Spartans Over UC Santa Cruz, 94-54

San Jose, Calif.-----Forward Chris Cunningham scored 19 points and grabbed 18 rebounds as San Jose State coasted to a 94-54 win over UC Santa Cruz in a non-conference men's basketball game.

            The Spartans (2-2) were never challenged after the five-minute mark as they won their second in a row and evened their record for the first time this season. San Jose State had its first double-digit lead, 16-6, at the 13:48 mark; a 20-point advantage, 37-17 with 5:23 left in the first half; and led 45-25 at halftime.

            Starting guard James Kinney and reserve guard Nick Grieves each scored 18. Grieves, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, pounded down six 3-point baskets on just eight long-distance attempts including three in a 58-second span when the game was already decided for his first double-figure scoring game of his career. Xavier Jones was a fourth double-digit scorer for the Spartans with 10 points.

           "Tonight's win gave us confidence. We've got a tough road trip ahead of us with Kansas and Montana State," said Kinney whose line included 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals. Overall, San Jose State was credited with a season-high 24 assists and showed off some nifty interior passing leading to scores.

            "Right now, we're focused on the grind of each day, getting better every day and enjoying the spirit of the team," said San Jose State coach George Nessman. "We want to keep focused on the process of getting better and working at it, because we really believe that we have the makings of a good team."

            Forward James Townsend led UC Santa Cruz (1-2) with 13 points and 8 rebounds. The Banana Slugs made just 28 percent of their field goal tries compared to San Jose State's 60.3 percent.

           The much-taller Spartans dominated inside with good interior passing and easy buckets in the paint. San Jose State also out-rebounded UC Santa Cruz decisively, 50-33.

            "(The inside play) is an evolving feature of our team. I think our inside game won us the Weber (State) game. We got some real important baskets down the stretch. It wasn't as close tonight, but we want to establish our inside game every game because it is a feature almost all good teams have," added the Spartans head coach.

            The Spartans face a much tougher test the next time out when they head to #12-Kansas for a November 26 non-conference contest. Game time is 8:00 p.m. (CT)/6:00 p.m. (PT) for the ESPNU telecast.

            "Look, playing Kansas is a unique experience. It is truly one of the iconic buildings in college basketball. It will be a lot of fun for our guys from that perspective," said Nessman. "We're anxious to compete. They are a top-15 team and might be in the top-10 when we get there. We've played some highly ranked teams before on their homecourts and we're really anxious to do it. We have some work to do before we go back there."

UC Santa Cruz vs San Jose State
At San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)

James Townsend 4-9 4-8 13; Spencer Wells 3-9 0-0 8; Dylan Holler 2-9 0-0 6; Trent Reeves 2-5 2-2 6; Zach Smith 2-5 1-2 6; Marshal Arnwine Jr 2-4 0-1 4; Austin Steadman 1-7 1-2 3; Jared Ponce 1-5 0-0 3; David Salazar 1-4 0-1 2; James Hidalgo 1-3 0-0 2; Tyler Ponce 0-3 1-2 1; Eric Charles 0-2 0-0 0; Matthew Ponce 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 19-67 9-18 54.

Cunningham, Chris 9-10 1-2 19; Kinney, James 8-14 2-3 18; Grieves, Nick 6-8 0-0 18; Jones, Xavier 4-7 2-4 10; Brown, D.J. 3-5 0-0 9; Brown, Alex 3-4 0-3 6; Smith, Stephon 1-4 2-2 4; Garrett, Louis 1-5 0-0 3; VanKirk, Mike 1-2 1-2 3; Williams, Jaleel 1-2 0-0 2; Andoh, David 1-1 0-0 2; Jones, Chris 0-0 0-0 0; Moor, Aalim 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 38-63 8-16 94.

UC Santa Cruz.................   25   29  -   54
San Jose State................   45   49  -   94

3-point goals--UC Santa Cruz 7-28 (Spencer Wells 2-3; Dylan Holler 2-8; James Townsend 1-3; Jared Ponce 1-3; Zach Smith 1-2; James Hidalgo 0-1; Tyler Ponce 0-2; Eric Charles 0-1; Matthew Ponce 0-1; Austin Steadman 0-1; Marshal Arnwine Jr 0-1; Trent Reeves 0-2), San Jose State 10-16 (Grieves, Nick 6-8; Brown, D.J. 3-4; Garrett, Louis 1-2; Kinney, James 0-2). Fouled out--UC Santa Cruz-None, San Jose State-None. Rebounds--UC Santa Cruz 33 (James Townsend 8), San Jose State 50 (Cunningham, Chris 18). Assists--UC Santa Cruz 10 (Marshal Arnwine Jr 2; David Salazar 2), San Jose State 24 (Jones, Xavier 4; Cunningham, Chris 4). Total fouls--UC Santa Cruz 18, San Jose State 17. Technical fouls--UC Santa Cruz-None, San Jose State-None. A-1340