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San Jose State’s late shot sinks EWU

Dean returns, scores 23

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Scoring 23 points in his season debut, sophomore guard Glen Dean was very nearly the hero as the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team dropped a 70-69 decision in the final seconds to Western Athletic Conference foe San Jose State on Sunday.

Instead, SJSU’s Justin Graham gets credit for the game-winner as he made a basket with 6.1 seconds left to provide the final margin. Dean was double-teamed and missed a challenged 3-point shot in the final seconds that could have won it for the Eagles (2-6).

Dean, out for the past two months with a stress fracture in his foot, played 30 minutes after practicing just twice for about an hour each time. Last season’s Freshman of the Year in the Big Sky Conference made 7 of 16 shots from the floor with a trio of 3-pointers, sank 6 of 8 free throws and had four assists with just one turnover.

“I’ve seen him play better, but it’s pretty hard to be critical of a player who hasn’t played for two months,” Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine said. “He came out and got 23 points on 16 shots, had four assists and only had one turnover. You can make an argument that that was spectacular.

“If people could see the time and the work he put in – to be able to play 30 minutes, are you kidding me? And that’s after not doing any running for two months.”

Eastern trailed by as many as 10 points in the second half before rallying to take a three-point lead with 1:22 left on a pair of free throws by Dean. But the Eagles had a turnover and Dean’s miss in their final two possessions.

“It was a really tough one to lose – we hung in there with them to the end,” Earlywine said. “We battled back and gave ourselves a chance to win. When you go on the road, that’s what you try to do. We just came up short.”

Eastern’s other point guard, Cliff Colimon, added 13 points as he missed the last three games after reinjuring his ankle in late November.

Kevin Winford and Jeffrey Forbes chipped in nine and eight points, respectively, as the Eagles hit 10 of 21 3-point shots and made 45 percent from the field for the game.

San Jose St. 70, EWU 69

 Eastern Washington (2-6) — Griffin 3-5 0-0 6, Ederaine 3-4 1-3 7, Dean 7-16 6-8 23, Forbes 2-6 2-2 8, Winford 3-4 0-0 9, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Colimon 5-12 1-2 13, Johnson 0-4 3-4 3, Allen 0-0 0-0 0, Henry 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-51 13-19 69.

San Jose St. (6-3) — Carter 3-10 0-2 6, Ballard 1-2 3-4 5, Shamburger 3-5 2-2 9, Oliver 9-16 9-12 29, Graham 5-13 3-4 13, Moor 1-1 0-0 2, Douglas 0-2 0-0 0, Jones 2-6 2-2 6, Kamen 0-2 0-0 0, Henson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-58 19-26 70. Halftime—San Jose St. 37-32. 3-Point Goals—E. Washington 10-21 (Winford 3-4, Dean 3-7, Forbes 2-4, Colimon 2-5, Johnson 0-1), San Jose St. 3-12 (Oliver 2-4, Shamburger 1-3, Carter 0-1, Douglas 0-1, Graham 0-3). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—E. Washington 35 (Griffin 13), San Jose St. 31 (Ballard 7). Assists—E. Washington 12 (Dean 4), San Jose St. 8 (Oliver 3). Total Fouls—E. Washington 22, San Jose St. 20. A—1,253.

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