Oliver's buzzer-beat lifts SJSU over Hawaii 75-74


Oliver's buzzer-beat lifts SJSU over Hawaii 75-74


LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Adrian Oliver hit a pull-up jumper with 5 seconds left on his way to 29 points and San Jose State had to sweat out a last-second review to beat Hawaii 75-74 in the first round of the Western Athletic Conference tournament on Wednesday.

San Jose State (16-14), the eighth seed, trailed most of the way before a late run put the Spartans up five with less than 2 minutes left.

Fifth-seeded Hawaii (18-12) rallied to go up one in the closing seconds, but couldn't stop Oliver near the free-throw line. The Rainbow Warriors thought they had the game won when Bill Amis tipped in Jeremiah Ostrowski's desperation shot at the buzzer, but the officials ruled the basket no good after a video review.

"I tried to get to the free throw-line early and to make them guard me," Oliver said. "If I'm not scoring, I'm out there attracting other players toward me."

Oliver managed to score one final time, finishing 9 for 22 from the floor, and Wil Carter added 15 points for San Jose State. The Spartans move on to face No. 4 seed Idaho in Thursday's quarterfinals at Orleans Arena.

"Idaho's an outstanding team. They're going to be waiting for us," San Jose State coach George Nessman said. "Their guards are pretty quick. They can push the ball. They have more weapons than you think. They're playing with confidence, but well be ready for them. We don't think our season's over."

Amis had 23 points, Joston Thomas added 16 and Zane Johnson 14 for Hawaii, which lost its sixth straight WAC tournament game after going 4 for 15 from 3-point range and 18 of 30 on free throws.

"It's been a great year; we weren't expected to be here," Hawaii coach Gib Arnold said. "It was an honor to be here. That's not the way it's supposed to end. We just needed one stop."

San Jose State has one of the nation's most prolific scorers in Oliver and was second in the WAC in scoring as a team.

The problem for the Spartans is defense.

San Jose State was last in the WAC in scoring defense at 73.1 points per game, which led to some not-very-impressive nonconference losses and a 5-11 run through the WAC that included a pair of losses to Hawaii.

The Rainbow Warriors held the Spartans to 31 percent and Oliver to just 10 points after he missed the previous two games in a win in January, then held San Jose State to 37 percent to beat them again in the penultimate game of the season last week.

The third matchup had a similar story line, only with Oliver getting his points.

The crafty senior sliced his way through Hawaii's defense throughout the first half, scoring seven of San Jose State's first 11 points and 16 by halftime.

The Spartans had trouble stopping almost everyone on Hawaii, though, allowing the Rainbow Warriors to hit 17 of 28 shots for a 42-37 halftime lead. Amis, after struggling to fight through double teams early, scored 14 points by halftime and Thomas had 11 despite hitting just 5 of 10 free throws.

San Jose State just wouldn't go away, answering every time the Rainbow Warriors tried to pull away.

The Spartans chipped the lead down to 61-60 with about 8 minutes left on a straightaway bank shot by Keith Shamburger, then tied it when Oliver hit a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock with 5 12 minutes left.

Oliver put San Jose State up four on a pair of free throws a minute later and Justin Graham made it 73-68 with just under 2 minutes left on a pullup jumper.

Hawaii wasn't quite done yet.

Amis hit a pair of free throws, then the Rainbow Warriors forced Oliver into a turnover to set up a breakaway by Johnson that made it 73-72 with about a minute left. San Jose State's Calvin Douglas missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 28 seconds left, then Amis dropped in two free throws to put the Spartans up 1, setting up the final sequence that sent the Spartans out to the court in jubilation and Amis doubled over in disappointment.

"It was a horrible feeling, but I'm proud to have been a part off this team," said Amis, who was 9 for 12 from the field to go with six rebounds and three blocked shots. "We worked hard all year."

Pederson refutes reports linking Eagles to 49ers WR Smith

Pederson refutes reports linking Eagles to 49ers WR Smith

Torrey SmithAlshon Jeffery?

Not happening, according to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.

While a couple reports have linked the Eagles to making a trade before the fast-approaching deadline to grab another veteran outside receiver, Pederson shot them down at his Wednesday press conference.

“There’s no legitimacy to that,” Pederson said. “And I’m thrilled with the guys we have and going to work with them every day.”

[MAIOCCO: Source: 49ers not shopping WR Torrey Smith]

The Eagles made a trade before the season to acquire Dorial Green-Beckham from the Titans, but the team’s receivers still haven’t been great during the first six games of the 2016 season.

They also went out and claimed Bryce Treggs after the 49ers waived him at final cuts, but the speedy wideout hasn’t yet been active.


Cooper or Crabtree? Raiders dare opponents to pick poison

Cooper or Crabtree? Raiders dare opponents to pick poison

SARASOTA, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars tried to take Raiders receiver Amari Cooper out of Sunday’s game. Sticky corner Jalen Ramsey shadowed the second-year pro, and was effective making quarterback Derek Carr look the other way.

It wasn’t that Ramsey dominated every play. Carr simply had more favorable options available.

Michael Crabtree was the best one. He turned the Jaguars game on its ear with a touchdown catch, a third-down conversion and a massive bomb caught over his shoulder for 56 yards.

Carr targeted Crabtree 11 times in Jacksonville, with eight completions for 96 yards and a touchdown.

Teams scheming against Cooper operate at their own peril this season, because that typically leaves Crabtree in a juicy matchup.

That was the case in Week 7, but it doesn’t always work that way.

Opponents also fear Crabtree, and for good reason. He has been clutch in the season’s first half, likely playing the best football of his career.

The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t want Crabtree to have a big day in Week 6, and put top-flight cornerback Marcus Peters – who can’t keep up with Cooper’s speed – on his trail. Crabtree was largely negated in that effort, though Cooper dominated to the tune of 10 receptions for 129 yards on 13 targets. Crabtree, by far Carr’s most frequent receiver, was only thrown to four times.

Carr’s message to future opponents from those two games: pick your poison.

“You have to always be ready for everything, and I think that our staff does an amazing job of giving me a lot of options for those instances,” Carr said at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, before Wednesday's practice. “If they’re going to take away (Cooper) this game, we have to get the other guys going. If they’re going to take ‘Crab’ away, we have to get the other guys going.

“What’s great about that (position group) is they’re all good with it. We just want to win. That’s what it comes down to, how can we push the ball down the field… I think our staff does an amazing job of filling that kind of stuff out if they’re trying to take one or the other away.”

Fluctuating target counts can be frustrating for receivers, who are often considered divas demanding the football at all times. The Raiders don’t have those personalities, a luxury quarterbacks dream about.

“We’re together, man,” Crabtree said. “We’re trying to win by any means. We know what’s at stake and I feel like we’re doing everything it takes to win.”

Sometimes, that means being unselfish. Ignoring stats can be tough for wideouts, but that isn’t an issue with two top receivers under contract an extended stretch.

Cooper and Crabtree have different playing styles and personality types, yet yin and yang in this Raiders offense without issue.

“We complement each other well,” Cooper said. “Having multiple options is really great to have, especially guys that threaten defenses.”