GAME NOTES: In the third of four straight home games, the Seattle Redhawks tangle with the San Jose State Spartans in Western Athletic Conference action at KeyArena on Thursday night.
Tied with Texas-San Antonio for last place in the WAC standings at just 1-8, Seattle has lost three straight decisions and eight of the last nine overall. The squad was most recently in action against Texas State last weekend and suffered an 86-83 setback, registering their highest point total since opening the campaign with an 87-72 victory over Montana State.
As for the Spartans, they have an overall record of 9-10 at this stage in the campaign, but have been spinning out of control in the last several weeks with five straight defeats. Last Saturday, the team was pummeled by Texas- Arlington, 66-47, at home, which means SJSU is now 3-6 in league play and in a tie with Texas State for seventh place in the standings.
San Jose State won the first meeting of the season with Seattle at home earlier this month with a 76-71 final. James Kinney, who has since been suspended by the Spartans, led all scorers with 26 points, followed by Louis Garrett who tallied 21. The Redhawks were paced by Chad Rasmussen with 15 points as they lost for the sixth time in eight all-time meetings with SJSU.
Chris Cunningham stepped up with a double-double for the Spartans last weekend, posting 13 points and 10 rebounds versus UTA at home, but in the process he shot only 2-of-9 from the floor in the lopsided loss. The starting five combined to make just 5-of-35 from the field, the team overall shooting a dismal 21.9 percent and 4-of-25 behind the 3-point line as they again played without Kinney who had been one of the nation's leading scorers (20.6 ppg) before being banned. Now, the top offensive threat for the squad is Cunningham with his 10.6 ppg, adding 8.5 rpg, but those numbers could be even higher if not for the fact that he has fouled out of six contests. In conference play the program is producing a mere 59.3 ppg and giving up 67.6 ppg.
Seattle generated an impressive 83 points the last time out versus Texas State, but the team was forced into 16 turnovers and visited the free-throw line only five times, hitting just one attempt in what turned into a three- point decision. Clarence Trent was the high man with 22 points, adding eight rebounds and three steals, but he also turned the ball over six times. Deshaun Sunderhaus registered a double-double with 17 points and a game-high 12 boards, followed by Chad Rasmussen and Louis Green with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Over the course of nine conference games the program is producing 69.3 ppg, but shooting a mere 29.9 percent from 3-point range and a dismal 56.5 percent at the charity stripe. Trent (13.0 ppg) and Sunderhaus (10.9 ppg) are the lone double-digit scorers for the group in those WAC functions.
Considering the Redhawks generate solid offensive efforts on a semi-consistent basis, and SJSU is again without Kinney, this is certainly a game that the hosts could pull out.
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