Hawaii (12-9) at San Jose State (7-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 4th, 9:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Event Center (5,000) -- San Jose, California. Television: None. Home Record: Hawaii 8-4, SJSU 5-4. Away Record: Hawaii 3-4, SJSU 1-11. Neutral Record: Hawaii 1-1, SJSU 1-0. Conference Record: Hawaii 4-3, SJSU 0-7. Series Record: Hawaii leads, 26-12.
GAME NOTES: The last of the winless teams in Western Athletic Conference play hits the floor tonight, as the slumping San Jose State Spartans entertain the Hawaii Warriors at The Event Center.
Not only has SJSU yet to win a single WAC game this season, the Spartans are also the only program in the conference with less than double-digit wins overall at a mere 7-15. The Spartans lost their second straight game last weekend to Utah State, 82-65, on the road where they are just 1-11 this season -- that one victory coming against Seattle University in late December.
As for the Warriors, they've had sporadic wins of late, but nothing quite as bad as SJSU. Last weekend, the team secured a 76-70 win at Idaho, the second victory in the last three outings for Hawaii, but still the team is just 4-3 in conference.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, the Warriors lead by a count of 26-12, thanks in part to an 83-69 triumph in the first meeting of the season last month in Honolulu.
Even though the Warriors were on the road the last time out, they still managed to knock down a season-best 56.3 percent from the field as they defeated Idaho in Moscow. Four starters scored in double figures as Vander Joaquim delivered 18 points and nine rebounds, followed by Zane Johnson and Joston Thomas with 16 points apiece, the latter pulling nine rebounds of his own and handing out a team-high four assists. Hauns Brereton dropped in 15 points as he converted 3-of-6 shots behind the three-point line. Over the course of seven conference games Joaquim has been the one to keep an eye on with his 18.4 points and 11.1 rebounds per contest, both of which pace the program. Joaquim also has 22 blocks during the stretch and is shooting an astounding 71.0 percent from the floor, so perhaps it is possible to overlook his mere 57.4 percent at the free-throw line. Thomas (17.6 ppg) and Johnson (16.3 ppg) are also crucial pieces to the offensive puzzle for the Warriors during their conference endeavors.
San Jose State fell behind immediately against Utah State last weekend and was never able to recover as the hosts were allowed to shoot 10-of-21 behind the three-point line and were forced into just six turnovers. From an offensive standpoint, the Spartans were paced by James Kinney who delivered 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the floor, while Wil Carter tacked on 14 points and eight rebounds in the losing cause. Since joining the WAC in 1996 the Spartans have notched a total of 20 games in which they've overcome double-digit deficits in order to log wins, doing so three times this season alone, but falling behind all the time isn't exactly the best plan for winning games on a consistent basis. Kinney continues to lead the team in scoring with his 16.0 ppg, shooting 40.3 percent behind the three-point line, but as a whole SJSU is making just 33.8 percent on the perimeter and 39.1 percent from the floor overall.
Hawaii has shown signs of life on the mainland this season and that's not good news for the Spartans who had hoped to use tonight's meeting as their first real shot at a conference win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Hawaii 68, San Jose State 63
02/04 10:35:44 ET