Men's Basketball Plays Third Road Game At NMSU

Next Game: Thurs., Jan. 17 New Mexico State (11-8, 5-2) Pan American Center, Las Cruces, N.M. 7:00 p.m. MST KLIV 1590AM/KSJS 90.5 FM AggieVision/ESPN3.com
SPARTANS FINISH ROAD GAMES AT NMSU:  San Jose State plays the team’s third consecutive road game this Friday night at New Mexico State.  The Spartans played at Utah State on Jan. 11, and at Denver Thursday night.  This is also the third consecutive games that San Jose State has played above 4,000-feet elevation. San Jose State enters the game with a 9-8 overall record and a 3-3 conference record and is tied with UT Arlington for fifth place in the WAC standings.  The Spartans lost at Denver, 73-37, Thursday night.  Chris Cunningham and LaVanne Pennington led the team with eight points each.
LIVE STATS:  All games will have live stats available on the Spartan website at www.SJSUSpartans.com and go to “Live Stats.” 
RADIO COVERAGE:  Saturday’s game will be broadcast on KLIV 1590 AM as well as KSJS 90.5 FM.  Justin Allegri will call the action.  The pregame show on KLIV will start 30 minutes prior to tip.  All San Jose State men’s basketball broadcasts will be on KSJS, 90.5 FM, with pregame shows during the week starting 15 minutes prior to tip.  
TV/ONLINE COVERAGE:  Saturday’s game will be available on AggieVision and shown live on their affiliates.  The game will also be available online at ESPN3.com.
FACEBOOK/TWITTER:  Follow the Spartan men’s basketball team and all San Jose State athletics teams on the web.  Join the official SJSU Spartans page on Facebook and read the latest tweets on Twitter @SJSUAthletics.  
SPARTANS MOURN LEGEND:  Walt McPherson, an immensely talented multi-sport athlete, the winningest coach in San Jose State basketball history and a Legend in the University's Sports Hall of Fame died on January 12 at age 96 in Santa Rosa. Mr. McPherson was a 1939 San Jose State graduate that enrolled at the College in 1934. He earned eight varsity letters - three each in baseball and football and two in basketball. He was a fullback for the 1936 through 1938 Spartan teams. Upon graduation, he was named to the San Jose State coaching staff. In a 20-year coaching career, Mr. McPherson was regarded as a sound tactician, a builder of character with high moral and ethical standards, and, above all, one of college sports great gentlemen. Mr. McPherson was the head coach of the men's basketball, baseball and men's golf teams and an assistant football coach.  He was an assistant football coach for the 1941 Spartans, but was not with the team in Honolulu when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7. In his 17 seasons as the men's basketball coach, the Spartans had a win-loss record of 264-208. San Jose State advanced to the third round of the 1948 NAIA national championship, the second of 1949 NAIA national championship and the 1951 NCAA Western Regionals. The Spartans were the first West Coast member at-large to participate in an NCAA Tournament. Mr. McPherson is the only San Jose State men's basketball coach to direct three Spartan teams to 20-win seasons (1948, 1949, 1950). His players included All-Americans Stu Inman and Carroll Williams, who coached at San Jose State and Santa Clara, respectively; Bobby Crowe, who played for the Harlem Globetrotters; Jack Avina, who was the head coach at the University of Portland; and San Francisco 49ers great Billy Wilson. A member of the San Jose State Sports Hall of Fame, he was accorded Legend status in 2002. In December 2003, The Event Center basketball floor, home for the San Jose State men's and women's basketball teams, was renamed Walt McPherson Court. Mr. McPherson was inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. A moment of silence will be observed for Mr. McPherson when the Spartans return to The Event Center on January 24.
ABOUT NEW MEXICO STATE:  The Aggies enter Saturday night’s game with an 11-8 overall record and 5-2 WAC mark.  The team is fourth in the WAC standings.  New Mexico State handed Utah State its first WAC loss Thursday night with a 64-51 win at the Pan American Center. Head coach Marvin Menzies is in his sixth year at the school.  He has guided the Aggies to two WAC Tournament Championships and two NCAA Tournament berths. Three players average double-figure points for the Aggies, led by Daniel Mullings at 14.7 points per game.  Tyrone Watson averaged 10.7 ppg, and is the team leader with 55 assists.  Bandja Sy averages 10.3 points and is the team leader in rebounding at 131, 6.9 per game. New Mexico State leads the overall series, 32-12, and won both meetings last season, 70-63, at The Event Center, and 79-68, in Las Cruces.
SAN JOSE STATE HEAD COACH:  George Nessman is in his eighth season as head coach at San Jose State.  He has an 86-149 record in eight seasons.
LAST TIME OUT: A poor shooting performance and too many long scoring droughts helped doom the San Jose State men’s basketball team in a 73-37 loss at Denver Thursday night. For the first time this season, no Spartan scored in double figures.  Chris Cunningham and LaVanne Pennington each had eight points to lead the team.  Cunningham led the team with six rebounds. San Jose State made a season-low 14 field goals and scored a season-low 37 points in the loss, the lowest point total since scoring 40 against Cal Poly lost December at The Event Center.  The Spartans made just 14-of-50 shots from the field. The Spartans kept the game close in the first three minutes of the game, trailing just 5-4 on a Pennington layup at 16:51.  However, over the next 9:22, San Jose State scored five points, all free throws, and did not make a field goal until a Pennington three-pointer at 7:29.   San Jose State again cut the Pioneer lead to 21-16 on a Stephon Smith layup, but Denver then went on an 11-0 run to open up a double-digit lead and never looked back.
NATIONAL RANKINGS:  As of games through Jan. 17, three Spartans rank in the top-75 in six categories.  James Kinney is 13th in scoring at 20.6 points per game and 18th in steals at 2.43 pg.  Chris Cunningham is tied for 52nd in rebounds at 8.9 per game and tied for 61st in double-doubles with 5.  Alex Brown is tied for 37th in blocked shots at 2.29 per game.
PLAYING AT ALTITUDE:  The New Mexico State game Saturday night marks the third consecutive game the Spartans have played above 4,000 feet.  San Jose State started with a game last week at Utah State (4,534 feet), followed by a game at Denver (5,183 feet) Thursday night and Saturday night’s game in Las Cruces (4,000 feet).
LOWEST POINT TOTAL IN OVER A YEAR:  With 37 points at Denver Thursday night, San Jose State had its lowest scoring output since the team scored 40 points in a 47-40 loss to Cal Poly last season (Dec. 10, 2011).  The Spartans also scored just 36 points in an 81-36 loss at California on Dec. 7, 2011.
FOUR STARTERS IN DOUBLE FIGURES, NONE NAMED KINNEY:  For the first time this season, four of the five Spartan starters scored in double figures in the win over New Orleans.  What makes this note even more unique is that none of the players in double figures were named James Kinney.  It was the first time this season that Kinney did not score 12 or more points.  Louis Garrett led the team with 14 points, followed by Alex Brown and D.J. Brown each with 13 points and Chris Cunningham with 11 points.
STARTING LINEUPS:  The Spartans have used four starting lineups this season.  The most recent lineup included D.J. Brown, Xavier Jones, LaVanne Pennington, Chris Cunningham and Alex Brown the past two games.  The previous six games featured D.J. Brown, James Kinney, Louis Garrett, Cunningham and Alex Brown. This lineup was also used at Montana State, and the team is 5-2 with these starters.  Chris Jones started eight of the first nine games this season.  The lineup against James Madison featured D.J. Brown, LaVanne Pennington (making his first start), Garrett, Cunningham and Alex Brown.
CUNNINGHAM CLEANING THE GLASS:  Chris Cunningham leads the team with 151 rebounds and averages 8.9 per game, tying for 52nd in the country.  He had five consecutive games with double-digit rebounds - 18 against UC Santa Cruz , 11 at #10 Kansas, 10 at Montana State and at UC Davis and 17 against Sacramento State. Cunningham grabbed 10 offensive rebounds against the Hornets, six offensive rebounds at UC Davis and five offensive rebounds against UC Santa Cruz and Kansas.

SINGLE-DIGIT TURNOVERS:  In three of the previous five games, San Jose State has committed nine or fewer turnovers in a game.  Against Idaho on January 3, the Spartans had a season-low five turnovers.  Then against New Orleans on January 8, San Jose State had nine turnovers.  In last Friday’s game at Utah State, the Spartans has just six turnovers.
DISHING OUT THE ROCK:  D.J. Brown came within one assist of tying the San Jose State Event Center record when he recorded 11 assists in a win over Seattle U.  He dished out assists to four different players in the game - James Kinney (4), Louis Garrett (3), Chris Cunningham (2) and LaVanne Pennington (2). Brown leads the Spartans with 76 assists on the season, 4.5 per game.  He previous high was nine assists at Montana State and Sacramento State.
MORE BLOCKS THIS YEAR: San Jose State’s added height is paying dividends this season, especially defensively.  The team has recorded 69 blocks, surpassing last year’s total of 38 blocks in 31 games, and has had at least one block in every game.  The 2010-11 team had 82 blocks.  The season school record for blocks is 106 blocks in 29 games during the 1987-88 season.  Individually, Alex Brown leads the team with 39 blocks and has had at least one in 16 games.  The individual season record is 62 set by Gerald Thomas in 29 games during the 1987-88 season.
BEST START TO WAC SEASON:  San Jose State began the WAC season with one of the best starts since joining the conference in 1996-97.  With the 3-1 start, it was the best beginning since the 1998-99 season when San Jose State opened the WAC season with a 2-1 record with a win over Fresno State (91-64), loss to #16 New Mexico (82-81 OT) and win over UTEP (64-63 OT), all at home. The last time San Jose State went 4-1 to start a conference season was 1987-88, when the Spartans played in the Big West Conference under head coach Bill Berry.  That season, the Spartans started with wins at Fresno State (69-67) and Pacific (79-74) before falling to New Mexico State at home (76-65).  The team then rebounded with a home win against Long Beach State (80-79) and at UC Santa Barbara (67-61). The last three-game WAC winning streak for San Jose State came during the 2009-10 season when San Jose State defeated Louisiana Tech (87-76), New Mexico State (93-84) and Hawaii (83-60) during a stretch of home games in January 2010.
PENNINGTON MADE MOST OF FIRST START: Senior guard LaVanne Pennington started his first game of the season against James Madison and led the team in scoring with a career-best 16 points, including 3-for-7 from three-point range and 3-of-3 from the free thow line. Pennington played just 26 minutes as a leg cramp kept him out of the final eight minutes of the game. Pennington is averaging 6.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.  He scored 16 points at UTSA where he was 4-for-7 from three-point range.  Pennington added 13 points at New Orleans and 11 points at Montana State.  

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES:  Xavier Jones and Chris Jones (no relation) each came off the bench and scored season bests of 11 points against James Madison.  Xavier was 4-for-6 from the field and 3-of-4 from the line in 19 minutes of action.  Chris was 4-for-9 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds in 27 minutes of play.
BLOCKIN’ THE BALL:  Alex Brown alters shots on the court and has a team-best 39 blocks on the season.  He had a season-best five blocks against Weber State and has blocked a least one shot in 16 games this season.
D.J. BROWN NO TURNOVERS:  In three games this season, D.J. Brown has committed zero turnovers in a game - vs. Idaho, at UC Davis and at Utah State.  Against Idaho, he dished out four assists and had three steals.  At UC Davis, Brown had no turnovers in 35 minutes of action as he scored 12 points, dished out six assists and grabbed five rebounds.  At Utah State, he led the team in scoring with 16 points and added two assists in 35 minutes of action.  The only other game as a starter that Brown did not commit a turnover was at Idaho on January 26, 2012, where he scored 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting.
DOUBLE-DOUBLES:  Two Spartans have recorded double-doubles this season.  Chris Cunningham has five double-doubles on the season as he led the Spartans with 19 points and 18 rebounds in a win over UC Santa Cruz.  He added 15 points and 10 rebounds in a win at Montana State, 12 points and 10 rebounds at UC Davis, 10 points and 17 rebounds against Sacramento State and 11 points and 14 rebounds at Texas State. James Kinney scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 36 minutes played against Houston.  The 10 rebounds are the most he has collected in his Spartan career. The Spartan season record is 13 double-doubles, set by Coby Dietrick during the 1969-70 season.
2013 WAC TOURNAMENT:  The 2013 WAC Men’s Basketball Tournament will be held March 12 and 14-16 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.  All 10 team advance to the tournament, with teams 7-10 playing on the 12th, and the eight remaining teams in the tournament playing on the 14th.  The championship game will be shown live on ESPNU on the 16th at 8 p.m. PST.
UP NEXT:  San Jose State returns home for two games next week.  The Spartans host Louisiana Tech on Thursday, January 24, and UT Arlington on Saturday, January 26.  Both games begin at 7 p.m., inside The Event Center.  The 24th-ranked Spartan football team will be honored on the 24th, and fans will have a chance to take their picture with the Military Bowl Championship Trophy.
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