Jan. 10, 2009
FRESNO, Calif. -- Senior guard Dwight O'Neil netted a career-high 22 points to go with nine rebounds and seven assists as Fresno State dropped an overtime contest with San Jose State, 71-68, on Saturday night in the Save Mart Center.
The Bulldogs built a nine-point halftime lead as O'Neil drained 15 of his 22 points during the first session while making six of his seven shots from the field to lead the team, who shot a blistering 64.3 percent as a team during the first-half and 49.1 percent for the game.
Freshman guard Paul George recorded 18 points, grabbed six rebounds and forced a team-high three steals. Junior forward Sylvester Seay added nine points and six boards as freshman guard Mychal Ladd tallied seven points on the night.
The `Dogs led by as many as 11 points with 19:42 left in the second half as O'Neil hit a jump shot for a 46-35 advantage before the Spartans fought back into the game.
With Fresno up 63-60, San Jose State forced overtime after sophomore guard Justin Graham made the first of two free throws with 15 seconds left. Graham missed the second, but junior forward C.J. Webster grabbed the offensive rebound and slipped in for the layup with seven seconds left.
O'Neil, who made a game-high four three-pointers on the night, missed a three-pointer at the end of regulation with the score even at 63.
C.J. Webster drilled a pair of free throws to put San Jose State (7-7, 1-3) ahead 69-68 with 34 seconds left, Fresno State (7-9, 0-2) missed three 3-pointers in the closing seconds. Junior center Chris Oakes, who had 14 points, hit two free throws with 18 seconds remaining and O'Neil missed an off-balance jumper at the buzzer that would've sent the game into double overtime sealed the Spartan comeback.
Webster paced San Jose State with a career-high 23 points, including the go-ahead free throws in overtime as four Spartans reached double figures.
There were 12 ties and eight lead changes in the game. The Bulldogs bench outscored the San Jose State reserves (17-8) as Fresno State also won the fast break situations with 12 points to the Spartan's six. Both teams created nine steals.
Fresno State takes to the road for games at Utah State (Jan. 15) and Nevada (Jan. 17) as the `Dogs look for their first Western Athletic Conference victory of 2009.
"Join the State - Fresno State!" - The `Dogs hit the road as they travel to take on Utah State on Thursday, January 15 at 6:05 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on the Bulldog Sports Network and can be seen on KAIL-TV (MY 53) and My Digital 7.1 on HDTV. Hittin' the Hardwood, Fresno State's pre-game show, will start at 5:30 p.m. to give you a behind-the-scenes look at Bulldog athletics. The `Dogs return to the Save Mart Center on Thursday, January 22 as they host Louisiana Tech at 7:00 p.m. It's Thursday Night at the Save Mart Center and all Fresno State and Fresno Unified School District faculty and staff can receive $2 tickets with presentation of their ID (limit 4 tickets) at the Save Mart Center box office. Tickets are on sale now through the Save Mart Center box office, by calling (559) 485-TIXS or online at ticketmaster.com.
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