SPARTANS FACE SALUKIS ON SATURDAY
The road trip continues for the San José State men's basketball team on Saturday at Southern Illinois University in a 3:00 p.m. (CT) tipoff. Fans can atch the game live on ESPN3 or tune their radios to KLIV 1590 AM and hear the hometown broadcast with Justin Allegri.
San José State (2-4) at Southern Illinois (3-2)
SPARTANS AND SALUKIS MEET IN MOUNTAIN WEST-MISSOURI VALLEY CHALLENGE
The Mountain West-Missouri Valley challenge began back on Nov. 28 and right now the Mountain West needs a boost from the Spartans to help change the 3-4 deficit. The MW has a 3-1-2 all-time series edge and an overall advantage of 33-22.
COMEBACK FALLS SHORT AT BOWLING GREEN
It's tough to come back in a game that has you down 19-2 in the first 6:30 of the first half. But that's exactly what the Spartans did in the last game against Bowling Green. Trailing by 19 points, Ryan Welage hit a 3-pointer with 16:27 to play in the second period which ignited a 16-0 SJSU run. It was the longest scoring run of the season and four different players contributed with points during it. SJSU got as close as two points on Nai Carlisle's jumper with 8:24 to play. Despite having a few more opportunities to tie or take the lead San José State never made the play to get fully over the hump and fell to the Falcons, 85-79.
WELAGE LEADS THE SPARTANS AGAIN
For the fifth time in six games Ryan Welage led the Spartans in scoring when he scored 23 points against Bowling Green. It is the fourth 20-point game of the season for Welage who became the top per-game scorer in the Mountain West (20.2) after his effort. The junior from Greensburg, Ind., made five threes in the game which matched his total for the season coming into the contest. It also matched his career high.
CHASTAIN GOES FOR A DOUBLE-DOUBLE IN FIRST START
Spartan big-man Ashtin Chastain recorded a double-double against Bowling Green
including career-highs of 10 points and 10 rebounds. It was the first start of his Spartan career and he got the double-double despite seeing just 16 minutes on the floor. The center shot a career-high 11 free throws, making six of them.
FIRST TIME IN A LONG TIME
San José State had five players finish in double-figure scoring against Bowling Green, making it the first time that happened against a Division I opponent since Dec. 4, 2010 against UC Irvine. Welage led the way with 23 followed by Nai Carlisle and Noah Baumann with 13 points, Oumar Barry with 13 points and Ashtin Chastain with 10 points. The marks for Carlisle, Baumann and Barry are all career highs.
SPARTANS WIN THE REBOUNDING WAR, AGAIN
The Spartans were +17 in rebounding against Bowling Green and remain unbeaten on the boards through six games in 2017-18. Helping the cause was Keith Fisher with a career-high 11 rebounds. Averaging 41.5 rebounds per game as a team is good for 35th in the country. Guard Isaiah Nichols is the team's leading per-game rebounder at 6.3 and he is one of five Spartans averaging 4.8 rebounds per game or better.
NICE GAME FOR CARLISLE
Freshman guard Nai Carlisle only has three collegiate games under his belt, but he played like a veteran against Bowling Green. He came away with a career-high 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting, had five assists and zero turnovers in 34 minutes of work. Carlisle has seen an increase in playing time in each of the last three games starting at six minutes against #21-Saint Mary's, then 22 minutes in the win over Idaho State before the effort at Bowling Green.
SPARTAN QUEST TO THE MIDWEST
San José State is in the middle of a three-game road trip that will amount to over 4,600 miles. The trip to the Midwest presents a great opportunity for four Spartans: Nai Carlisle, Ryan Welage, Jalen James and Jaycee Hillsman to play in familiar territory. After games against Bowling Green and Southern Illinois, SJSU heads to Denver for the final contest. When the trip ends, going home on Dec. 6 will really just be for a pit stop because the Spartans head right back out for a game at Portland on Dec. 9.
SPARTANS PICK UP WIN OVER IDAHO STATE
The Spartans went riding into the holiday weekend on a 62-54 win over Idaho State at home. Guard Isaiah Nichols carried San José State in the win by hitting 4-of-5 shots from downtown on the way to a career-high 14 points. The team's leading rebounder grabbed seven boards and also had three assists. Midwest natives Jaycee Hillsman and Ryan Welage pitched in with 15 points and 10 points respectively. The Spartans picked up the win despite turning the ball over 20 times.
BATTLING THE TURNOVERS
San José State picked up a win over Idaho State despite truning the ball over 20 times. I was the second time in three games that SJSU has turned it over 20 or more times. The Spartans turned it over 17 times in the most recent loss to Bowling Green. On the year the team is averaging 16.7 turnovers per game, which is last in the MW. The Spartans will try to get back to what they did against #21-Saint Mary's wen they had a season-low nine turnovers.
CLOSE GAME WITH #21-SAINT MARY'S ENDS WITH 79-61 LOSS
San José State stayed within single-digits of #21-Saint Mary's for most of the first half. Ryan Welage scored on consecutive possessions to make it a one-point game with 13:33 left in the first. Noah Baumann's layup with 3:36 to go in the opening period kept the Spartans within seven, 35-28, but a last-second shot for the Gaels gave them a 10-point edge at halftime. After Saint Mary's built a lead of 18 points during the second half, SJSU got it down to an 11-point game but couldn't get any closer. Five players finished in double figures for the Gaels. Welage led the Spartans with 20 points, Keith Fisher scored a new career-high 14 points and Oumar Barry scored 11 points.