Spartans Begin Week Two Of MW Play At San Diego State
Jan. 4, 2016
SPARTANS BEGIN WEEK TWO OF MW PLAY AT SAN DIEGO STATE
San José State comes into Wednesday's game in search of its first win in Mountain West play after falling to Utah State and Air Force last week. The Spartans had their chances to win both contests, but long scoring droughts and turnovers held them back. Meanwhile San Diego State pulled away with double-digit wins of Wyoming and on the road at Utah State. The Spartans will try and halt a four-game slide against the Aztecs and win their first game in San Diego since the 1995-96 season. ESPN 3 will carry the game live with Trey Bender and Blaine Fowler on the call. Fans can also listen to the game on Stretch Internet Radio.
San José State (5-9, 0-2 MW) at San Diego State (9-6, 2-0 MW)
Wednesday, January 6, 7:00 p.m. PST
Viejas Arena (12,414)
San Diego, Calif.
WATCH: ESPN 3
LISTEN: Stretch Internet Radio
SPARTANS COME UP EMPTY, BUT HAD THEIR CHANCES
San José State lost its first two games of Mountain West play last week versus Utah State (80-71) and at Air Force (64-57). Although both contests ended with L's the team had its chances to win in the second half. It was a five-point game midway through the second period against the Aggies, and a late 18-2 run made for an exciting finish at Air Force. Huge scoring droughts and poor free throw shooting are what doomed the Spartans in both losses.
LATE SURGE COMES UP SHORT AT AIR FORCE
The Spartans looked down and out, trailing Air Force by 21 points with seven minutes left to play, but charged back with an 18-2 run to make it an exciting finish. Princeton Onwas' layup with 1:23 left made it a five-point game. SJSU had two open looks at a three with under a minute to play, which would have made it a one-possession game, but both tries went off the iron. Frank Rogers scored all 10 of his points in the second half and hit two huge threes that facilitated the late surge. Jaycee Hillsman, Ryan Welage and Brandon Clarke all pitched in with buckets as well.
LOOKING FOR MORE RUNS AND LESS DROUGHTS
San José State has made its fair share of runs in the past few games, but have had equally as many scoring droughts that have been costly. Against Air Force, the team had two separate dry spells in the first half that amounted to 9:11 of scoreless ball. Versus Utah State, SJSU made a 16-point lead nearly disappear with an 11-2 run. However the Aggies' next basket started a 14-2 run of their own, during which San José State was scoreless for 4:36.
SPARTANS WEATHER THE DRY SPELL WITH SOLID DEFENSE
Only Colorado State has allowed more points than San José State among Mountain West teams this season. However, the one reason San José State was only trailing by nine points at halftime against Air Force was solid defense. The Spartans turned the ball over 11 times and only made two of their final 17 shots to close the half. However, the team held the Falcons to 34 percent shooting from the field and 0 of 9 from downtown in the first 20 minutes. The effort on defense led to a season-high eight blocks, and helped fuel the offense to an 18-2 run.
MIDWEST FRESHMEN DUO MAKING IMMEDIATE IMPACT
Freshmen Cody Schwartz (6-8, Fr., F, West De Pere, Wis.) and Ryan Welage (6-9, Fr., F, Greensburg, Ind.) have made an immediate impact on the Spartans' offense. Welage is third on the team in scoring at 10.5 points per game, and his 22 made threes are second only to Schwartz (23) among Mountain West freshmen. Welage's three double-doubles are second only to UNLV's Stephen Zimmerman, Jr. with five among MW freshmen. Schwartz started the year shooting 1 of 11 through the first three games, but has since found his confidence to the tune of 51 percent shooting over the last five games. He leads the team during that stretch at 12.1 points per contest.
TOUGH TIMES AT THE LINE
The Spartans went 20 of 46 (.609) from the line last week in the first two games of conference play. The team is shooting .655 from the stripe for the season. San José State missed nine free throws in the 80-71 loss to Utah State.
ROGERS REMAINS THE SPARTANS' LEADER
Despite commanding extra focus recently from the opposition, senior Frank Rogers remains San José State's leader at 14.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Twenty-three (23) points and 11 rebounds versus Utah State gave the Salinas, Calif., native a Mountain West-leading sixth double-double. The 6-foot-9 Rogers has scored in double-figures nine times this year including three 20-point games and a career-high 32 points in a win over Alaska-Anchorage. Rogers is shooting 54 percent from the field heading into Wednesday's game at San Diego State.
SCHWARTZ & CLARKE WORKING INSIDE OUT
Leading up to conference play freshmen forwards Cody Schwartz and Brandon Clarke have been a nice duo with two different skill sets that compliment each other. Schwartz is a deep threat shooting over 50 percent from beyond the arc in the last three games, and Clarke is a physical cutter in the paint averaging 10.7 points on 61 percent shooting in that same span. The 6-foot-9 Clarke's length and bounce has helped the Spartans' defense, which held Seattle U to 27 percent shooting in the first half and Life Pacific College to 35 percent from the field for the game.
IT HAPPENED AGAINST SAN DIEGO STATE
Coby Dietrick, San José State's seventh-leading scorer in program history, poured in a then school-record 36 points against San Diego State on February 14, 1970. His effort would stand as the most individual points in a single game until Stan Hill scored 37 in a game in 1978. Dietrick went on to play 13 professional seasons in the ABA and NBA after being selected in the 10th round of the 1970 draft by the San Francisco Warriors.
SAN JOSé state vs. san diego state
San José State leads San Diego State 34-33 in the all-time series that spans nearly 80 years. The two teams first met in December of 1936 when they split two games on back-to-back nights in San Jose. The Aztecs have beaten the Spartans four times in a row heading into Wednesday's tilt. The last San José State win on the road at San Diego State was on February 27, 1997, by a score of 65-63.
MORE ON THE AZTECS
San Diego State (9-6, 2-0 MW) comes into Wednesday's tilt after a double-digit win versus Wyoming and a 70-67 win at Utah State. The Aztecs have the league's best defense by the measure of points allowed (60.3), but the lowest scoring offense at 65.5. Freshman Jeremy Hemsley leads the team in scoring at 13.1 points per game. He was one of four Aztecs in double-figures scoring at Utah State. The team's second-leading scorer, Winston Shepard, led the way in that contest with 18 points. San Diego State is coached by Steve Fisher in his 17th season.
GET YOUR TICKETS FOR SATURDAY'S HOME GAME
San José State returns for a home game against Colorado State on Saturday, January 9, at 2:00 p.m. PST. Get your tickets for that game and every Spartan men's basketball home game by calling the Spartan Ticket office at 408-924-7589.