Men's Basketball Conference Slate Begins At Utah State

Dec. 26, 2017

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CONFERENCE SLATE BEGINS AT UTAH STATE
The San José State men's basketball team begins Mountain West play this Wednesday night at Utah State with a 7:00 p.m. (MT) tipoff on the Mountain West Network. The Spartans head into league play on a high note after beating Santa Clara 75-63 before the Christmas holiday. Fans can listen to the home broadcast on KLIV 1590 AM with Justin Allegri's play-by-play call or log onto the men's basketball schedule page to access the Mountain West Network video stream.
 
GAME #12
San José State (3-8, 0-0 MW) at Utah State (7-6, 0-0 MW)
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,280)
Logan, Utah

TV: Mountain West Network
Radio: KLIV 1590 AM
Stats: GameTracker

Series: Utah State leads, 59-21
Last Meeting: Utah State thumped SJSU 90-64 in the opening round of the MW Tournament on March 9, 2017
Trend: Utah State has won 20 games in a row dating back to 2008
 
SJSU ENDS NONCONFERENCE PLAY WITH WIN AT SANTA CLARA
San José State snapped a five-game winning streak with a 75-63 win on the road at Santa Clara on Dec. 21. The Spartans took a 26-point lead late in the first half, but saw that get whittled down to five down the stretch. But the Spartans put the game away from the free throw line where they scored 17 of their last 19 points. It was the first win at Santa Clara since 2009 and the first time SJSU won back-to-back games against the Broncos since December wins in 1985 and 1986. Ryan Welage scored a team-high 21 points and Keith Fisher III finished with a double-double that included 15 points and 13 rebounds.
 
FISHER NOTCHES FIRST DOUBLE-DOUBLE
Redshirt freshman Keith Fisher III notched his first-career double-double last game against Santa Clara with career-highs of 15 points and 13 rebounds. Fisher converted 7-of-8 free throws to help the Spartans close out the first victory at Santa Clara since 2009. The only player to start all 11 games for the Spartans is making rebounding a priority. He's now averaging 8.0 rebounds over the last five games and has taken over as the team's leading rebounder for the season at 6.4 boards per game.
 
SPARTANS ENTER MW PLAY WITH LEAGUE'S BEST REBOUNDING MARGIN
At the dawn of Mountain West play the Spartans own the league's best rebounding margin of +8.1 per game over opponents. That margin ranks 26th in the country. San José State has only been outrebounded once this season and it was on the road at Southern Illinois University (12/5). Last time out against Santa Clara, the Spartans controlled the boards, 44-35. Helping the cause lately has been Keith Fisher III who is averaging 8.0 rebounds per game over the last five contests.
 
WELAGE APPROACHING MAJOR MILESTONES
Ryan Welage has 914 points in his career heading into Wednesday's game, making him just 86 points shy of becoming the 15th player in SJSU men's basketball history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. He's also climbing the all-time three-point leaders list now with 119 made from downtown. The mark currently ranks eighth on SJSU's career list and by averaging two hits a game from three-point range he could eclipse Tim Pierce's all-time record of 153 by the end of this season.
 
SJSU-UTAH STATE HISTORY
Utah State controls the all-time series 59-21 and has won 20 games in a row against the Spartans since 2008. The last SJSU win in the series came on Feb. 18, 2008 in San Jose. The last time SJSU beat Utah State on the road was Feb. 25, 1982. Last season the two team played twice, resulting in a 81-75 regular season loss to the Aggies at home and a 90-64 loss in the opening round of the Mountain West Tournament.
 
WATCH THE YOUNG AGGIES GUARDS
Utah State's Koby McEwen was last season's Mountain West Freshman of the Year and in the two meetings with San José State he proved why. McEwen combined with his fellow freshman guard Sam Merrill to score 82 points on 28-of-43 (.651) in the contests. McEwen scored 23 points while Merrill went for 22 points in the regular season meeting. Then McEwen backed that up with 27 points and 5-of-5 shooting from downtown in the meeting in the first round of the MW Tournament. Helping McEwen to the big game was Merrill who had 10 assists to go along with his 11 points.