Men's Basketball Hosts Colorado State In Mountain West Play
Dec. 29, 2017
SPARTANS HOST COLORADO STATE SATURDAY
San José State plays its first Mountain West game at home on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. (PT) against Colorado State. Tickets for the game are available online via the Spartan Ticket Office or can be purchased at the ticket window outside The Event Center. The game will be broadcast live on the Mountain West Network and also on KLIV 1590 AM with Justin Allegri's play-by-play call.
San José State (3-9, 0-1 MW) vs. Colorado State (7-7, 0-1 MW)
Saturday, December 30, 2017, 2:00 p.m. (PT)
The Event Center (5,000)
San Jose, Calif.
Radio: KLIV 1590 AM
HISTORY WITH COLORADO STATE
Two losses to the Rams last season dropped San José State to 0-15 all-time against Colorado State dating back to the first meeting in 1969. SJSU is 0-9 against the Rams as members of the Mountain West. Last year's matchups ended in Spartan losses of 76-71 at home and 81-72 in Fort Collins. A lot has changed for both teams since then, but what remains for the Rams are guards J.D. Paige and Prentiss Nixon. The duo finished in double-figure scoring in both games last year including 18-point nights for each of them in the first matchup.
RAMS ARE WINLESS ON THE ROAD
Colorado State comes into Saturday's game in San Jose 0-5 on the road this season. The Rams are giving up an average 20.8 points per game more on the road than when playing at home. The team suffered a 93-71 loss at Boise State to open up Mountain West play last Wednesday and also has big losses on the road against tough opponents in Oregon (95-65) and Arkansas (92-66). On the other side San José State is 2-3 at home this year and one of those wins is against NAIA Antelope Valley.
The Rams and Spartans both come in ranked in the bottom-three for scoring offense. SJSU is last at 67.5 points per game and CSU is ninth at 70.6 points per game. Colorado State allows 77.6 points per game which is the most in the Mountain West, while San José State ranks seventh in the league giving up 70.7 points per contest. The Rams have three players averaging double-figure scoring: Prentiss Nixon (17.6), Deion James (10.8) and Che Bob (10.1). Ryan Welage is the only Spartan averaging double-figures in points and his 18.3 points per game rank fourth in the MW. Finally CSU has a +3.0 rebounding margin over its opponents, while SJSU carries a +8.8 margin on the boards.
TURNOVERS KILL SPARTANS AT UTAH STATE
The Spartans shot better than the Aggies, outrebounded them by 17 and made a season-high 11 threes. But none of it mattered because of the team's 23 turnovers and the Spartans lost 86-72. Utah State turned them into 36 points making it virtually impossible for San José State to climb out of the 20-5 hole it dug to begin the Mountain West opener. SJSU finished the first half with more turnovers (12) than made baskets (9) in the first half. Despite shooting 69.6 percent (16-23) in the second period the turnovers were too much to overcome. The Spartans average a Mountain West high 17.4 giveaways per game. Looking ahead, Colorado State has been turning the ball over more than its opponents too. The Rams average 13.9 turnovers per contest and have a -1.9 turnover margin.
WELAGE LEADS SPARTANS IN SCORING AGAIN
Junior forward Ryan Welage led the Spartans in scoring for the ninth time this season with 22 points at Utah State. He finished 8-of-14 (57.1 percent) shooting and made four 3-pointers. He shrank the magic number to reaching 1,000 career points to 64. When he hits it, he'll be the 15th player in program history to do so. He is also climbing the ranks on the all-time list for made three-point baskets. Now with 123, he sits tied for fifth place behind Robert Owens (125), Rashad Muhammad (134) Adrian Oliver (138) and the all-time leader Tim Pierce (153).
WELAGE VERSUS CSU
Spartan fans are used to seeing Ryan Welage score on just about any team out there, but games against Colorado State have been a different story. The Rams have limited Welage to just 25 points combined in the five games they have faced him. That makes it his lowest scoring average against any Mountain West team. After scoring 16 points in his first meeting with CSU (1/9/16) Welage has had point totals of two, six, seven and five.
SPARTANS UP TO 17TH IN THE COUNTRY FOR REBOUNDING MARGIN
After a huge rebounding performance at Utah State where the Spartans won the battle of the boards, 40-23, SJSU is up to 17th in the country for its +8.8 margin against opponents. Southern Illinois remains the only team to outrebound SJSU this season.
HILLSMAN MATCHES CAREER-SCORING HIGH
Jaycee Hillsman has put a couple of solid games together coming off the bench for the Spartans including a career-high 18 points last game at Utah State. Hillsman made 4-of-6 shots from the field and hit all eight of his free throw attempts. He did all of that in 25 minutes of work which has been the usual load for the 6-foot-6 wing. He helped SJSU pick up a win at Santa Clara on Dec. 21 by hitting 3-of-4 from the field and scoring eight points. After a three-game stretch where he was 3-of-14 shooting from the field, Hillsman is 7-of-10 shooting in the last two games.