GAME NOTES: Still searching for their first-ever win in Mountain West Conference play, the San Jose State Spartans are set to entertain the Air Force Falcons tonight at The Event Center.
The Spartans, who have come over to the MWC from the Western Athletic Conference like so many current league members, are not only winless in conference play, they are also waiting for their first victory against another Division I foe since Dec. 18. Back in December the team had run together four straight wins, but the last two were against opponents Pacifica and Westminster.
More recently, SJSU suited up against Fresno State at the Save Mart Center on Saturday and was blown away by the Bulldogs, 82-56, to fall to 0-11 in conference.
As for the Falcons, they are next-to-last in the MWC with a mark of only 3-8 after being topped by Colorado State over the weekend, 68-56, at home. The loss was the sixth in a row and the eighth in nine games for the Academy.
San Jose State won the first three meetings in this series, but the Falcons finally broke through last month with a 77-62 triumph at home, the one bright spot during this losing trend for Air Force.
The good news for the Falcons is that leading scorer Tre' Coggins is back playing after serving a suspension. The bad news is that the team still lost at home to Colorado State over the weekend. Coggins finished with a team-high 19 points, shooting 5-of-11 behind the 3-point line, followed by Kamryn Williams and Max Yon with 13 and 11 points, respectively, although the pair combined to miss all seven opportunities beyond the arc.
Coggins, who missed three league outings, continues to lead the program in scoring during MWC contests, sporting an 18.6 ppg as he shoots 45.6 percent out on the perimeter. Yon, who has made good on a mere 12-of-46 (.261) on the outside in 11 league contests, steps up with 13.5 ppg and is second on the unit with 30 assists, but still the team is producing a mere 64.5 ppg and giving up 69.6 ppg.
The Spartans made a total of just nine field goals in the first half against Fresno State on the road Saturday, but if they thought that was bad, they just weren't prepared for the final 20 minutes during which they converted only eight baskets. Rashad Muhammad came off the bench to lead the team in scoring yet again, although his 13 points on 3-of-11 shooting from the floor was far from threatening. Jaleel Williams pitched in with 10 points for a group that finished a mere 30.4 percent from the floor.
In conference games, the Spartans have shown very little spark at either end of the floor. Sure, there are moments when the team appears to show signs of life and maybe even threaten to make things interesting, but scoring only 56.2 ppg and giving up 72.9 ppg does not generally intimidate foes. Muhammad leads with 11.7 ppg and Williams is now in for another 10.5 ppg, but between them they have a combined 18 assists in 11 MWC bouts, and that's just not going to cut it.
Had Coggins not been reinstated by Air Force last week, the Spartans would certainly have a huge advantage in this meeting, but as it stands the Academy is back at full strength and moving in the right direction.
Game Date and Time