Spartans Head To Utah State With Tournament Seeding In Mind
Feb. 25, 2016
SPARTANS LOOK TO HALT THE SLIDE AT UTAH STATE
After winning a two in a row at home in MW play, the Spartans have dropped four straight heading into Saturday's tilt against Utah State at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah. History is against SJSU in this one, as the Spartans haven't won in Logan since 1982. The first meeting between the first two teams back in December was competitive, but Utah State pulled out a nine-point win.
San José State (8-19, 3-12 MW) at Utah State (13-13, 5-10 MW)
Saturday, February 27, 2016, 7:00 p.m. (MT)
Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270)
WATCH: MW Digital Network
LISTEN: KLIV 1590 AM & Stretch Internet Radio
SPARTANS LET AZTECS RUN AWAY WITH 78-56 WIN
Similar to the first meeting, San José State was step-for-step with the first-place San Deigo State Aztecs into the second half. Unlike the first meeting where SDSU slowly pulled away for the victory, the Aztecs went on a 21-4 run that put the Spartans away for good midway through the second period. During the run, the Aztecs pushed the lead from 10 to 22 in less than three minutes of game time. San José State erased an early 14-point deficit with some hot three-point shooting from Cody Schwartz, and Frank Rogers gave SJSU the momentum when he tied the game 36-36 with a ferocious dunk near the 15 minute mark in the second half. But from there, it was all SDSU.
SPARTRANS HAVE LARGEST SCORING TURNAROUND IN THE LEAGUE
San José State is averaging 70.7 points per game heading into Saturday's tilt at Utah State. That's a difference of 17.0 points per game compared to last year, giving SJSU the largest scoring improvement in the league. All 11 Mountain West teams are scoring more points than they did a year ago. Nevada at +15.6 and New Mexico at +15.2 are the other most improved scoring teams after the Spartans.
TRIAL BY FIRE
San José State's four true freshmen: Ryan Welage, Cody Schwartz, Brandon Clarke and Jaycee Hillsman have combined to account for 44.5 percent of the team's scoring in 2015-16. That is by far the highest percentage of points scored by true freshmen among all Mountain West teams, with UNLV next at 32.4 percent. Among top-25 teams, only Kentucky at 48.5 percent, has gotten more scoring production from true freshmen than San José State.
LAST MEETING WITH UTAH STATE
Frank Rogers notched a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds for San José State, but Utah State pulled out the 80-71 victory in the conference opener for both teams back on December 30, in San Jose. The Spartans cut a 16-point deficit down to four in the second half, but clutch shooting by Jalen Moore and Darius Perkins put the Spartans away.
The Spartans and Aggies first met in December of 1935, when Utah State won 40-36. SJSU hasn't beaten USU since 2008 when the Spartans came away with a 70-67 win inside The Event Center. The last win for San José State at Utah State was on February 25, 1982, by a score of 55-47. Utah State controls the all-time series 55-21.
COME AND CELEBRATE THE SENIORS!
San José State will honor three seniors: Ivo Basor, Princeton Onwas and Frank Rogers before playing in the final home game of their Spartan careers on March 5, versus Boise State. Be sure and show up to The Event Center early enough before the 2:00 p.m. tipoff to be a part of the pregame ceremony.
There are only three regular season games left for the Spartans before the Mountain West Championship Tournament begins on March 9 in Las Vegas. If the season ended today, SJSU would be playing in the 4:00 p.m. game on Wednesday, March 9, against the No. 6 seed. Keep your eye out for changes as the SJSU's seeding can still change throughout the final three regular season contests. One thing is certain though, the Spartans want to see you in Las Vegas during the tournament! Contact the Spartan Ticket Office today to purchase tickets to the championship and find out more information on single-game and all-session ticket information.