Men's Basketball Finishes 2012 At UTSA Monday

Next Game: Mon., Dec. 31 UTSA (4-7, 0-1) San Antonio, Texas 2:00 p.m. CST/12:00 p.m. PST KSJS 90.5 FM
SPARTANS END 2012 AT UTSA:  San Jose State looks to finish 2012 strong as the Spartans travel to UTSA for an afternoon Western Athletic Conference game on New Year’s Eve.  The Spartans bring a 6-5 overall record and 1-0 WAC mark into the game after winning at Texas State, 72-55, Saturday afternoon.  Louis Garrett led the team with 16 points, while Chris Cunningham recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
LIVE STATS:  All games will have live stats available on the Spartan website at and go to “Live Stats.” 
RADIO COVERAGE:   Monday’s game will be broadcast on KSJS 90.5 FM, with Justin Allegri on the call.  The pregame show will start 15 minutes prior to tip. 
FACEBOOK/TWITTER:  Follow the Spartan men’s basketball team and all San Jose State athletics teams on the web.  Join the official SJSU Spartans page on Facebook and read the latest tweets on Twitter @SJSUAthletics.  
ABOUT UTSA:  The Roadrunners enter Monday’s game with a 4-7 overall record and 0-1 WAC mark.  The team fell to Utah State, 71-67, Saturday evening.  Jordan Sims led the team in scoring with 20 points including six made three-pointers. Head coach Brooks Thompson is in his seventh year at the school.  Three players average in double figures, led by Kannon Burrage who is second in the WAC in scoring at 18.2 points per game.  Michael Hale III averages 15.2 ppg, while Jeromie Hill is at 13.3 ppg.  Hill also leds the team in rebounding at 7.2 pg. This is the third meeting in three seasons between the two teams.  UTSA won the first meeting, 72-63, on November 30, 2010.  The Spartans won last year’s meeting, 72-66 in a come-from victory at The Event Center.  James Kinney recorded his first 30-point game of his career as he was 10-for-17 from the field and tied a school record with seven made three-pointers.
SAN JOSE STATE HEAD COACH:  George Nessman begins in his eighth season as head coach at San Jose State.  He has an 83-146 record in eight seasons with the Spartans.
LAST TIME OUT: San Jose State shot 51.8 percent from the field as three players scored in double figures to lead the Spartans to a 72-55 win at Texas State in the team’s Western Athletic Conference season opener. Louis Garrett led the Spartans with a season-best 16 points as he was 6-for-9 from the field.  James Kinney returned to the starting lineup and scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds.  Chris Cunningham recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 11 points and 14 rebounds. The Spartan defense also was key in the win, holding Texas State to just 32.3 percent from the field.  Bobcat leading scorer Matt Staff was held to just eight points, short of his 15.8 average. Nine of the 12 players who saw action scored for the Spartans.  All five starters contributed including Alex Brown with five rebounds, four points and three blocked shots.  D.J. Brown had eight points, four rebounds and two assists.   Off the bench, Xavier Jones scored nine points including 7-for-8 from the free throw line and dished out eight assists.  Stephon Smith played solidly defensively and added a season-best eight points including 4-for-5 from the field.  Chris Jones and Jaleel Williams each scored two points.
WAC OPENERS:  For the third consecutive year, the Spartans opened the WAC season on the road.  In 2012, the team lost at Hawaii, 82-69, on January 7.  The 2010-11 season found San Jose State opening the WAC schedule at Fresno State with a loss, 75-62, on December 29.  The Spartans last won a WAC opener on January 4, 2012, when the team won 78-75, in a home game with Idaho.  
WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK - DEC. 10:  James Kinney was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week for his performances in wins over UC Davis and Sacramento State.  He scored 27 points with five rebounds, four steals and two assists in a 73-64 road win at UC Davis. He followed up that effort with a 20-point, six-rebound performance in a 62-57 win at home against Sacramento State.  For the week, Kinney averaged 23.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game. He shot 42.9 percent (18-of-42) from the field, 33.3 percent (6-of-18) from three-point range, and 62.5 percent (5-of-8) from the free throw line.
NATIONAL RANKINGS:  As of December 23, four Spartans rank in the top-75 in six categories.  James Kinney is fourth in scoring at 22.6 points per game, tied for 11th in steals at 2.78 per game and tied for 58th in three-point field goals per game at 2.67 pg..  D.J. Brown is tied for 48th in field throw percentage at 87.8 percent.  Chris Cunningham is tied for 45th in rebounds at 9.1 per game and tied for 36th in double-doubles with 4.  Alex Brown is tied for 32nd in blocked shots at 2.4 per game. As a team, the Spartans are 36th in rebound margin at 7.4, and 73rd in three-point percentage at 36.7 percent and blocked shots at 4.5 per game.
GARRETT SCORING LEADS TO WIN:  Making his third start of the season, Louis Garrett made the most of it against Texas State as he led the team in scoring with a season-high 16 points. he was 6-for-9 from the field, 1-for-3 from three-point range and 3-for-3 from the free throw line.  He also grabbed a team-best three steals and added three rebounds in the win.
WINNING STREAK:  The Spartans had a three-game winning streak earlier this month, the longest for the program since the 2010-11 season.  That year, the team won four straight home games in the middle of February - Montana State (77-73), Weber State (62-46), New Mexico State (72-70 OT) and Louisiana Tech (72-60).
WIPING THE GLASS CLEAN:  The Spartans grabbed a season-high 59 rebounds in the win over Sacramento State.  The team outrebounded the Hornets, 59-34. Chris Cunningham led the team with 17 boards including 10 offensive rebounds.  Nine of the 10 players who saw action had at least one rebound. This season San Jose State has outrebounded their opponents by an average of 7.6 rebounds per game.  The only game the Spartans were outrebounded came against Weber State (34-39).
SEASON-LOW TURNOVERS:  The Spartans committed a season-low 10 turnovers in loss to James Madison at Las Vegas.  The previous was 12 at UC Davis when the team had just four turnovers in the second half en route to a victory. 011.

MORE BLOCKS ALREADY THIS YEAR: Just 11 games into the 2012-13 season, San Jose State is showing its added height this season is paying off defensively.  The team has recorded 50 blocks, surpassing last year’s total of 38 blocks in 31 games, and has at least two blocked shots in every game.  The 2010-11 team had 82 blocks.  The season school record for blocks is 106 blocks in 29 games during the 1987-88 season.   Individually, Alex Brown leads the team with 27 blocks and has had at least one in all 1 1 games.  The individual season record is 62 set by Gerald Thomas in 29 games during the 1987-88 season.
STARTING LINEUPS:  The Spartans have used three starting lineups this season.  In eight of the 11 games, D.J. Brown, James Kinney, Chris Jones, Chris Cunningham and Alex Brown have been on the floor for the opening tip.  At Montana State and at Texas State, Louis Garrett started for Jones. The lineup against James Madison featured D.J. Brown, LaVanne Pennington (making his first start), Garrett, Cunningham and Alex Brown.
PENNINGTON MAKES MOST OF FIRST START: Senior guard LaVanne Pennington started his first game of the season against James Madison  He led the team in scoring with a career-best 16 points, including 3-for-7 from three-point range and 3-of-3 from the free thow line. Pennington played just 26 minutes as a leg cramp kept him out of the final eight minutes of the game. Pennington is averaging 6.1 points and 2.1 rebounds per game coming off the bench.  He scored 13 points in the loss at New Orleans where was 6-for-10 from the field including 1-for-3 from three-point range.  Pennington added 11 points at Montana State where he was 3-for-6 from the field and 4-for-5 from the free throw line.
CUNNINGHAM CLEANING THE GLASS:  Chris Cunningham leads the team with 105 rebounds and averages 9.5 per game, tying for 45th in the country.  He had five consecutive games with double-digit rebounds - 18 against UC Santa Cruz , 11 at #10 Kansas, 10 at Montana State and at UC Davis and 17 against Sacramento State. Cunningham grabbed 10 offensive rebounds against the Hornets, six offensive rebounds at UC Davis and five offensive rebounds against UC Santa Cruz and Kansas.
KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES:  Xavier Jones and Chris Jones (no relation) each came off the bench and scored season bests of 11 points against James Madison.  Xavier was 4-for-6 from the field and 3-of-4 from the line in 19 minutes of action.  Chris was 4-for-9 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds in 27 minutes of play.
DOUBLE-DOUBLES:  Two Spartans have recorded double-doubles this season.  Chris Cunningham has five double-doubles on the season as he led the Spartans with 19 points and 18 rebounds in a win over UC Santa Cruz.  He added 15 points and 10 rebounds in a win at Montana State, 12 points and 10 rebounds at UC Davis, 10 points and 17 rebounds against Sacramento State and 11 points and 14 rebounds at Texas State. James Kinney  scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 36 minutes played against Houston.  The 10 rebounds are the most he has collected in his Spartan career. The Spartan season record is 13 double-doubles, set by Coby Dietrick during the 1969-70 season.

2013 WAC TOURNAMENT:  The 2013 WAC Men’s Basketball Tournament will be held March 12 and 14-16 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.  All 10 team advance to the tournament, with teams 7-10 playing on the 12th, and the eight remaining teams in the tournament playing on the 14th.  The championship game will be shown live on ESPNU on the 16th at 8 p.m. PST.
WAC TOURNAMENT TICKETS ON SALE:  All-session tickets for the 2013 WAC Basketball Tournament set for March 12-16 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., are available for purchase through the Spartan Athletics Ticket Office. All-session tickets include access to each men’s and women’s tournament game, totaling 18 games in 10 sessions.
UP NEXT:  San Jose State returns home for the first WAC home games of the season and the first home game since December 11.  The Spartans host Idaho on Thursday, January 3, and Seattle U on Saturday, January 5.  Both games start at 7 p.m., inside The Event Center.
Please click on the Game Notes link for the complete release.