Spartans And Cowboys Battle For Higher Seed At MW Tournament

Brandon Clarke scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds earlier this year against Wyoming.
March 3, 2017

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TOURNAMENT SEEDING ON THE LINE IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE
San José State takes on Wyoming on Saturday in a battle for the seventh seed at the Mountain West Tournament. The winner takes the seventh seed while the loser drops to ninth at next week's championship. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. (MT) and will be shown live on the Mountain West Network. Fans can also listen to Justin Allegri's play-by-play call on KLIV 1590 AM.

Game #29
San José State (14-14, 7-10 MW) at Wyoming (17-13, 7-10 MW)
Saturday, March 4, 2017, 2:00 p.m. (MT)
Arena Auditorium (11,612)
Laramie, Wyoming
 
TV: Mountain West Network
Radio: KLIV 1590 AM
 
OFF THE TOP
The winner of Saturday's game will be the No. 7 seed in next week's Mountain West Tournament ... The Spartans have a chance to finish the regular season above .500 for the first time since 2010-11 ... Brandon Clarke enters the final regular season game as the only player in the league that is top-five in scoring and rebounding during Mountain West play ... Wyoming defeated San José State 80-70 in the first meeting this season back on January 28 ... San José State is winless on the road at Wyoming in six tries.
 
WHAT'S ON THE LINE
If San José State beats Wyoming on Saturday the Spartans finish the year seventh in the Mountain West and would face the 10th seed in the first round of the Mountain West Tournament. The 10th seed is up for grabs between Air Force and UNLV. If both of those teams win or lose then Air Force would take the 10th seed. An Air Force loss to Boise State and a UNLV win over Fresno State would give the Rebels the 10th seed. If the Spartans lose to Wyoming they finish ninth in the league and will play Utah State which is locked into the eighth seed.
 
GET YOUR TICKETS FOR THE MW TOURNAMENT
Fans who want to see San José State play in the Mountain West Tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas should contact the Spartan Ticket Office today! The office is accessible online or by telephone at 408-924-7589. San José State will play its first game of the tournament on Wednesday, March 8. Depending on the results of the final games in MW regular season play, SJSU will either play at 11:00 a.m. (PT) or 1:30 p.m. (PT).
 
SPARTANS CAN FINISH ABOVE .500
The Spartans head into the final regular season game with a 14-14 overall record and have a shot at finishing above .500 for the first time since 2010-11. San José State currently owns the 29th most improved record in the country from a year ago when the team was 9-22. The College of Charleston (15.0 games) and San José State (13.5 games) have the largest improvements in NCAA Division I since the conclusion of the 2014-15 season.  The Spartans finished that year 2-28 with zero wins against a Division I opponent.
 
CLARKE HAVING AN ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST YEAR
With one game to go Spartan forward Brandon Clarke is the only player in the conference's top-five for scoring (19.2 ppg, 4th) and rebounded (9.2 rpg, 3rd). He is the league's most efficient shooter at 61.1 percent, with the next best being Air Force's Hayden Graham at 50.3 percent. The sophomore from Phoenix is also the league's leading shot blocker with 48 in 17 games for an average of 2.8 per contest. Clarke has had seven double-doubles in conference play this year, three of which have been 20-point games. The All-Mountain West awards will be announced on Tuesday, March 7.
 
ONE BLOCK AWAY
Brandon Clarke needs just one block in the game against Wyoming to be alone in second all-time at San José State with 112 career blocks. He is currently tied with Chris Oaks (2008-10) with 111 career blocks. Gerald Thomas is the all-time career leader in blocks with 127. With 72 swats Clarke has already eclipsed the single-season blocks record which Thomas owned with 62.
 
FEBRUARY SNAPSHOT
The Spartans finished 4-3 in the month of February including three straight wins over New Mexico, San Diego State and UNLV. Ryan Welage led the team in scoring at 15.0 points per game and he did so efficiently, shooting 46.9 percent. He scored 20 points in the win on the road at New Mexico (Feb. 4) and against Utah State (Feb. 22). Brandon Clarke nearly averaged a double-double for the month at 14.9 points and 9.7 rebounds per contest. Freshman Terrell Brown was the third-leading scorer for the month at 11.7 points per game. He hit the game-winning basket in the 76-74 win over UNLV (Feb. 11).
 
LAST TIME VERSUS WYOMING
San José State put itself in a hole with 12 first-half turnovers while shooting 38.7 percent and lost to Wyoming 80-70 in the first meeting this season back on January 18 inside the Event Center. Brandon Clarke scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and Ryan Welage added 14 points, but it wouldn't be enough to dig the Spartans out. Jordan Naughton scored 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting to lead the Cowboys, who had four players in double-figure scoring.

SERIES HISTORY WITH WYOMING
Wyoming controls the all-time series, 9-2, over San José State. The teams split games last year, each winning a game on their home floor. The contest at the end of the year in Laramie went down to the wire, but the Cowboys pulled out an 81-78 win on their star Josh Adams' senior night. It will be Senior Night again when the Spartans visit Wyoming on Saturday. The Spartans are winless on the road against the Cowboys in six tries.
 
SPARTANS LOSE TO NEVADA ON SENIOR NIGHT
Nevada came into the Event Center on Wednesday and handed the Spartans an 82-67 loss on Senior Night. The beginnings of games have hurt the Spartans and it did again versus the Wolf Pack which was up 20-5 at one point in the opening period. SJSU did rally in the second half cutting the deficit to 64-54 after a Brandon Clarke dunk with 10:56 to, but got no closer. Ryan Welage led the Spartans with 16 points and Clarke added 13 points and nine boards.