State

MC graduate bounces back at San Jose State

Adrian Oliver kept his promise Saturday night.

Coming off the worst performance of his brief San Jose State career, the heralded transfer and former Modesto Christian High standout scored 29 points and was the catalyst for the Spartans' 85-79 victory over Fresno State at the Event Center.

The victory secured San Jose's first regular-season sweep of its regional rival in 18 years, and was especially satisfying for Oliver.

Two days earlier, the mid-season transfer from Washington missed eight of 12 field-goal attempts and committed five turnovers in a 62-58 loss to Western Athletic Conference-leading Utah State.

Oliver said he had trouble sleeping after the loss and he was the first Spartan to arrive for Saturday's 10 a.m. shootaround.

"I showed up at nine-thirty and he already had a sweat from shooting the ball," Spartans coach George Nessman said. "When we were all done, he walked over to me, shook my hand and said, 'Coach, I promise you I won't have two bad games in a row.' "

Oliver didn't play in the first meeting against Fresno State two weeks ago -- a 71-68 San Jose overtime win -- because he was resting a strained left knee. But the sophomore guard didn't waste any time putting his mark on the rivalry.

Oliver was involved in nine of the Spartans' (9-9, 3-4 Western Athletic Conference) first 12 made baskets, making six shots and dishing out three assists. Oliver made six of his first seven attempts, including two three-pointers.

"There is nothing I want more than to fill these seats, and I feel like I let the team and the fans down because that was a big opportunity (against Utah State)," Oliver said. "I felt I had to come out tonight (Saturday) and not carry us, but be a leader and set an example.

"I really felt I had something to prove to myself."

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