Spartans Take Win Streak To Fresno State

Brandon Clarke is averaging a double-double with 13.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in three career games versus the Bulldogs
Feb. 14, 2017

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SPARTANS TAKE WIN STREAK TO FRESNO STATE
San José State goes into the valley to face the rival Fresno State Bulldogs with a four-game winning streak on the line this Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. (PT). The game will be shown on the Mountain West Network and can be heard on KLIV 1590 AM with Justin Allegri's play-by-play call. A win would also make it three straight against the rivals, which hasn't happened in 29 seasons. The Spartans and Bulldogs are separated by just half a game in the Mountain West standings heading into Wednesday night's tilt.
 
Game #24
San José State (13-10, 6-6 MW) at Fresno State (14-11, 6-7 MW)
Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 7:00 p.m. (PT)
Save Mart Center (15,596)
Fresno, Calif.
 
TV: Mountain West Network
Radio: KLIV 1590 AM

OFF THE TOP
Brandon Clarke is the reigning Mountain West Player of the Week for the third time this year ... The Spartans are 4-0 since inserting Terrell Brown into the starting lineup ... San José State is on its first four-game conference win streak since 1996 ... The program hasn't won five straight conference games since January of 1983 ... A win on Saturday would make it three in a row against Fresno State for the first time in 29 seasons ... A seventh conference win would give SJSU the most in a single-season since a 9-9 Big West record in 1995-96.
 
CLARKE EARNS THIRD PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONOR
After leading San José State to a pair of wins and extending the team's winning streak to four games, Brandon Clarke was named Mountain West Player of the Week for the third time this year. He averaged 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in wins over San Diego State (2/7) and UNLV (2/11). He scored a game-high 22 points as the Spartans beat the Aztecs for the first time since 1999, and closed the week with 13 points, seven rebounds and five blocks in the 76-74 win at UNLV. Clarke is the first player to win the award three times this season and he's the second Spartan to be a three-time player of the week honoree joining Ricky Berry who did it in 1986-87.
 
BROWN NAILS GAME WINNER AT UNLV
Freshman point guard Terrell Brown hit a contested leaner in front of the hoop with 13.1 seconds remaining at UNLV which would go on to be the game-winning basket. Brown dribbled out the Spartans' last possession before slicing down the left side of the key with 16 seconds on the game clock and six on the shot clock. His shot lifted San José State to its fourth straight win, a streak which began with a win over the Runnin' Rebels in San Jose on Jan. 28. It is the first time since the 1993-94 season that the Spartans have completed a season sweep of UNLV.
 
THE EMERGENCE OF Terrell Brown
After averaging 15.3 minutes over 12 games as a reserve, Terrell Brown has jumped into the starting lineup and the freshman has averaged 36.5 minutes over the last four contests. He is the third-leading scorer on the team during that stretch (14.0 ppg), and scored the biggest two points of his young career with 13.1 seconds left at UNLV which lifted SJSU to a fourth straight win. The freshman has yet to find a match for his speed to the rim since taking over and has used good passing as a weapon too. He has 11 assists and three turnovers in the last four games.
 
HILLSMAN TIES CAREER HIGH IN WIN
Sophomore guard Jaycee Hillsman has put his fingerprints on all four games during the current win streak. He did so against UNLV by scoring 16 points to tie his career high. He got San José State out to a fast start and a 7-0 lead with a three and a transition dunk. He added a pair of layups late in the first half and a critical three-point play down the stretch of the second half. The lefty has been chipping in with few but clutch 3-pointers - 4-of-7 from deep last four games - and he's hit 15-of-16 free throws during the streak. Ten (10) of those 15 made free throws have come with under five minutes to play in the game.
 
WELAGE'S CAREER HIGH CAME AT FRESNO STATE
Ryan Welage put up his career-high of 28 points when San José State visited Fresno State last season. San José State lost that game 81-74, and if it weren't for Welage's sizzling second half the game wouldn't have been as close as it was. Wely hit 7-of-8 from the field and all five attempts from downtown for 20 points in the second period. He helped SJSU erase a 19-point deficit, but Fresno State seniors Cezar Guerrero and Marvelle Harris helped the Bulldogs hold on for the win.
 
WHAT'S ON THE LINE
The Spartans bring a four game winning streak with them into the valley on Wednesday. A win against the Bulldogs would give SJSU five straight wins for the first time since December of 1998. Should the streak continue it would be five straight conference wins, and that hasn't happened since January of 1983 with five consecutive Pacific Coast Athletic Association (PCAA) victories.
 
THE RIVALRY PERSPECTIVE
There is another winning streak on the line for the Spartans as they have a chance to win three in a row against the Bulldogs for the first time since beating them seven straight times between Mar. 2, 1985 and Mar. 5, 1988. But in order to make it three in a row San José State has to do something it hasn't done since Jan. 10, 2009 - win a game in Fresno. The 2008-09 season was the last time San José State swept a season against Fresno State.
 
LAST TIME AGAINST FRESNO STATE
San José State trailed Fresno State by 15 points three different times during the first half but managed to pull out the 69-62 win inside The Event Center. It was SJSU's first win in Mountain West play, and Gary Williams, Jr., led the way with a career-high 18 points. Jalen James put the Spartans ahead 63-62 with 21 seconds left and then took a charge on the ensuing Fresno State possession. Consecutive technical fouls within two seconds of game time were called on Bulldogs' head coach Rodney Terry and SJSU used the resulting four free throws to ice the game.
 
NARROWING THE REBOUNDING GAP
San José State was punished again in rebounding, 38-29, against UNLV. The Rebels grabbed 17 offensive rebounds while SJSU managed just seven. Before the win streak began SJSU was being outrebounded by conference opponents by an average of 9.0 per game. It's still a deficit, but the Spartans are being out worked on the glass by just three boards per game over the last four. The first time UNLV and San José State met back on Jan. 28 remains the only time during conference play that the Spartans have outrebounded their opponent.
 
STREAKS ON STREAKS
A win on Wednesday would make it three straight wins on the road after taking care of business at New Mexico (2/4) and at UNLV (2/11). SJSU hasn't won three consecutive road games since December of 2012, and it's been since 1993-94 since the program had three straight conference road wins.
 
SJSU DEFEATS SDSU 76-71
San José State pulled off the first win against San Diego State since 1999 behind Brandon Clarke's game-high 22 points and another solid performance from freshman point guard Terrell Brown. Brown made his third consecutive start and scored 13 points for his fourth consecutive game in double-figure scoring. The Spartans overcame a rough start where they missed the first 10 shots, and would hold a lead as large as 12 points late in the second half. The Spartans connected on 23 of 26 free throw attempts in the win.