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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 13, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Event Center (5,000) -- San Jose, California. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Houston 1-0, SJSU 0-0. Away Record: Houston 0-0, SJSU 0-1. Neutral Record: Houston 0-0, SJSU 0-0. Conference Record: Houston 0-0, SJSU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: After suffering a loss in their season opener last Friday, the San Jose State Spartans return home tonight as they are set for a non-conference clash with the Houston Cougars.
Houston tipped off their 68th season at home against Florida A&M last Friday night, and came from behind in the second half to narrowly escape with an 81-76 victory. It was the Cougars' eighth win in their last nine season lidlifters.
San Jose State was not as lucky in its opener, as it surrendered a first-half lead to eventually fall to New Orleans, 72-68. Tonight's bout starts a three- game home stand for the Spartans, who under-performed in their own building a year ago with just a 6-8 record.
This is the first time these two teams will have met on the hardwood.
Houston had itself a bit of a scare on Friday night, as Florida A&M came within a single point of the lead in the final minute of the game, but it was able to pull out the victory thanks to a pair of double-doubles from its starting forwards. Leon Gibson shot 8-of-9 from the floor for a game-high 20 points while also ripping down 10 rebounds for his seventh-career double- double. TaShawn Thomas tallied 11 points and a career-high 20 boards, the first Cougar to grab 20 boards since Louis Truscott accomplished the feat in 2003. Thomas was also a menace at the defensive end by recording five blocks. While Thomas and Gibson were handling matters in the low post, Jherrod Stiggers was making things happen out on the perimeter. The redshirt freshman made his debut memorable one, pouring in 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting with five three-pointers. Brandon Morris made his presence felt from off the bench with 12 points. Despite a quality shooting game from beyond the arc (8-of-19) and the free throw line (21-of-26), the Cougars have plenty of tightening up to do as they committed 20 turnovers.
San Jose State had an impressive shooting night in its opener, draining 51.8 percent of its field goals, but it was awful from the foul line (7-of-17) and turned the ball over 20 times as it allowed New Orleans to come from 12 points down to win. Despite the loss, James Kinney shinned for the Spartans, connecting on 10-of-16 from the field for 23 points, his 13th career game scoring 20 or more. Last season's Western Athletic Conference All-Newcomer Team selection also contributed five rebounds, three assists and three steals. The only other player to score in double figures was LaVanne Pennington (13 points), who shot 6-of-10 from the field in 23 minutes off the bench. Chris Cunningham did not make a strong first impression in his debut, scoring a mere four points while committing seven turnovers.
Kinney is a proven scorer who will likely get his against Houston, but the Spartans don't have a reliable second threat. The Cougars have depth that San Jose State can't compete with, meaning they will have a great chance to pull off the road victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Houston 68, San Jose State 62
11/13 10:33:36 ET
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