SJSU falls to Nevada, 55-44


SJSU falls to Nevada, 55-44


LAS VEGAS (AP) When Deonte Burton rose from the floor rubbing and shifting his jaw back and forth to make sure it was still in place, Nevada coach David Carter could only hope the elbow that floored Burton not only awakened the conference player of the year but his entire squad as well.That's exactly what happened for the top-seeded Wolf Pack.Burton scored 15 of his 16 points in the second half and Nevada overcame a horrid first half offensively for a 54-44 win over San Jose State in the Western Athletic Conference quarterfinals on Thursday night.Immediately after getting dropped to the floor by the elbow of San Jose State's Stephon Smith, Burton responded with eight straight points, and awakened a slumbering Nevada offense that tied a WAC tournament record by scoring just 13 first-half points."I just tried to do everything I could to give us some energy. We lacked that," Burton said. "Seeing the buckets go in, you get a vibe about you and it just energizes the whole team. I think (getting elbowed) definitely woke me up."Nevada (26-5) lost just once in conference play, but looked anything but a conference champion for the first 35 minutes. On top of the awful first-half performance offensively, the Wolf Pack got lax on defense to open the second half and trailed 28-19 after just five minutes. A minute later Burton got decked and everything changed."I always felt like we had a run," Nevada coach David Carter said. "It was almost like it was the tip of the iceberg of when it was going to come."Nevada will face either Utah State or Louisiana Tech in the semifinals on Friday night.After a few minutes of officials conferring, Smith was issued a flagrant foul for his elbow. Burton hit the two free throws, then followed up with a challenged 3-pointer on the ensuing possession. After Carter scored for the Spartans, Burton hit another 3 to cap his own personal eight-point run to pull the Wolf Pack within one. Olek Czyz scored on Nevada's next possession to take its first lead since briefly leading 13-12 late in the first half.The Wolf Pack run didn't stop. Burton added a free throw, Czyz scored twice more and Dario Hunt's driving basket gave Nevada a 38-30 lead with 9:20 left. The lead eventually reached 41-32, but instead of putting away the Spartans, Nevada's three straight sloppy turnovers led to seven unanswered points by San Jose State, the final two on a floater by Keith Shamburger that pulled the Spartans within 41-39.Jerry Evans, Jr. answered with a tip-in for Nevada, two more Burton free throws got the lead back to 45-39 with 5:18 left and Evans put away the Spartans with a 3 from the wing and a nine-point lead with 4:30 left.Evans and Czyz both added 10 points for the Wolf Pack."I think we started off really lazy, I'd say," Evans said. "We didn't come out the same intensity we did the second half. Offensively, I feel like we rushed everything."Will Carter led San Jose State (9-22) with 18 points, but the Spartans missed their chance to really put pressure on the favored Wolf Pack with their own offensive problems in the first half. Nevada matched the 13 points scored by Tulsa against UTEP in 2003. And while eight turnovers didn't help, the Wolf Pack simply missed shots. Burton was 0 of 7 including an airballed 3-pointer. Second-leading scorer Malik Story wasn't much better, hitting 1 of 7.The only reason it wasn't a rout at halftime was San Jose State's equally poor shooting effort. The Spartans were 7 of 25 and also committed seven turnovers. SJSU didn't break the 10-point barrier until nearly 14 minutes of the half elapsed. It took Nevada nearly two more minutes to reach double figures."To me, the most significant difference was Burton didn't make a lot of shots in the game but he made a couple big ones in the second half with a guy right up in him," San Jose State coach George Nessman said. "And he's known to do that. And he made two (3-pointers) in that run I thought really got it going, and Story made a couple, too. They showed their composure as a team in the second half."

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe


Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

Men's basketball teams from Oregon State, Clemson and Arizona were staying at a hotel in Barcelona, Spain, near where a van drove into pedestrians on Thursday, but team officials said everyone was safe.

Spanish police have confirmed they are investigating the bloodshed in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district as a terror attack. The area is a popular summer tourist spot.

Tulane also was playing in Barcelona, but it was unclear if they were staying in the same hotel as the other teams.

Oregon State assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb posted to Facebook: "We are all luckily ok. Our hotel/restaurant is located right on Las Ramblas. This tragedy happened right in front of us as our team just sat down for pregame meal. Thoughts and prayers for all those that are were hurt."

The Beavers' game Thursday night was canceled. It was supposed to be the first of a five-game tour.

Clemson was scheduled to play Thursday night against a Spanish All-Star team.

"We've been in contact with our men's basketball program currently in Barcelona and the entire travel party is safe and secure. Their exhibition game for tonight has been cancelled and the team will return to Clemson as previously scheduled tomorrow morning. Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona," the South Carolina school said in a statement.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that the three teams were staying in the same hotel.

"We are fine. Thankful to be safe and together," Brownell wrote.

Tulane athletic director Troy Tannen confirmed via social media that the Green Wave players and staff were safe.

Replying to a Twitter inquiry from a Portland television about whether the team was OK, Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle responded: "Yes we are, happened directly in front of our hotel while we were having a team meal in the restaurant, so senseless and sad! All accounted4."

Oregon State said it has not yet determined the remaining schedule for the team, which was supposed to be on the exhibition tour until Aug. 25.

A spokesman for Arizona said the Wildcats have canceled their third and final exhibition of their tour and "are currently working on travel plans to return home."

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof


The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans.