GAME NOTES: With their home date against Texas-San Antonio canceled on Thursday night due to rainwater collecting in multiple areas of The Event Center floor, the San Jose State Spartans hope to get their regular-season finale against Texas State off the ground on Saturday night.
Currently suffering on a 12-game slide, the Spartans have painted themselves into a corner since suspending James Kinney. Last weekend, the program was crushed by, at that time, 25th-ranked Louisiana Tech on the road in an 88-61 final, which means the Spartans have not posted a win since defeating another team from Louisiana, New Orleans, back on Jan. 8 by a score of 71-64.
The difficult season for the Spartans means they now have the potential to finish anywhere between seventh and 10th in the standings, hinging on the outcomes of a couple of other contests in addition to this one.
Texas State can finish anywhere between seventh and ninth as the Bobcats keep a close eye on the UTSA/Utah State battle as well. Unlike the Spartans on Thursday night, TSU was able to complete its meeting with Utah State in Logan, unfortunately it was a 77-61 setback versus the Aggies.
SJSU won the only previous meeting between the squads back in late December with a 72-55 decision in San Marcos.
Against USU a few nights ago, the Bobcats made a grand total of four field goals in the first half and ended up with as many turnovers (19) as baskets once the smoke cleared in the lopsided decision. The Bobcats didn't have a single starter score in double figures, although Vonn Jones tried to fill in that gap as he tallied 19 points, shooting 5-of-9 behind the 3-point line, in a reserve role. Phil Hawkins had a decent night with nine points and eight of the program's 15 assists.
Defensively, the Bobcats have been beaten up over the campaign, allowing 76.4 ppg, basically because the competition is holding a rebounding edge of more than six per game. Joel Wright, first on the unit in scoring with 17.0 ppg, is also tops with 6.5 rpg, but the fact that he has fouled out of nine contests and has more than twice as many turnovers (114) as assists (53) means the ball is not always safe in his hands. Matt Staff accounts for another 11.1 ppg and 5.8 rpg, but he too has trouble with miscues (72).
The Spartans were in over their heads against Louisiana Tech on the road the last time out, converting a total of just 17 field goal attempts (.321), while turning the ball over 21 times in the lopsided road loss. Xavier Jones did manage to put up a respectable 14 points for the visitors, but in doing so he shot just 5-of-16 from the field, followed by Chris Cunningham and D.J. Brown with 10 points apiece.
With Kinney and his 20.6 ppg nowhere to be found these days, SJSU is averaging a mere 62.4 ppg and as a group shooting just 38.0 percent from the floor. Cunningham is the only active double-digit scorer for the program with 10.4 ppg, adding a team-high 9.1 rpg to his stat line, but he has turned the ball over 82 times, against only 35 assists, and he has fouled out seven times. Brown (9.5 ppg) has his moments scoring the ball, but it is his 102 assists that make him more of a valued commodity these days.
Even though the Spartans lucked out with some additional time to rest and prepare for this meeting, Texas State is still a squad that has the ability to take advantage of a weaker team on the road.
Game Date and Time