It has been a long road for Olivier Saint-Jean, including stops in Paris and Ann Arbor. Now that he’s made it all the way to San Jose State, he’s got the Spartans headed in a winning direction.
Saint-Jean scored 18 points, including a decisive layup with 1:40 left in overtime, as San Jose State defeated No. 19 Alabama 60-59 Friday night, giving the Crimson Tide their first loss of the season.
Thomas Lowery added 16 points as the Spartans (7-2) won the first-round game in the Cable Car Classic in San Jose and moved into tonight’s tournament championship against Detroit Mercy.
The 27-year-old Lowery, a former Marine who served in Japan, Korea, Thailand and in Operation Desert Shield in Saudi Arabia, had never scored more than eight points in a college game.
Eric Washington got 23 and Brian Williams 20 for Alabama (10-1).
It was the first time San Jose State had defeated a Top-25 team since Dec. 21, 1979, when the Spartans defeated Ralph Sampson and Virginia 83-79 in the Cable Car Classic.
Last spring, Saint-Jean - a Frenchman who spent his first year playing for Michigan - led San Jose State into the NCAA tournament for the first time in 16 years.
Saint-Jean’s layup gave the Spartans a 60-57 lead. Williams hit a 6-foot jumper with 1:15 left to pull the Crimson Tide within a point, and Alabama got the ball back with 35 seconds left and one last chance to win.
After a timeout, the Crimson Tide had trouble controlling the ball and had to settle for a long 3-point attempt by Williams that missed.
(13) Indiana 63, Colgate 48
Andrae Patterson led a balanced attack with 16 points and 13 rebounds as the host Hoosiers (12-1) beat the Red Raiders (0-7) in the opening game of the Hoosier Classic.
(14) New Mexico 67, Bucknell 57
Clayton Shields scored 18 points and Charles Smith had a career-high 14 rebounds as the Lobos (10-1) wore down the cold Bison (5-4) in the first round of the Lobo Invitational.
N.Mex. St. 122, (20) Texas Tech 105
Antoine Hubbard scored 30 points and Enoch Davis added 26 to lead the Aggies (5-3) over the Red Raiders (7-2) in the opener of the Cowboy Shootout in Casper, Wyo.
(21) Maryland 66, Pittsburgh 63
Keith Booth scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half to help the Terrapins (10-0) defeat the Panthers (5-6) in the opening round of the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu.
(25) BC 63, Cent. Connecticut St. 53
Danya Abrams scored 17 points and was 8 of 10 from the foul line the final 8 minutes as the host Boston College Eagles (6-1) survived a scare in beating the Blue Devils (4-4).