San Jose State (0-1) vs. Milwaukee (1-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 15, 6:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (10,000) -- DeKalb, Illinois. Television: None. Home Record: SJSU 0-0, UWM 0-0. Away Record: SJSU 0-1, UWM 1-1. Neutral Record: SJSU 0-0, UWM 0-0. Conference Record: SJSU 0-0, UWM 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The San Jose State Spartans will leave the Golden State for the first time this season as they head to the Convocation Center in DeKalb, Illinois to square off with the Milwaukee Panthers to open up the NIU Invitational.
The Spartans dropped an 89-77 decision at Santa Clara in their season opener on Tuesday to fall to 0-1. San Jose State has lost 15 games in a row dating back to last season after going winless in Western Athletic Conference play. The school hired coach Dave Wojcik to lead it into its first year as a member of the Mountain West Conference. Wojcik has a handful of new faces on his squad as the Spartans look to rebuild after netting only 62 points per game in 2012-13.
Milwaukee seemed poised to make a run in the Horizon League after finishing last in its conference a season ago. After falling to Loyola-Chicago in their season opener, the Panthers improved to 1-1 on Monday with an 81-77 road victory over the defending Southern Conference champion Davidson Wildcats. Coach Rob Jeter's squad has averaged and allowed 76.5 points per game so far. It has hit on only 28.2 percent of its attempts from 3-point range, while its opposition has delivered on 42.9 percent of their shots from beyond the arc.
San Jose State and Milwaukee will be meeting for the first time in history.
The Spartans are the only winless team left in the Mountain West Conference thanks to their loss to the Broncos, who held a 42-34 edge in the rebounding battle and scored 19 points off of turnovers. SJSU hit on just 29.2 percent of its field goal attempts in the first half before narrowing a 22-point deficit to 11 with 54.8 percent accuracy from the floor after the break. Jaleel Williams scored a career-high 20 points and grabbed six boards versus SCU, while Rashad Muhammad came off the bench to add 15 points. Chris Cunningham paced the team on the boards with seven rebounds to go along with 12 points.
The Panthers are at the .500 mark despite a slow start by star guard Jordan Aaron, who has averaged only eight points per game on 21.4 percent shooting from the field. Aaron averaged 14.4 points a season ago and was named to the Preseason All-Horizon League Second Team. Matt Tiby has stepped up his play to post team-highs of 21 points, 8.5 rebounds and four assists per contest while key reserve Kyle Kelm is second in the scoring column at 11.5 ppg off. Indiana State transfer Steve McWhorter has provided solid leadership in the backcourt. McWhorter is clocking a team-high 32.5 minutes per game and is fourth in the scoring column with nine ppg.
Both of these teams had a lot to prove heading into the season. The Spartans will not have an easy time winning road games with three freshmen in their starting lineup. Milwaukee looked great in its last outing and will get a lift once Aaron begins to play up to his potential.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Milwaukee 82, San Jose State 72
11/15 10:31:45 ET