Seattle (5-7) at San Jose State (7-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 5, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Event Center (5,000) -- San Jose, California. Television: None. Home Record: Seattle 4-4, SJSU 3-3. Away Record: Seattle 1-3, SJSU 4-2. Neutral Record: Seattle 0-0, SJSU 0-1. Conference Record: Seattle 0-2, SJSU 2-1. Series Record: San Jose State leads, 5-2.
GAME NOTES: Winless in their first two attempts in Western Athletic Conference play, the Seattle Redhawks give it another go on Saturday night as they tangle with the San Jose State Spartans at The Event Center.
Seattle had split the first 10 games on the schedule, but then the WAC slate kicked off on Dec. 29 and the team was handed a 71-64 setback by Idaho at home. Two nights ago, the team traveled to Logan, Utah to face the Utah State Aggies and was turned away in a 75-66 final as well.
As for the Spartans, they actually opened league play with back-to-back wins over two of the other newest additions to the WAC in Texas State and Texas-San Antonio, both on the road. But two nights ago, the squad clashed with Idaho at home and suffered a 64-55 defeat at the hands of the Vandals, snapping that two-game win streak in the process.
Last year, these teams met on Seattle's home floor as part of the Elgin Baylor Classic, where the Spartans posted an 84-74 win, which means the all-time series now stands at 5-2 in favor of SJSU.
Seattle opened the meeting with the Aggies on a 5-0 run, but the team allowed the hosts to shoot 51.7 percent from the floor in the first half, which eventually provided USU with a halftime lead and the nine-point win. Refusing to go away quietly, Deshaun Sunderhaus posted a double-double with a game-high 23 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 10-of-13 from the floor as he added four assists, while Chad Rasmussen chipped in another 11 points for a team that turned the ball over 18 times and was outscored at the free-throw line, 19-4. As one of two players to have started every game for the Redhawks, Sunderhaus leads the group in scoring at the moment with his 11.3 ppg and is also first in the rebounding department with 7.7 rpg, but at the same time he is tied for the most turnovers (34) for a squad that is averaging about 19 miscues per contest.
It wasn't pretty by any means on Thursday night, as the Spartans shot just 28.2 percent from the floor and a desperate 3-of-20 (.150) behind the 3-point line in the home loss to Idaho. James Kinney was the lone double-digit scorer for the hosts with 17 points, but he made just 6-of-21 shots from the field and 3-of-11 on the perimeter, which means the rest of his teammates combined to miss all nine of their attempts on the outside. Chris Cunningham, always a threat to generate a double-double, finished with 11 rebounds, but just eight points on 3-of-13 shooting. Cunningham is currently averaging 10.4 points and a team-high 9.5 rebounds per contest for the Spartans, his efforts on the glass giving the team a rebounding edge of seven per game over the competition. Kinney remains one of the top scorers in the country as he leads the WAC rather easily with 21.2 ppg.
Turning the ball over at an alarming rate and shooting just 59.7 percent at the free-throw line is no way to be successful, but that's just where Seattle is at the moment and those are reasons enough to think that the squad will falter on the road once again.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Jose State 73, Seattle 64
01/05 10:42:12 ET