyoming at Colorado State
• Boise State at Nevada
• San Jose State at Fresno State
• No. 13 San Diego State at Utah State
• Air Force at UNLV

Mountain West standings

When it comes to standings, all that matter are league games. So, sorry SDSU, that shiny 14-0 is only a shiny 3-0 here.

Through Wednesday’s game (alphabetical if tied):

3-0 San Diego State
2-0 Nevada
2-0 UNLV
2-1 Boise State
2-1 New Mexico
2-1 Utah State
1-1 Air Force
1-2 San Jose State
0-3 Colorado State
0-3 Fresno State
0-3 Wyoming

Meanwhile, back in Albuquerque…

For the first time ever, the San Jose State women’s basketball team and men’s basketball team beat their UNM counterparts on the same calendar day.

Like in San Jose, apparently it was a frantic finish in the closing seconds. Here’s the Ken Sickenger gamer from the Pit:

Oh, those runs…

Like many basketball games, Wednesday was a game of runs:

1st half
• 17-2 UNM run made it 23-9, Lobos
• 14-0 SJSU run tied it, 28-28
• 10-0 SJSU run made it 41-33, Spartans

2nd half
• 12-2 SJSU run made it 62-44, Spartans (biggest lead of game)
• 11-0 UNM run made it 85-84, Lobos

Video: Paul Weir

Here’s the brief postgame interview I did with Lobos coach Paul Weir after Wednesday’s loss in San Jose:

Plus/minus

Here are the plus/minus numbers for the Lobos from Wednesday’s game with minutes played in parenthesis:

+16 Corey Manigault (33:08)
+9 Tavian Percy (12:20)
+2 JaQuan Lyle (39:05)
+2 Vante Hendrix (28:35)
0 Vance Jackson (37:13)
-3 Keith McGee (5:53)
-14 Zane Martin (22:42)
-27 Makuach Maluach (21:04)

Attendance

The announced attendance for Wednesday’s game in the Provident Credit Union Event Center: 1,288

Here’s a video of the pregame player intros I took:

The video was also used on a tweet from Barstool Sports with a little larger social media reach than I have.

Box score

Here is the box sore handed out on press row after Wednesday’s game…

And for those who like the digital version, CLICK HERE.

Meanwhile, at KOB

Congratulations to fellow Albuquerque sports media member Brandon Ortega, who had a very happy New Years, indeed…

Grammer’s Guesses

Well, this is going well.

Really tough day for Team Grammer with my Grammer’s Guesses going 0-4-1 on Wednesday against the point spread, putting me at 5-9-1 on the season.

My 10-year-old daughter’s coin flip picks at least got one right, going 1-3-1 on the day. She’s now tied with me at 5-9-1.

My 5-month-old daughter’s Baby Girl Grammer’s Bonus Game pick of the day also lost, but she’s still 2-1 on the season.

Until next time…

Until next time, Provident Credit Union Event Center on the campus of San Jose State University…

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