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Alumni Update: James Spencer

April 1, 2008

Former Cub and current Mountain State University (W. Va.) star James Spencer (LA City class of ‘06) has been named First Team All-America by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the Basketball Times for the 2007-08 season.

The NABC represents the largest basketball coaches’ organization in the world, while Basketball Times is the leading newspaper dedicated to major and small-college basketball. Spencer’s achievement will appear in the April issue of Basketball Times.

The 6-4 Spencer led Mountain State to a 34-3 record, the NAIA Division I National Tournament, and the NAIA national championship game before losing to defending NAIA national champion Oklahoma City College, 75-72 (March 25). Spencer was also named to the 10-member 2008 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball All-Tournament Team moments after the end of the national championship game.

Spencer finished the season as the second leading scorer in NAIA Division I at 23.53 points per game while shooting 57.2 percent overall and 41.3 percent from the three-point line in 36 games. Spencer also averaged 76.3 percent from the free throw line.

Mountain State’s 34-3 record was the second best record in school history only surpassed by its 38-1 2004 National Championship team. Mountain State started its season with a school-record 21-game win streak. It’s only two regular season defeats were by just one point in each game.

Literal last minute heroics by Spencer nearly won the national championship for Mountain State. With Oklahoma City leading 73-64 and 8.1-seconds left to play, Spencer hit a three-pointer to draw Mountain State to within six points, 73-67. After a couple of made free throws by Oklahoma City, Mountain State raced down the floor to score another three-pointer and cut the deficit to 75-70.
Spencer then stole the OCU inbounds pass and scored a lay-up with 1.7-seconds on the clock to cut the margin, 75-72. However, Oklahoma City was able to avoid Spencer and other Mountain State defenders on its next inbound to win the game.

This is Spencer’s senior year at Mountain State. He concluded his final collegiate game with 14 points on 6-for-14 from the field, three rebounds, and two steals while playing the entire 40 minutes in the national championship game.

Spencer was co-captain on LA City’s 2005-06 South Coast Conference Championship team and played a major role in guiding the Cubs to the 2006 Final Eight behind a 32-4 record including 9-1 in the South Coast Conference.