Men's Hoops Back On The Road For Round Two With Colorado State

Ryan Welage's 38 made threes are the most of all freshmen in the Mountain West.
Jan. 25, 2016

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SPARTANS BACK ON THE ROAD FOR ROUND TWO WITH COLORADO STATE
San José State State plays on the road for the third time in the last four contests against the Colorado State Rams Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. (MT) at Moby Arena. The Spartans let a victory slip away for an 85-84 overtime loss when the Rams were in San Jose back on January 9. A victory on Wednesday would not only avenge the loss from earlier this season, but would mark the first win in 12 tries against Colorado State.
 
GAME #21
 
San José State (6-14, 1-7 MW) at Colorado State (11-8, 3-3 MW)
Wednesday, January 27, 7:00 p.m. (MT)
Moby Arena (8,745)
Fort Collins, Colo.
WATCH: Mountain West Digital Network
LISTEN: Stretch Internet Radio

 
TICKETS
Purchase your tickets today for the next men's basketball homestand, which includes games against Air Force (1/30) and the rival Fresno State Bulldogs (2/3). Tickets for next weekend's game and all men's hoops games are available at the ticket office website, which can also be reached by calling 408-924-7589. The Spartan Ticket Office is your one stop shop for tickets to all SJSU Athletics events.
 
TRIAL BY FIRE
San José State's Mountain West foes are seeing a much different team this season then they have in recent years. Largely in part to a group of freshmen that have become the nucleus of the team. Four true freshmen: Ryan Welage, Brandon Clarke, Cody Schwartz and Jaycee Hillsman have combined to account for 51.4 percent of the entire team's minutes during conference play. Welage, Schwartz and Hillsman have started all but one Mountain West contest.
 
C-L-A-R-K-E SPELLS EFFICIENCY
Freshman forward Brandon Clarke has gotten better and better every game, as has his shooting percentage, which remains a team-best .730 during conference play. The Phoenix, Ariz., native came close to his third straight double-double with 14 points and eight rebounds in the loss to New Mexico. He has now grabbed multiple offensive rebounds in six consecutive games, including a season-high seven at Fresno State. Clarke leads the team during conference play with 6.9 rebounds per game and is fourth in scoring at 8.4 points per game.
 
WELAGE MAKING AN EARLY CASE FOR FOY
Wednesday's game will mark the halfway point of Mountain West play, and heading into that contest Ryan Welage leads all freshman in the league in a number of scoring categories. During conference play, he is both the top scoring (15.3 ppg) and most efficient shooting (.495) freshman in the league. He's also the leader of the freshmen pack with 20 made three-point baskets and a .455 shooting clip from downtown. The Greensburg, Ind., native isn't just a scorer. His 6.1 rebounds per conference game are fourth among league freshmen, with one spot ahead occupied by his teammate Brandon Clarke (6.9).
 
SPARTANS LOOK TO WRENCH UP THE DEFENSE
San José State has allowed 80 or more points in five of eight conference games, including the last three in a row. The Spartans are averaging six more points per game on offense during conference play, but an average scoring margin of -17.0 over the last three games has made it tough to win. San José State's closest game of the year though, came against Colorado State, an 85-84 overtime loss. SJSU held CSU, the league's best three-point shooting team, to 27.8 percent (5-18) that night from beyond the arc.
 
A TOUGH STRETCH
Wednesday's game at Colorado State will make it three out of the last four played on the road. In the same stretch, three of the four opponents are coming off of a bye week to face the Spartans.  
 
LAST MEETING WITH THE RAMS
Princeton Onwas scored a career-high 24 points for SJSU but John Gillon's drive to the hoop with 10.9 seconds left in overtime gave Colorado State an 85-84 win in The Event Center on January 9. San José State turned the ball over in press offense with under 10 seconds to go in regulation, and as the buzzer sounded J.D. Paige's shot in the paint went in to force overtime. Colorado State was just 5 of 18 from downtown in the game, but made 24 of 27 free throws. It was the second consecutive game that Princeton Onwas had extended his career high in points. The Spartans had one final shot to win the game in overtime, but Jaycee Hillsman's layup fell harmlessly off the rim as the final buzzer sounded.
 
SAN JOSé State vs. colorado state
Wednesday's contest will mark the 12th time the two programs have met, with all 11 of the previous ones going the way of Colorado State. The one-point overtime victory for the Rams just a few weeks back was the closest margin between the two teams in the Mountain West era. The previous four meetings had an average margin of 17.5 points.