Texas-San Antonio (8-20) at San Jose State (9-18)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 7, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Event Center (5,000) -- San Jose, California. Television: None. Home Record: UTSA 3-9, SJSU 5-8. Away Record: UTSA 4-10, SJSU 4-9. Neutral Record: UTSA 1-1, SJSU 0-1. Conference Record: UTSA 3-13, SJSU 3-13. Series Record: San Jose State leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: A pair of Western Athletic Conference programs hovering near the bottom of the standings get together at The Event Center on Thursday night, as the San Jose State Spartans host the Roadrunners of Texas-San Antonio.
Currently suffering on a 12-game slide, the Spartans have painted themselves into a corner since suspending James Kinney. Last weekend, the program was crushed by, at that time, 25th-ranked Louisiana Tech on the road in an 88-61 final, which means the Spartans have not posted a win since defeating another team from Louisiana, New Orleans, back on Jan. 8 by a score of 71-64.
Now a mere 3-13 in conference play and ahead of only Seattle in the standings, the Spartans have the same league mark as UTSA. The Roadrunners recently enjoyed a three-game win streak, one of those victories coming in non- conference play against Nicholls State, but the brief run was snapped by Seattle last Saturday in a 53-37 final at home.
The Spartans own a 2-1 edge in the all-time series with UTSA, thanks to an 80-67 win in the first meeting of the season on New Year's Eve.
In one of the weakest offensive efforts in recent memory, the Roadrunners shot a mere 22.6 percent from the floor overall versus Seattle and were limited to a grand total of only 11 points in the first half. Kannon Burrage and Jeromie Hill scored 15 points apiece for the hosts at the Convocation Center, but that means the rest of the roster combined for a mere seven points. Fellow starters Jordan Sims, Michael Hale III and Larry Wilkins converted a collective 1-of-20 from the floor.
In conference play, the Roadrunners are scoring a modest 64.1 ppg, but also giving up 71.6 ppg as opponents make good on 48.8 percent of their field goal chances, compared to only 38.6 percent for UTSA. Burrage (17.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg) might be the leading scorer for the group, but it is still tough to look beyond the fact that he is shooting just 37.8 percent from the floor. Hale (15.3 ppg) is even worse from the field at a mere 35.3 percent.
The Spartans were in over their heads against Louisiana Tech on the road the last time out, converting a total of just 17 field goal attempts (.321), while turning the ball over 21 times in the lopsided road loss. Xavier Jones did manage to put up a respectable 14 points for the visitors, but in doing so he shot just 5-of-16 from the field, followed by Chris Cunningham and D.J. Brown with 10 points apiece.
With Kinney and his 20.6 ppg nowhere to be found these days, SJSU is averaging a mere 62.4 ppg and as a group shooting just 38.0 percent from the floor. Cunningham is the only active double-digit scorer for the program with 10.4 ppg, adding a team-high 9.1 rpg to his stat line, but he has turned the ball over 82 times, against only 35 assists, and he has fouled out seven times. Brown (9.5 ppg) has his moments scoring the ball, but it is his 102 assists that make him more of a valued commodity these days.
UTSA has actually been a better team on the road than at home this season, although the difference is just a single victory, but maybe when the Roadrunners are not playing in front of a familiar crowd they feel less pressure, and perhaps that will help on Thursday night.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas-San Antonio 68, San Jose State 65
03/07 10:31:18 ET