FACTS & STATS: Site: Pan American Center (12,482) -- Las Cruces, New Mexico. Television: AggieVision. Home Record: SJSU 5-3, NMSU 8-1. Away Record: SJSU 4-4, NMSU 3-6. Neutral Record: SJSU 0-1, NMSU 0-1. Conference Record: SJSU 3-3, NMSU 5-2. Series Record: New Mexico State leads, 32-12.
GAME NOTES: Coming off an impressive win against the top team in the Western Athletic Conference, the New Mexico State Aggies now set their sights on the San Jose State Spartans in league action at the Pan American Center on Saturday night.
NMSU has put together a five-game win streak, the first time the squad has managed to win more than just back-to-back decisions. On Thursday night the team stunned Utah State at home in a 64-51 decision in a game that wasn't even that close as NMSU snapped USU's 13-game win streak which was one of the longest in the country.
At 5-2, the Aggies are now fourth in the WAC standings, while San Jose State is a step behind at 3-3 and in a tie for fifth with Texas-Arlington.
The Spartans were also in action two nights ago, but in their case the outcome was not nearly as favorable as the Denver Pioneers completely crushed SJSU in a 73-37 final. The defeat was the second in a row for the Spartans, who are now just one game over .500 on the campaign at 9-8.
New Mexico State won both meetings with the Spartans last season, increasing its advantage in the all-time series to 32-12.
The Spartans were held to their lowest scoring output of the season against Denver as they shot a dismal 28 percent from the floor, including 2-of-10 behind the 3-point line in the road defeat at Magness Arena. San Jose State didn't have a single player score in double figures, with Chris Cunningham and LaVanne Pennington coming close with eight points apiece, but they combined to shoot only 6-of-21 from the floor. The scoring effort for the Spartans was the worst since the team was crushed by California on the road last year, 81-36. James Kinney was not in the starting lineup and he didn't come off the bench either as the team's leading scorer (20.6 ppg) is out of action due to a disciplinary issue that has him suspended for the time being. With Kinney out of action, the leading scorer now for the Spartans is Cunningham with his 10.8 ppg, but clearly SJSU is not having an easy time with the transition.
Bandja Sy scored a game-high 16 points, leading four starters in double figures, as the Aggies dominated Utah State during a 13-point win in Western Athletic Conference action at the Pan American Center two nights ago. Also scoring in double figures for NMSU were Tyrone Watson and Daniel Mullings with 12 points apiece and K.C. Ross-Miller with 10 as the squad finished the night hitting on 57.8 percent from the floor, but only 2-of-8 beyond the arc. Defensively, NMSU clamped down on Utah State's Aggies by limiting the visitors to only 39.3 percent success from the floor. In seven conference games this season, Mullings leads the team in scoring with 16.7 ppg and is among the leaders on the glass with 5.6 rpg as well. Sy (14.7 ppg) is hitting the glass to the tune of 7.4 rpg, but having the ball in his hands is not always the best thing since he is shooting just 59.4 percent at the free-throw line and 4-of-16 on the perimeter in WAC play.
New Mexico State put it all together on Thursday night as it took care of Utah State, and the same result is expected against the Spartans this weekend after SJSU showed very little fight against Denver.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: New Mexico State 67, San Jose State 55
01/19 10:39:45 ET
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