SAN JOSE, Calif. --- Fresno State dialed up a gritty road effort and forced its first double overtime game in six years, but the San Jose State Spartans outlasted the Bulldogs 79-71 on Thursday night in the Bulldogs' final game at The Event Center as a member of the Western Athletic Conference.
After trailing 34-28 at halftime, Fresno State (11-15, 3-7 WAC) battled back from a 10-point second deficit and used the spark from a Tyler Johnson left wing 3-pointer a to go on a 20-5 run that pushed the Bulldogs in front 53-47 with 5:05 to play. During the stretch, redshirt sophomore Jerry Brown pulled down four offensive rebounds.
The Spartans fended off the surge by converting all four of its free throws in the final five minutes before the 'Dogs later forced overtime when senior guard Jonathan Wills dropped in a lay-up to make it 55-55 at the end of regulation.
SJSU's Keith Shamburger scored 13 of his 21 points in the two overtimes to lead San Jose State (8-16, 1-8 WAC) to its first conference victory, highlighted by Shamburger's 3-pointer from the top of the key with seven seconds left in the first overtime for the tie game at 64-64.
Wil Carter scored a career-high 23 points on 9-of-10 shooting to go with 12 rebounds for the Spartans, who ended a three-game slide.
Bulldogs sophomore Kevin Olekaibe tallied team-best 21 points for the Bulldogs for their sixth straight on the road and fourth in six games overall. Jonathan Wills added 16 points while redshirt sophomore Jerry Brown chipped in 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass, before fouling out with 3:05 left in the first extra period.
Garrett Johnson made it four Bulldogs in double figures with 14 points and a career-high eight boards.
Fresno State, who lost its first game in four tries when playing a team for the second time this season, outrebounded SJSU 44-38 and committed four fewer turnovers than the Spartans, but couldn't overcome the eight extra charity stripe conversions by San Jose State - which proved to be the difference.
The Bulldogs will need to quickly get back on track as they visit Hawai'i on Saturday night at 9 p.m. PT looking to avenge a 74-68 overtime home loss back on Jan. 12.
"We Are Your Team! --- Fresno State will play its final regular season conference road game at Hawai'i on Saturday night at 9 p.m. PT. You can listen to the game on KMJ 580 AM. Make sure to follow Coach @RodneyTerry on Twitter for updates from the road. The Bulldogs return home on Feb. 23 when Seattle University visits the Save Mart Center to begin a four-game homestand that closes the season.
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