GAME NOTES: The quest for their first Mountain West Conference win continues today, as the San Jose State Spartans pay a visit to the Boise State Broncos at Taco Bell Arena.
San Jose State, which has come over from the Western Athletic Conference (just like Boise State), is still waiting for the first MWC win in program history. Not only has the team come up empty in seven league outings, the latest win for the squad over a Division I foe was an 89-85 triple-overtime affair with UC Davis on Dec. 18.
The most recent game for the Spartans came three nights ago, with the team being pummeled by seventh-ranked San Diego State, 75-50, in a game that wasn't even that close.
Meanwhile, the Broncos saw a brief two-game win streak come to an end earlier this week when the team suffered an 84-75 setback to New Mexico in The Pit. With the decision, BSU fell to 3-3 in conference and show the same mark on the road. Luckily, the team's 8-2 mark in home dates works in its favor this weekend.
The Broncos have won all but two of the previous 24 matchups between the squads, the most recent of those being a 66-51 decision in Boise three years ago.
The Spartans lost by 25 points against SDSU the other night and really the game was never even that close, particularly as SJSU scored only 19 points in the first half and had 32 points through 33 minutes of action. Devante Wilson tallied a team-best 14 points and Jalen James dropped in 10 points, but SJSU finished with just as many turnovers (18) as field goals, and shot only 5- of-19 behind the 3-point line and 9-of-17 at the free-throw line.
In conference play, the Spartans have been simply brutal, shooting just 39.1 percent from the field and scoring a mere 59.1 ppg, compared to the 71.7 ppg allowed. A backup in all seven league bouts, Rashad Muhammad is actually the leading scorer for the group with his 12.6 ppg, although the discrepancy there is that he is shooting better from 3-point range (.425) than he is from the floor overall (.353).
Boise State outscored the Lobos in the second half of their meeting earlier this week, but that was only after the Broncos shot a feeble 27.8 percent from the floor and 4-of-16 behind the 3-point line in the first half. Ryan Watkins did raise more than a few eyebrows though as he posted 15 points and a massive 22 rebounds, while Derrick Marks put up a team-best 19 points in the loss. Nick Duncan converted 5-of-10 shots beyond the arc as he tallied 16 points and Mikey Thompson accounted for 11 points off the bench.
Although he failed to score in double figures versus New Mexico, Anthony Drmic remains the leading scorer on the season for the Broncos with his 18.1 ppg. Marks checks in with 15.9 ppg and now Watkins is averaging a double-double with 10.8 ppg and a team-best 10.4 rpg. As a group, BSU has limited the opposition to only 29.7 rpg, resulting in a rebounding advantage of 6.1 rpg at the moment.
In addition to beating teams on the glass, Boise State also owns a scoring advantage of close to 10 points per game, which will be more than enough to set down the Spartans here.
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