FACTS & STATS: Site: Worthington Arena (7,250) -- Bozeman, Montana. Television: None. Home Record: SJSU 2-1, MSU 1-1. Away Record: SJSU 0-2, MSU 0-3. Neutral Record: SJSU 0-0, MSU 0-0. Conference Record: SJSU 0-0, MSU 0-0. Series Record: San Jose State leads, 6-3.
GAME NOTES: The Montana State Bobcats try to snap a three-game slide on Saturday as they clash with visiting San Jose State in a non-conference affair at Worthington Arena in Bozeman.
Since defeating Portland in the second game of the season by a score of 83-64 at home, the Bobcats have suffered three straight defeats on the road and all by double figures. The latest setback came on Thursday when the team was downed by Pepperdine in Malibu, 76-66.
As for the Spartans, they recently had a two-game win streak snapped by 10th- ranked Kansas on Monday, but SJSU made it respectable as it bowed by only 13 points on the road, 70-57. With the defeat, the Spartans fell one game below .500.
Although the Spartans fell at home to Montana State in the most recent meeting last season around this time, 77-70, SJSU still leads the all-time series by a count of 6-3.
San Jose State fell behind the Jayhawks right out of the gate, but even with Kansas building a lead as large as 24 points in the second half, the Spartans still refused to give up without a fight. The problem was, Kansas had Jeff Withey on its side and he proceeded to deliver an unusual triple-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 12 blocked shots, leaving the Spartans with just 29.2 percent shooting from the floor. Aside from his six turnovers, James Kinney did everything he could to keep hope alive for the visitors as he dropped 30 points, cleared seven boards and made five steals. Chris Cunningham contributed 11 rebounds, but those in no way covered up his awful 1-of-12 shooting performance. With his scoring burst against Kansas, Kinney is now averaging 22.8 ppg on the season, adding 6.6 rpg to his impressive stat line. D.J. Brown checks in with 11.0 ppg and Cunningham 10.4 ppg as well as a team- best 9.4 rpg, but he has also fouled out in all but one game.
Even though the Bobcats refrained from turning the ball over too much on Thursday, guilty of just seven miscues, the team still couldn't keep up with Pepperdine as the hosts shot only 39.7 percent from the field and 6-of-22 behind the three-point line. Xavier Blount tried to keep MSU in contention as he tallied 19 points and pulled down six rebounds, while Jamie Stewart contributed another 14 points, but other than that the offense struggled. Antonio Biglow, who had led the team in scoring in three of the previous four contests, finished with eight points, although he did hand out seven assists without a single turnovers. Biglow, who now has a total of 15 dishes on the campaign, continues to pace the team in scoring overall with 14.4 ppg, followed by Blount and Flavien Davis with 14.0 and 11.2 ppg, respectively.
As long as Cunningham can give the Spartans valuable minutes and not pick up too many personal fouls, the visitors in this case have a great shot at getting back to .500.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Jose State 69, Montana State 60
12/01 10:42:47 ET
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