Men's Basketball Travels To New Mexico Saturday

Jan. 30, 2014

Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Next Game:

Sat., Feb. 1, New Mexico (16-4, 7-1)

The Pit/Bob King Court (15,411)

6:07 p.m. MST/5:07 p.m. PST

TV/VIDEO:  ROOT Sports

DirecTV - 683 & 687; DISH 414/5414 (HD); www.themw.com

Tim Neverett, Play-by-Play; Joe Cravens, Analyst

RADIO:  KLIV 1590 AM; KSJS 90.5 FM

Justin Allegri, Play-by-Play

The Last Meeting
New Mexico69
San Jose State65
January 11, 2014
The Event Center
Williams, Thornton With Career Highs In 69-65 Loss To New Mexico
Jaleel Williams scored a career-best 24 points, and Isaac Thornton came off the bench to grab a season-high 11 rebounds in San Jose State's hard-fought 69-65 loss to New Mexico Saturday night.

           

SPARTANS AT THE PIT SATURDAY NIGHT:  San José State makes its first appearance at The Pit since the 1998-99 season when the Spartans play at New Mexico Saturday evening.

San José State is looking to break a nine-game losing streak and get the first Mountain West win in school history.  The Spartans fell at home Wednesday night, 70-46, to UNLV.  Jaleel Williams led all scorers with 16 points.

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's game can be seen on ROOT Sports.  Tim Neverett calls the action with Joe Cravens giving his analysis.  The station can be found on DirecTV channels 683 and 687, 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. 

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.

ABOUT NEW MEXICO:  The Lobos enter Saturday night's game with a 16-4 overall record and a 7-1 Mountain West record, good for second place in the conference standings.  At The Pit, the Lobos have a 681-153 (.817) record and are 7-2 at home this season.  The team brings a four-game winning streak into Saturday night after winning at Utah State, 78-65, Tuesday night.

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 double-digits in scoring.  Cameron Bairstow is second in the Mountain West in scoring at 20.4 points per game and leads the league in field goal percentage at .561.  Kendall Williams is second on the team in scoring at 18.0 points per game and leads the Mountain West in assists with 107, 5.4 per game.  Alex Kirk averages 14.0 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

New Mexico has a 7-0 advantage in the all-time series.  The Lobos won the earlier meeting this season, 69-65, at The Event Center on January 11.  Jaleel Williams led the Spartans with a a career-high 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds.  Isaac Thornton had a season-best 11 rebounds.

San José State had two possessions in the final 40 seconds to tie the game, but Williams was unable to make either of his field goal tries on out-of-bounds plays.

There were 17 lead changes and the game was tied eight times including 63-63 after San José State's Rashad Muhammad hit a 3-pointer with 1:30 remaining. Muhammad finished with 16 points.

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

1/11/14            L            69-65            The Event Center

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.

LAST TIME OUT: -San José State forward Jaleel Williams led all players with a game-high 16 points but his teammates combined for just 30 more as the Spartans fell to UNLV, 70-46, Wednesday night at The Event Center.

Rashad Muhammad added 13 points for the Spartans. The Spartans' leading scorer was in double-figure scoring for the first time in four games. 

LARGEST HOME CROWD SINCE 2000:  The Spartans drew 4,117 fans to their game against #7 San Diego State on January 22.  It was the fourth-largest crowd to witness a San José State men's basketball game since the 1999-2000 season when 4,033 fans came for the Fresno State game that the Spartans lost 82-76 in overtime.

Largest Event Center Crowds Since 1998-99 Season

4,773            2/3/01            Fresno State            L, 86-75

4,540            1/7/99            Fresno State            W, 91-64

4,411            2/18/99            #12 Utah            L, 71-49

4,117            1/22/14            #7 San Diego State            L, 75-50

4,033            2/3/00            Fresno State            L-OT, 82-76

STARTING LINEUPS:  San José State has used seven different starting lineups this season.  The latest lineup used was Jalen James, Isaac Thornton, Devante Wilson, Jaleel Williams and Chris Cunningham.  James is the only Spartan to start every game this season.  A complete listing of starting lineups can be found on page 7 of this release.

FACING NATIONALLY-RANKED TEAMS:  San José State hosted a nationally-ranked team for the first time since the 2006-07 season and the first top-10 ranked team since the 1990-91 season when #7 San Diego State visited on January 22.  The last top-10 team to visit was the 1991 #1 UNLV Runnin' Rebels team that finished the season 34-1. 

This was the first time a team ranked #7 in the polls visited The Event Center and only the second time in school history that San José State faced a team ranked #7 in the polls (UCLA, L, 109-69; 12/22/1977).

Last Top-10 Team At The Event Center -

            #7 San Diego State, L 75-50; January 22, 2014

Last Win vs. Top-20 Team -

            vs. #19 Alabama, 60-59 OT; December 27, 1996

            Comerica Cable Car Classic Game, San José Arena

Top-20 Teams to Visit The Event Center

#1 UNLV, L, 88-64            January 31, 1991

#7 San Diego State, L, 75-50            January 22, 2014

#10 UNLV, L, 100-80                        January 6, 1990

#12 Utah, L, 71-49            February 18, 1999

#12 UNLV, L, 80-74            February 11, 1993

#13 Tulsa, L, 64-56            February 19, 2000

#14 Utah, L, 75-57            November 29, 1991

#15 New Mexico State, L, 73-67            February 23, 1991

#16 New Mexico, L 82-81 OT            January 13, 1999

#19 Nevada, L, 72-63            January 11, 2007

#19 Fresno State, L, 86-75            February 3, 2001

MUHAMMAD COMES OFF BENCH TO LEAD SPARTANS IN SCORING:  Freshman guard Rashad Muhammad leads the San José State team in scoring this season with 309 points, 14.7 points per game.  He has played in all 21 games this season, but started just one (Weber State).  He has led the team in scoring in 11 games this year, coming off the bench in 10 games. 

Muhammad is listed in the top-110 in five categories.

Muhammad National Rankings (as of 1/26)

3-pt FG/GM            46th            2.75 pg

3-pt FGM            35th            55

3-pt FGA            80th            126

3-pt Pct.            26th            43.7%

Free Throw Pct.            101st            83.9%

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 55 of his 126 attempts this year.  He is also the best free throw shooter, making 75-of-89 attempts (84.3%). 

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.

WILLIAMS INCREASE IN PRODUCTION ONE OF TOPS IN MOUNTAIN WEST:  After averaging just 1.8 points and 0.5 rebounds per game in 2012-13, Jaleel Williams has made an impact on this year's Spartan team in scoring and on the glass.  This season, he is averaging 11.6 points per game, a 9.8 per game increase from last season.  That is the third-highest increase in scoring between the two seasons by a Mountain West player.  Tre' Coggins of Air Force increased his output by 15 points as he currently averages 17.4 ppg.  Daniel Bejarano of Colorado State (16.5 ppg) and Max Yon of Air Force (13.6 ppg) each increased their output by 10.9 ppg, while Williams and New Mexico's Cameron Bairstow (20.4 ppg) each increased 9.8 ppg.

On the glass, Williams has the best increase between seasons, now averaging 6.1 rebounds per game, a 5.6 pg increase.  He is the top player in the Mountain West, followed by Justin Hammonds at Air Force (5.7 rpg) at 4.5 rpg, Ryan Watkins at Boise State (10.8 rpg) at 4.1 pg and Bejarano (9.0 rpg) and Marek Olesinski at Air Force (5.5 rpg) and 4.1 rpg.

THREE-POINT SHOOTING RANKS AMONG THE BEST IN THE NATION:  San José State's three-point shooting ranks among the elite of the NCAA this season.  The Spartans rank in the top-six in three different three-point categories through games of January 19.  The Spartans are fourth in three-point field goal attempts at 522 (VMI #1 at 557), fifth in total three-point field goals per game at 9.4 pg (Creighton #1 at 11.2) and sixth in three-point field goals made at 187 (Creighton #1 at 223 pg).

WILSON ALSO RANKS NATIONALLY IN THREE-POINT SHOOTING:  Devante Wilson ranks in the top-120 nationally in three three-point shooting categories.  He is 93rd in three-point attempts at 123; 111th in total three-pointers made at 45; and 119th in three-point field goals per game at 2.25 pg.

GAME SCHOOL RECORD TIED, THEN BROKEN:  Twice this season, San José State made 14 three-pointers in a game.  But on January 4, 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-OVERTIME GAME CLUB:  With San José State's three-overtime game against UC Davis on December 18, the Spartans are one of 13 teams nationally to have played a triple-overtime game this season.  Through January 26, nine games have gone to three overtimes including twice on January 11.  Drexel has played in two triple-overtime games.

WILLIAMS SCORING AT NEW HIGHS:  After scoring just 68 points the first two years of his Spartan career, Jaleel Williams has scored 243 points in 21 games and is second on the team in scoring at 11.6 points per game. He has led the Spartans in scoring in six games including a career-high 24 points against New Mexico.  He has scored 20 or more points in two other games this season - 22 points in a win at Pepperdine and 20 points in the season opener at Santa Clara.

Williams 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.

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 WAC.

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. 

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.

CUNNINGHAM GRABBING BOARDS:  Chris Cunningham is one of the team's top rebounders with 127, 6.0 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 17 blocked shots.

DISHIN' OUT THE ROCK:  Two Spartans have 60 or more assists on the season.  Jalen James leads the team with 67 assists, while D.J. Brown has 63 assists.  James had 10 assists at Houston, while Brown dished out six assists at Santa Clara and at Weber State.

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 do not play a Tuesday/Wednesday game next week.  The team plays next at Fresno State on Saturday, February 8, at 4 p.m. PST.  It will be the fourth consecutive Saturday road game and fifth in sixth weeks for the Spartans.