Idaho (17-12) at San Jose State (9-20)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 3, 10:00 p.m. (ET).
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Event Center (5,000) -- San Jose, California. Television: None. Home Record: Idaho 10-4, SJSU 6-7. Away Record: Idaho 6-7, SJSU 2-13. Neutral Record: Idaho 1-1, SJSU 1-0. Conference Record: Idaho 8-5, SJSU 1-12. Series Record: San Jose State leads, 13-9.
GAME NOTES: Enjoying one of their most successful seasons in recent memory, the Idaho Vandals are set to face the San Jose State Spartans in Western Athletic Conference action at The Event Center tonight.
The Vandals have lost just one game in the last seven, a 67-50 blowout at the hands of Utah State on the road last week. The team did manage to bounce back two nights ago with an 82-63 thrashing of Hawaii, in Honolulu no less. With the victory Idaho is now 8-5 in conference play, which means it is in third place in the WAC standings with the conference tournament looming.
Over on the other side, the Spartans are having a season that they would much rather forget, particularly when it comes to conference clashes. On Thursday night, the team hosted Utah State and was sent to a 71-61 loss by the Aggies, leaving the program with just one WAC win in 13 attempts. SJSU is also the only team in the league still without double-digit wins overall.
Idaho won the first meeting of the season against the Spartans by a score of 74-66 at home in late January, which means the all-time series now favors San Jose State by a count of 13-9.
The Vandals made good on 57.1 percent from the field in the first half against Hawaii, including 5-of-9 behind the three-point line, setting them up for the overwhelming win at the Stan Sheriff Center. Deremy Geiger tallied 20 points and Stephen Madison 17, while Landon Tatum accounted for nine points and eight assists, but was also tabbed for four of the unit's 18 turnovers as well. With 79-of-182 (.434) shooting behind the three-point line over the course of 29 games, Geiger is one of the deadliest long-distance shooters in the league and is also the top scorer for the Vandals with 12.9 ppg. Hot on his heels is Kyle Barone with 12.8 ppg, the big man pacing the team on the glass with 8.2 rpg and also first with 44 blocked shots.
Down by just three points at the break, the Spartans could not keep up with Utah State on Thursday night as the visitors shot an impressive 55.1 percent from the floor and 9-of-19 behind the three-point line. James Kinney tried to keep SJSU close with his 24 points, while Wil Carter recorded another double- double with his 19 points and game-high 13 rebounds. Keith Shamburger pitched in 13 points and another four boards as the Spartans easily won the rebounding battle, 34-21, but lost the war. Kinney may be the top scorer for the team with his 16.1 ppg, shooting 40.3 percent from three-point range and 85.9 percent at the free-throw line, but Carter tends to be the one who sets the tone for the group with his 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per contest through 29 games.
One would think that closing out the regular season at home might give the Spartans an emotional edge, but the way Idaho is playing right now it probably doesn't matter.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Idaho 77, San Jose State 66
03/03 10:45:57 ET