GAME NOTES: San Jose State plays in front of a favorable crowd for just the second time tonight, as the Spartans entertain the UC Davis Aggies in non- conference action.
SJSU, which is kicking off a four-game homestand with this meeting, won its only other home date by a score of 81-59 versus Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 23. Following the victory, the Spartans dropped back-to-back outings versus Portland and Weber State before bouncing back with a 72-68 win versus Houston on the road 11 days ago.
As for the Aggies, a team which has come up empty in all five true road games in 2013-14, they are dealing with a six-game losing streak at the moment. UC Davis last played on Saturday at Stanford and came up short in an 83-56 final. The good news for the Aggies is that after this trip to San Jose they will return home for three straight contests against Air Force, Furman and Simpson.
San Jose State has won three straight in the series with the Aggies and is now ahead by a count of 14-7 all-time.
Against Stanford the Aggies didn't stand a chance as they made just 9-of-31 (.290) shots from the field in the first half, including 2-of-11 behind the 3- point line. For the game, UC Davis converted only 34.5 percent from the floor and allowed the Cardinal to make good on 58.5 percent on the other end. Georgi Funtarov accounted for 13 points and six rebounds for the visitors, followed by Brynton Lemar with 11 points, five boards and four assists.
Part of the problem for the Aggies as the moment is that they are missing two of their key players in Josh Ritchart and J.T. Adenrele who are suffering with injuries to an ankle and left knee, respectively. Adenrele is out following surgery and Ritchart, the team's leading scorer with 17.3 ppg, remains questionable coming into the week. Corey Hawkins, the next-best scoring option for the Aggies with his 16.6 ppg, shot just 2-of-11 from the floor as he finished with eight points and seven rebounds against Stanford at Maples Pavilion.
Jalen James was the star of the show for the Spartans in their latest game versus Houston as he recorded a triple-double, posting 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in the road win. James, who also had a couple of steals in an effort to offset six turnovers, shot 3-of-4 from the floor and made all four of his opportunities at the free-throw line, not to mention 2-of-2 beyond the arc. Rashad Muhammad and Devante Wilson checked in with 21 and 16 points, respectively.
Thanks to just the second triple-double in school history, James is now putting up 7.4 ppg, pulling down 5.4 rpg and is second on the team in assists with 30 in his nine starts. Leading the way in scoring for the program is Muhammad with his 17.0 ppg, even through he has started only one game this season, while Jaleel Williams is responsible for 11.7 ppg despite shooting only 38.0 percent from the field and 25.5 percent behind the 3-point line.
Far from a dominating team to begin with, the Aggies cannot afford to be playing without Ritchart for much longer because the chances of the team coming out on top in his absence become more and more less likely.
Game Date and Time