Cal State Fullerton (2-2) at San Jose State (1-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 23, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Event Center (5,000) -- San Jose, California. Television: None. Home Record: Cal State Fullerton 1-0, San Jose State 1-2. Away Record: Cal State Fullerton 1-2, San Jose State 0-2. Neutral Record: Cal State Fullerton 0-0, San Jose State 0-0. Conference Record: Cal State Fullerton 0-0, San Jose State 0-0. Series Record: Cal State Fullerton leads, 26-24.
GAMES NOTES: In an all Golden State affair the Cal State Fullerton Titans will pay a visit to the San Jose State Spartans for a non-conference contest at the Event Center.
This game marks the third straight for Cal State Fullerton against an intrastate foe. The Titans faced USC at the Galen Center on Tuesday and fell in a 76-62 decision after taking out Santa Clara, 86-73, in their home opener. Overall the Titans are an even 2-2 entering play on Saturday. On Thursday the Titans will battle Marquette.
A miserable start to the season was finally put to an end by the Spartans in their last outing. After losing four straight games to begin the year, San Jose State was able to defeat Pepperdine on the road, 83-77. Saturday's matchup is the home opener for the Spartans. A year ago San Jose State was just 5-9 as the home team.
These teams were once league rivals as members of the now defunct Pacific Coast Athletic Association. Cal State Fullerton has a slim 26-24 advantage in the all-time series, including wins in the last three meetings.
At halftime against USC the Titans were already well out of range, trailing 45-25, after recording only nine field goals in the first 20 minutes. The Titans really hurt themselves by turning the ball over 17 times, while having a 21-7 deficit from the free-throw line.
In recent years Cal State Fullerton has been one of the better scoring teams in country and even after the rough showing against USC, that trend has continued. The Titans are netting 75.8 points per game and shooting at a 47.9 percent clip. Alex Harris (17.7 ppg) was not able to play against USC as he was sidelined with a right ankle sprain. Without their leading scorer the Titans clearly had less offensive punch. Harris is still listed as day-to-day with the sprain. Without Harris Michael Williams (14.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) is the leading scorer for the Titans, though he had only 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting against USC. Marquis Horne (12.5 ppg) is the only other member of the team averaging in double figures but he also had a rough night against the Trojans, with 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting.
The Spartans exploded from beyond the arc, especially in the second half, in their win over Pepperdine. San Jose State knocked down 14 3-pointers in the contest, including 10 in the final 20 minutes, to pull out the six-point triumph.
Shooting from 3-point distance is a huge component of the Spartans' offensive scheme. San Jose State has taken the fifth most shots from beyond the arc (142) and made the fourth most (49) in the country this season. The two most prolific shooters from long range have been Jaleel Williams (14.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and Devante Wilson (6.6 ppg). Williams is the second leading scorer on the roster and has knocked down 10-of-31 shots from beyond the arc. Wilson is a 3-point specialist off the bench with all but one of his field goals coming from 3-point range. Leading scorer Rashad Muhammad (15.0 ppg) has the range to knock down shots from the outside as well, but he has only connected on 27.3 percent of his tries from 3-point range. Like Wilson, Muhammad has made his presence felt as a reserve.
If Harris is unable to go on Saturday the Titans will be in a lot of trouble against a hot-shooting San Jose State squad playing on their home floor. With so much hinging on that uncertainty it is difficult to expect a win for Cal State Fullerton.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Jose State 74, Cal State Fullerton 66
11/23 10:36:06 ET