The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 2, 10:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cowan Spectrum (7,000) -- Moscow, Idaho. Television: None. Home Record: SJSU 5-5, Idaho 4-6. Away Record: SJSU 4-6, Idaho 4-5. Neutral Record: SJSU 0-1, Idaho 0-1. Conference Record: SJSU 3-7, Idaho 4-6. Series Record: San Jose State leads, 13-11.
GAME NOTES: The San Jose State Spartans try to snap a six-game slide on Saturday night, as they contend with the Idaho Vandals in Western Athletic Conference action at the Cowan Spectrum.
Prior to this slide the Spartans had been moving in the right direction with a record of 9-6, but the squad has taken a turn for the worse. On Thursday night SJSU was handled by Seattle on the road at KeyArena, 56-48, marking the second straight game and third time in the last five outings that the Spartans have been held to less than 50 points. With a record of 3-7 in conference, San Jose State enters the weekend tied with Texas State for seventh place in the WAC standings.
Just ahead of those two squads in sixth place is Idaho with a 4-6 record in league play. Also in action two nights ago, the Vandals let visiting Utah State off the hook as the hosts suffered a 77-67 setback. The defeat was the second in the last three games and sixth in eight outings dating back to early January.
Idaho won the first meeting of the season last month in a 64-55 final on the road in California as Kyle Barone recorded a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. The lone double-digit scorer for the Spartans was James Kinney with 17 points, but he has since been suspended by the team.
Despite the victory, the Vandals still trail in the all-time series by a 13-11 margin.
San Jose State made a total of just eight field goals in the first half against the Redhawks the last time out, yet actually led by two points at the break. Unfortunately, the shooting only got worse for the Spartans in the second half (7-of-22) as they finished with more turnovers (19) than field goals (15). Chris Cunningham tried to give SJSU something to cheer about with 12 points and 11 rebounds, but he shot only 2-of-6 from the floor, while D.J. Brown tacked on 10 points as he made just 2-of-8 from the field. Without Kinney (20.6 ppg), the Spartans are missing about one-third of their offense and it leaves Cunningham as the only active double-digit scorer with his 10.7 ppg. D.J. Brown (8.9 ppg) is shooting only 30.3 percent from the floor, dragging the team down to just 39.1 percent as a whole through 21 games.
The Vandals had four starters score in double figures the other night against a slumping Utah State team that was on the road and even that was not good enough to get by the Aggies. Idaho shot a collective 53.2 percent from the floor, including an impressive 10-of-19 beyond the arc, but just 7-of-13 at the free-throw line and managed to clear a mere 16 rebounds. Connor Hill and Stephen Madison both tallied 14 points, Robert Harris 13 and Kyle Barons 11 to go along with his seven rebounds, which means the rest of the team captured a paltry nine boards. Surprisingly, this Idaho group has been rather strong on the glass this season, capturing 35.2 rpg while holding the opposition to 29.1 rpg, but that just wasn't the case on Thursday. Barone leads the way with not just 9.6 rpg but also 16.4 ppg, shooting close to 60 percent from the floor as the team converts 48.3 percent from the field through 20 games.
Being at home should provide some comfort for the Vandals, and a stern talking to should also kick them into gear on the glass and that should be enough to grab the win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Idaho 66, San Jose State 57
02/02 10:32:52 ET