War Memorial Gym held its breath as James Kinney’s 45-footer went off the front iron and San Francisco survived and won an overtime thriller 83-81 over San Jose State Wednesday night.
“[We have] tough-minded kids that find a way to get it done,” San Francisco head coach Rex Walters, who is 10-1 in overtime as coach of the Dons, said. “Our job is to put them into situations to be successful. I wish we could do it over a 40 minute period but we’ll take it.”
The Dons (3-1) went on a 7-0 run to begin overtime, capped off by a Cody Doolin three from the right corner, and never trailed again.
The game was tied four times and changed leads eight times.
Angelo Caloiaro had seven points in the final six minutes and a game saving block with less than five seconds to help get the Dons to overtime.
Caloriaro finished with a team-high 19 points, 13 rebounds and three steals.
San Francisco’s domination on the boards saved the Dons as they outrebounded the Spartans 46-26 and grabbed 19 offensive rebounds.
They also came up with 26 second chance points.
San Jose State (1-2) made the Dons pay from distance as they went 10-for28 from three-point range, lead by sophomore guard Keith Shamburger with 23 points.
“We didn’t follow the game plan at all,” Walters said. “We didn’t chase guys off the three-point line. There’s a way we do and teach it and we didn’t do it.”
San Jose State went on runs of 13-2 and 11-4 in the first half and shot 57 percent from the field.
“Our level of execution defensively is awful,” Walters said. “To have 19 turnovers against a 2-3 zone makes no sense to me.”
San Francisco’s bench provided a much needed punch and much of it came from Dominique O’Connor.
O’Connor played a career-high 23 minutes, had seven points and dished out five assists in the victory.
Mikey Williams did not play much down the stretch, getting substituted out on defense, while shooting 3-for-10 from the field.
“He’s trying to get used to the fact that he’s a marked man,” Walters said. “He’s not going to get too many easy looks.”
The Dons trailed by four in the first half despite only shooting 37 percent from the field.
San Francisco outrebounded the Spartans 21-11 in the first half and scored 16 second chance points.
San Francisco took its largest lead at 24-11 during a 20-5 run highlighted by a pair of three pointers from Mikey Williams.
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By the numbers
20: San Francisco had 20 more rebounds than San Jose State
6: Number of Dons that scored seven or more points.