Spartans Host Utah State For Mountain West Opener

Cody Schwartz is averaging 17.0 points per game over the last three contests.
Dec. 28, 2015

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SAN JOSé state opens third season of mountain west play
The San José State men's basketball team opens up Mountain West play by hosting Utah State Wednesday, December 30, at 7:00 p.m. PST in the Event Center. The Spartans will look to end Utah State's three-game win streak Wednesday when the two programs meet for the 77th time. SJSU is also riding into conference play after not just any victory, but a record-setting 128-66 beating of Life Pacific College. The Mountain West Network will carry a live feed of the game with Justin Allegri on the call. His voice can also be heard from anywhere around the country on Stretch Internet Radio.
 
GAME #13
San José State (5-7, 0-0 MW) vs. Utah State (8-3, 0-0 MW)
Wednesday, December 30, 7:00 p.m. PST
The Event Center (5,000)
 
A RECORD-SETTING DAY IN SAN JOSE
San José State set school and Mountain West scoring records for most points scored in a game with a 128-66 victory of Life Pacific College last week on Dec. 22. The Spartans topped the previous MW record of 124 scored by uNLV in a win over Central Arkansas on December 28, 2011. The previous SJSU record was 114 points against Idaho State in 1966. A school-record seven players finished in double-figures scoring, led by Cody Schwartz's season-high 20. The Spartans snapped a four-game losing streak with the victory of Life Pacific College of the National Christian College Athletic Association.
 
SCHWARTZ COMING INTO HIS OWN AS CONFERENCE PLAY ARRIVES
Over the last three games, freshman forward Cody Schwartz has led the Spartans averaging 17.0 points per game. He's doing it efficiently too, shooting at a 62 percent (18-29) clip from the field and 52 percent (11-21) from downtown. He's coming off of a season-high 20 points versus Life Pacific College, where he was 8 of 11 from the field. These numbers for the 6-foot-8 Schwartz are a vast turnaround from his pale beginning to the season that included a 1-for-11 mark during the first three games.
 
SCHWARTZ & CLARKE WORKING INSIDE OUT
Leading up to conference play freshmen forwards Cody Schwartz and Brandon Clarke have been a nice duo with two different skill sets that compliment each other. Schwartz is a deep threat shooting over 50 percent from beyond the arc in the last three games, and Clarke is a physical cutter in the paint averaging 10.7 points on 61 percent shooting in that same span. The 6-foot-9 Clarke's length and bounce has helped the Spartans' defense, which held Seattle U to 27 percent shooting in the first half and Life Pacific College to 35 percent from the field for the game.
 
WELAGE NOTCHES THIRD DOUBLE-DOUBLE
Freshman forward Ryan Welage notched his third double-double of the season last week with 15 points and 11 rebounds versus Life Pacific College. Three double-doubles trails only UNLV's Stephen Zimmerman Jr., with four, among all Mountain West freshmen. 
 
SPARTANS TURN TO EXPERIENCE
You've noticed a trend since the top of the page - Freshmen. But amid the most recent success of the Spartan youngsters has been a lineup switch involving San José State's most experienced player in Isaac Thornton. After starting the year as a role player off the bench, Thornton has started the last three games at the point. The first two of those contests he averaged 30.5 minutes and captained the offense. While SJSU lost both of those games against Montana State (12/13) and Seattle U (12/20), the 6-foot-2 Thornton shot 10 of 15 from the floor, averaged 13 points, four assists and 2.5 steals. He went for a career-high 17 points at Seattle U. Thornton, with 72 games and 47 starts in his career, was able to take a bit of a rest against Life Pacific College, logging just 15 minutes.
 
SAN JOSé STATE VS. UTAH STATE
Wednesday's game will mark the 77th meeting between San José State and Utah State. The two long-time Western Athletic Conference foes first met back in December of 1935 when the Aggies beat the Spartans 40-36. SJSU will try and snap a 15-game losing streak to Utah State that dates back to the 2007-08 season. The last win over USU was on February 18, 2008, in The Event Center by a score of 70-67. The Aggies control the all-time series against the Spartans, 55-21.
 
IT HAPPENED AGAINST UTAH STATE
On January 4, 2014, San José State set a new school record when it made 15 three-point baskets against Utah State in Logan. It was a new school record, but it came on 35 attempts, and USU pulled away with an 86-67 win that night. Another SJSU record, six blocks in a game by Menelik Barbary, came against Utah State on January 5, 2006.
 
ROGERS REMAINS THE SPARTANS' LEADER
Despite commanding extra focus recently from the opposition, senior Frank Rogers remains San José State's leader at 14.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. His five double-doubles continues to lead the Mountain West this season. The 6-foot-9 Rogers has scored in double-figures eight times this year including a career-high 32 points in a win over Alaska-Anchorage at the Great Alaska Shootout. Rogers is shooting 55 percent from the field for the year.
 
SPARTANS SHOW THEIR GRIT IN LOSS AT MARQUETTE
The Spartans found themselves down 24 points just 10 minutes into the game at Marquette Tuesday night in Milwaukee. Instead of packing it in, SJSU stages a comeback, outscoring the Golden Eagles by 15 over the next 10 minutes and went into the locker down by nine. Cody Schwartz's conventional three-point play early in the second half cut the lead to six, but Marquette would end up pulling away for an 80-62 victory. SJSU is now 0-2 versus Marquette and 0-4 against "the seven" in the Big East.