Bulldogs snap 10 game win streak

January 28, 2010

by Sarah Brown

The Bulldogs snapped a 10-game winning streak Thursday night as they fell 87-76 against Western Athletic Conference opponent San Jose State.

The game started off rocky for the Bulldogs when senior guard Kyle Gibson committed two fouls within the first six minutes of the first half. Senior center Magnum Rolle committed his second foul 10 minutes into the game.

As the Bulldogs played without their two best players for the majority of the half, San Jose State’s Adrian Oliver scored 12 of the Spartans first 14 points in the game to give San Jose State a 14-8 lead in the first 12 minutes.

Tech’s sophomore guard Anson Bartlett brought the Bulldogs back in the game with back-to-back lay-ups in the first half.

San Jose State’s Oliver scored 25 points alone in the first half, leading his Spartans to a 41-31 lead at halftime.

In the first five minutes of the second half, Gibson picked up his fourth foul of the game. Head coach Rupp chose to keep Gibson in the game and Rupp’s choice proved to be the right one as Gibson scored a three-pointer with a foul.

His four-point play cut the Spartan lead to 52-45 in the final 14 minutes of the game. Ashaolu’s back-to-back two-foot field goals cut the score by four points making it 64-60.

Oliver remained a thorn in the Bulldogs side as he quickly responded with two field goals, one on a three-point play. This gave the Spartans a 69-60 lead over Tech with just under eight minutes left in the game. The Bulldogs trimmed the lead down for a final time by four points with 5:48 left in the game and a score of 71-67.

From then on, the Spartans took charge and kept the scoring difference distant. San Jose State finalized the game 87-76.

Tech stands 5-1 in the WAC and 17-3 overall. San Jose State improved to 10-8 overall and 3-3 in the WAC. Head coach Kerry Rupp said he felt the Spartans out-hustled his team.

“That is just one game and we have to learn from it and go forward,” Rupp said.
“We have got to fight and come out hungry and we didn’t do that.”

Ashaolu led all other Bulldogs with eight rebounds and a single score of 19 points. He was 9-of-13 when shooting from the field. Tech’s shooting percentage was 44.6 percent on 29-of-65 when shooting from the field. The Bulldogs were 10-of-22 from the three-point range 45.5 percent0, seven alone in the second half.

Rupp said the Bulldogs know what they have to do to maintain their winning season. “We’ve got to bounce back and learn from this game and be able to bring intensity for 40 minutes,” Rupp said.

The Bulldogs would try to do just that against Hawaii Saturday at the San Sheriff Center. The game started strong and intense as a three-point attempt by senior guard Jamel Guyton rimmed-out, and senior center Magnum Rolle slam-dunked the rebound, sending a statement to Hawaii that this time the Bulldogs would not let this game get away.

The next Bulldog possession led to more points as Rolle hit a lay-up, scoring 13 of the Bulldogs final 18 points in the opening half. Tech led at halftime by just one point, taking a 31-30 lead.

The second half was a physical match for the Bulldogs as both teams kept hitting the floor with aggression and grit. A 13-5 run gave Tech a 54-45 lead with just under seven minutes in the game, topped with a Guyton steal and slam-dunk. The 10-point lead would be the largest of the night for the Bulldogs.

Senior guard Kyle Gibson missed three-consecutive free throws in the final minute of the game. Hawaii converted back-to-back buckets off of the misses, narrowing Tech’s lead to only two points. Tech led 61-59 with just 33 seconds in the game.

Gibson made his next four free-throw attempts to seal the lead and five-point win.

The Bulldogs will take on New Mexico State at 8 p.m. Jan.30 at the TAC.