Men's Basketball Hosts New Mexico Saturday Night

Jan. 9, 2014

Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Next Game:

Sat., Jan. 11, vs. New Mexico (11-3, 2-0)

The Event Center (5,000)

7:05 p.m. PST

TV/VIDEO:  ROOT Sports

DirecTV - 683; DISH 414/5414 (HD); www.themw.com

Tim Neverett, Play-by-Play; Dave Bollwinkel, Analyst

RADIO:  KLIV 1590 AM; KSJS 90.5 FM

Justin Allegri, Play-by-Play

SPARTANS HOSTS NEW MEXICO SATURDAY NIGHT:  San José State returns to The Event Center floor Saturday night as the Spartans host New Mexico, one of the three remaining undefeated schools in Mountain West play.  The Lobos enter the game with a four-game winning streak, while the Spartans are looking to break a three-game losing streak.  The Lobos have two four-game winning streaks and a three-game winning streak this season.

San José State is looking for its first Mountain West win after falling to Colorado State, 66-64, Wednesday night.  San José State also fell to Nevada, 62-50, at home on January 1, and at Utah State, 86-67, on January 4.  

TICKETS:  Tickets for all San José State men's basketball tickets may be purchased by visiting the Spartan Ticket Office, calling (408) 924-SJTX, at any Ticketmaster outlet, on the web at www.sjsuspartans.com, or at The Event Center Box Office.

LIVE STATS:  All games will have live stats available on the Spartan website at www.SJSUSpartans.com.

RADIO COVERAGE:  All San José State men's basketball games are broadcast on KSJS, 90.5 FM, and can be heard on ksjs.org.  Saturday games can be heard on KLIV, 1590 AM, and at kliv.com.   Justin Allegri calls the action for the Spartans.

TV/VIDEO COVERAGE:  Saturday night's San José State-New Mexico game can be seen on ROOT Sports.  Tim Neverett calls the action with Dave Bollwinkel giving his analysis.  The station can be found on DirecTV channel 683, and DISH channel 414/5414 (HD).  Fans can also watch live online at www.themw.com.

All home San José State men's basketball games can be see on the Mountain West Network at www.themw.com and at www.sjsuspartans.com/videos.

FACEBOOK/TWITTER:  Follow the Spartan men's basketball team (@SJSUMBB) and all San José State athletics teams on the web.  Join the official SJSU Spartans page on Facebook and read the latest tweets on Twitter @SJSUAthletics. 

ABOUT NEW MEXICO:  The Lobos enter Saturday night's game with an 11-3 overall record and 2-0 mark in the Mountain West.  The team won at Wyoming Wednesday night, 72-69, in overtime.   New Mexico had a balanced scoring attack with four players in double figures, led by Cameron Bairstow with 15.

Head coach Craig Neal is in his first season at the helm of the program.  He was promoted to his position on April 2, 2013, after spending the previous six years as the program's Associate Head Coach for Steve Alford.

Three Lobos average in double-figure points, led by Cameron Bairstow at 20.4 points per game.  He is second in the Mountain West in scoring and leads the league in field goal percentage at 55.8 percent.   Kendall Williams averages 18.2 points per game and has a team-best 71 assists.  Alex Kirk averages 14.6 points per game and a team-high 9.5 rebounds per game.

New Mexico has a 6-0 advantage in the all-time series.  The two teams last met during the 1998-99 season. 

Series Meetings

12/21/61            L            63-51            Albuquerque

12/27/67            L            93-75            Lobo Invitational

3/4/97            L            103-70            Las Vegas

11/29/97            L            86-57            Albuquerque

1/13/99            L            82-81 OT            The Event Center

2/11/99            L            82-46            Albuquerque 

NEW SPARTAN HEAD COACH DAVE WOJCIK:  San José State head men's basketball coach Dave Wojcik is in his first year at the helm of the program.  He spent the past three seasons as the associate head coach on Leon Rice's staff at Boise State.  Wojcik recorded her first head-coaching win on November 20, 2013, with an 83-77 win at Pepperdine.

Wojcik and his brother Doug, head coach at the College of Charleston, are one of seven pair of brothers to be head coaches at Division I.

LAST TIME OUT:  Rashad Muhammad matched his season scoring high of 28 points, but Colorado State outlasted San José State, 66-64, in a Mountain West game Wednesday night at The Event Center.

Muhammad was 7-of-8 from the field including 5-of-6 from three-point range en route to fifth game of the season scoring 20 or more points.  It was also his second consecutive 20-plus scoring game.

The Spartans overcame 14 first-half turnovers including eight in the first eight minutes to give everything Colorado State (10-6, 1-2 Mountain West) could handle.  With Muhammad scoring 19 points in the first half, San José State wiped out an early eight-point deficit and took a 30-27 lead into halftime.

The lead changed hands 13 times in the second half.  Isaac Thornton gave the Spartans their last lead of the night hitting his only shot of the game - a three-pointer from the right corner for a 59-58 lead with 1:34 to go.

San José State's three-point shooting kept them in the game as the Spartans made 9-of-19 in the game.

Forwards Chris Cunningham and Jaleel Williams also scored in double figures for the Spartans with 13 and 11 points, respectively.  Williams also lead the team with six rebounds and came back to play late in the second half after suffering a shoulder injury.

FACING TWO NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAMS THIS WEEK:  San José State will be put to the test this week, facing two teams who played in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.  Colorado State made it to the third round of the tournament, defeating Missouri 84-72 in Lexington, Ky., before falling to eventual national champion Louisville, 82-56, in the third round.

New Mexico fell to Harvard in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, 68-62, in Salt Lake City.

GAME SCHOOL RECORD TIED, THEN BROKEN:  Twice this season, San José State made 14 three-pointers in a game.  But last Saturday, the Spartans decided to break that record by making 15 three-pointers in an 86-67 loss at Utah State.  The 15 threes broke the old record of 14, set in wins at Pepperdine and at Houston and against Louisiana Tech on January 13, 2005.

In the game at Utah State, six different players hit at least one three-pointer.  Rashad Muhammad led the team, going 6-for-9 from behind arc.  Devante Wilson and Jaleel Williams each made three three-pointers, while Chris Cunningham, D.J. Brown and Jalen James each made one.

JAMES ETCHES HIS NAME INTO SAN JOSÉ STATE HISTORY:  Freshman Jalen James recorded just the second triple-double in San José State history with his 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a 72-68 win at Houston on December 7.  James joins Brandon Hawkins who had 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Notre Dame de Namur on Dec. 18, 2001.

James is only the third Mountain West player to record a triple-double - Mark Dickel (UNLV), 17 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists on Nov. 19, 1999; and Justin Williams (Wyoming) 10 points, 15 rebounds, 12 blocks on March 10, 2006.

THREE-POINT SHOOTING RANKS AMONG THE BEST IN THE NATION:  San José State ranks in the top-five in three three-point shooting categories nationally (through Jan. 5).  The Spartans are third in three-point field goal attempts at 387 (Youngstown State #1 at 414), fourth in three-point field goals made at 142 (Creighton #1 at 159) and fifth in three-point field goals per game at 10.1 (Charleston Southern #1 at 11.6).

THREE-OVERTIME GAME CLUB:  With San José State's three-overtime game against UC Davis on December 18, the Spartans are one of 11 teams nationally to have played a triple-overtime game this season.  Through December 29, six games have gone to three overtimes, the latest being the San José State-UC Davis game.  Drexel has played in two triple-overtime games.

FRESHMAN COMES OFF BENCH TO LEAD TEAM IN SCORING:  Rashad Muhammad leads the San José State team in scoring this season with 261 points, 17.4 points per game.  He has played in all 15 games this season, but started just one (Weber State).  He has led the team in scoring in 10 games this year, coming off the bench in eight of those games. 

Of the top-155 scorers nationally through January 5, Muhammad is 155th and is one of just six freshmen on the list.  He is listed in the top-170 in seven categories.

Muhammad National Rankings (as of 1/5)

Points/Game            155th            16.6 ppg

3-pt FG/GM            23rd            3.14 pg

3-pt FGM            25th            44

3-pt FGA            50th            97

3-pt Pct.            20th            45.4%

Free Throw Pct.            121st            83.6%

Total Points            166th            233

Muhammad scored a season-high 28 points in a three-overtime win against UC Davis and in a loss to Colorado State.  He leads the team in three-pointers, making 49 of his 103 attempts this year.  He is also the best free throw shooter, making 60-of-73 attempts (82.2%). 

The last freshman to lead San José State in scoring was Stony Evans who averaged 9.9 points during the 1983-84 season (276 points in 28 games).  That team, coached by Bill Berry, finished the season 10-18.  Evans also led the team in rebounding with 176, 6.3 per game 

WILSON ALSO RANKS NATIONALLY IN THREE-POINT SHOOTING:  Devante Wilson ranks in the top-100 nationally in four three-point shooting categories.  He is 52nd in three-point percentage (40.2%), 73rd in 3-point field goals per game (2.5 pg), 77th in total three-pointers made (35) and 95th in three-point attempts (87).

COMEBACK KIDS, NEVER COUNT THEM OUT:  In four of the six Spartan wins this season, San José State has overcome double-digit deficits for the win.  The largest deficit was 19 points against UC Davis (32-23 and 47-28) in an 89-85, three overtime win at The Event Center.  San José State trailed Westminster (45-32) before winning 73-66.  On the road Houston led by as many as 15 (22-7) before the Spartans won 72-68, and Pepperdine led by 14 (40-26) before San José State outscored then in the second half (49-33) en route to the 83-77 win. 

Since 2002, San José State has overcome a deficit of 13 points or more for the win in 13 games.  Twice, the team has had to overcome a 19-point deficit, and three games went to at least one overtime before the Spartans won.

-19            vs. UC Davis (2nd half)            89-85 (3OT)            12/16/13

-19            at CSU Bakersfield (1st half)            78-70            1/23/12

-18            vs. New Mexico State (1st half)            93-84            1/23/10

-18            at Portland State (1st half)            76-73 (OT)            12/28/07

-17            vs. South Dakota State (2nd half)            77-71 (OT)            12/30/07

-15            at Houston (1st half)            72-68            12/7/13

-15            vs. Coppin State (1st half)            81-66            12/29/11

-14            at Pepperdine (1st half)            83-77            11/20/13

-14            vs. UTSA (1st half)            72-66            11/30/11

-14            vs. Fairleigh Dickinson (2nd half)            65-57            11/14/01

-14            vs. Tulsa (1st half)            76-69            1/27/05

-13            vs. Westminster (2nd half)            73-66            12/21/13

-13            vs. Rice (2nd half)            58-57            3/5/02

QUINTUPLE OF SCORERS:  For the first time since the 2010-11 season, San José State had five players score 10 or more points in a game.  Against Pacifica on December 28, Rashad Muhammad led the Spartans with 19 points, followed by Jaleel Williams with 14 points, Chris Cunningham and Devante Wilson each with 13 points, and Matt Pollard with 10 points.

CONFERENCE OPENERS:  For the first time since 2010, San José State opened the conference portion of the schedule at home with the 62-50 loss to Nevada.  The last time the Spartans opened the conference schedule at home came during the 2009-10 season when the team won 78-75 over Idaho on January 4, 2010, when San José State was a member of the Western Athletic Conference.

HOME, SWEET HOME:  After playing eight of its first nine games of the season on the road, the Spartans played four consecutive home games from December 18-January 1. San José State was the only Mountain West team to have a perfect home record (4-0) heading into conference play.  The Spartans defeated Cal State Fullerton, 81-59, on November 23, UC Davis, 89-85 (3OT) on December 18, Westminster, 73-66, on December 21, and Pacifica, 87-59, on December 28.

WINNING STREAK ENDED:  With the loss to Nevada on January 1, the Spartans four-game winning streak came to an end.  San José State had not won four consecutive games since the 2010-10 season when they won four straight home games in February - Montana State (77-73), Weber State (62-46), New Mexico State (72-70 OT) and Louisiana Tech (72-60).

UNDEFEATED DECEMBER:  San José State entered the new year with a four-game winning streak after going undefeated in the month of December - defeating Pacifica (87-59) on the 28th, Westminster (73-66) on the 21st, UC Davis on the 18th (89-85, 3OT) and Houston on the 7th (72-68). 

Since the 1996-97 season, the Spartans have recorded a better-than .500 record in nine Decembers.

1996-97            7-1            2009-10            5-2

1998-99            5-2            2010-11            4-3

2000-01            5-2            2012-13            5-2

2003-04            4-3            2013-14            4-0

2008-09            4-2

TWO SPARTANS, 20+ POINTS IN A GAME:  Twice this season, two San José State players have scored 20 or more points in a game.  The latest came in a win over UC Davis as Rashad Muhammad scored a career-best 28 points, and Devante Wilson added a season-best 22 points.  At Pepperdine, Jaleel Williams led the Spartans with a career-best 22 points, while Wilson scored 20 points in his first start of the season. 

QUARTET OF SPARTAN SCORERS:  In five of the 13 games this season, a quartet of San José State scorers have recorded double-digit scoring games.

Milwaukee - Muhammad 17, James 12, Williams, 11, Mitchell 10

N. Illinois - Williams 13, Brown 12, James 11, Muhammad 11

Pepperdine - Williams 22, Wilson 20, Muhammad 14, Brown 14

CS Fullerton - Muhammad 17, Brown 17, Wilson 16, Cunningham 13

UC Davis - Muhammad 28, Wilson 22, Cunningham 13, Thornton 12 

MOUNTAIN WEST Co-PLAYER OF THE WEEK:  Jalen James was named the Mountain West Men's Basketball Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 9, after his triple-double performance at Houston.  James was honored along with Cameron Bairstow of New Mexico.

James recorded career highs of 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in 38 minutes of play at Houston.  He was 3-for-4 from the field including 2-for-2 from three-point range and 4-for-4 from the free throw line.  His four made free throws came in the final 17 seconds of the game to secure the victory.

James is one of seven players nationally this year to record a triple-double and the only freshman to accomplish this feat. 

THREE-POINT ATTEMPTS GAME RECORD BROKEN THIS SEASON:  With 40 three-pointers attempted as a team on November 17, the Spartans set a single-game record for the most three-pointers attempted in a game.  San José State was 10-for-40 from three-point range against James Madison at the NIU Invitational.  The 40 attempts breaks the old record of 32 (10-of-23) shot against Boise State on January 6, 2011.  The 2011 game went four overtimes, and ironically, current Spartan head coach Dave Wojcik was an assistant coach for Boise State that night.

The 40 three-point attempts also tied the Mountain West record set on March 1, 2003, as Utah played at New Mexico.

WILLIAMS MAKING AN IMPACT IN JUNIOR SEASON:  After scoring just 68 points the first two years of his Spartan career, Jaleel Williams has scored 175 points in 15 games and is second on the team in scoring at 11.7 points per game. He scored a career-best 22 points in the team's first win of the season at Pepperdine.  Williams added 20 points against Santa Clara and led the team in scoring against Westminster with 18 points.

Williams also recorded his first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Pacifica.  He was 5-for-8 from the field in the game, including 1-for-3 from three-point range, and a perfect 3-for-3 from the free throw line.

CUNNINGHAM GRABBING BOARDS:  Chris Cunningham leads the team in rebounding with 102, 6.8 per game.  He has recorded three double-doubles this season - 13 points and 10 rebounds versus CS Fullerton; 10 points and a season-high 14 rebounds at Weber State; and 18 points and 11 rebounds against Westminster.  Cunningham has 11 double-doubles in his Spartan career.  He leads the team with 14 blocked shots.

DISHIN' OUT THE ROCK:  Two Spartans have 50 or more assists on the season.  D.J. Brown has 51 assists, while Jalen James has dished out 53 assists this season.  Brown dished out six assists at Santa Clara and at Weber State, while James had 10 assists at Houston.

WAKE UP WITH WOJCIK:  Spartan head coach Dave Wojcik hosts a monthly breakfast get-together at Rosie's New York Pizza at 1285 The Alameda in San José.  He discusses the X's and O's of basketball, recruiting and general basketball topics throughout the season.  A full breakfast is served, but an RSVP is required.  Cost is $25 per person which includes a donation to Spartan Foundation.  The next breakfast is scheduled for Tuesday, February 4.  To RSVP, please contact Blake Sasaki at 408-924-3300 or blake.sasaki@sjsu.edu.

UP NEXT:  The Spartans go back on the road for two Mountain West games next week.  The team plays at Air Force on Wednesday, January 15, at 7 p.m. MST/6 p.m. PST.  San José State then travels to Wyoming for an afternoon game on Saturday, January 18 at 2 p.m. MST/1 p.m. PST.