New Mexico (11-3) at San Jose State (6-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 11, 10:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Event Center (5,000) -- San Jose, California.
Television: ROOT-RM, NW. Home Record: UNM 6-1, SJSU 4-2. Away Record: UNM 2-1,
SJSU 2-5. Neutral Record: UNM 3-1, SJSU 0-2. Conference Record: UNM 2-0, SJSU
0-3. Series Record: New Mexico leads, 6-0.
GAME NOTES: Still searching for their first Mountain West Conference win of
the season, the San Jose State Spartans try to make it happen tonight as they
host the New Mexico Lobos at The Event Center.
The Spartans began the season with an even split of their first 12 games, even
mounting a four-game win streak during the month of December. However, the
squad started off the new calendar year with a 62-50 setback to Nevada in the
conference opener, continued with a loss to Utah State, and carried on with a
narrow 66-64 defeat at the hands of Colorado State three nights ago.
In starting the league slate at 0-3, the Spartans enter the weekend all alone
at the bottom of the standings. In addition, SJSU is also the only team in the
MWC that is playing below .500 overall.
Meanwhile, the Lobos seemed to have bounced back from their back-to-back
defeats to Kansas and New Mexico State in the middle of last month, putting
together a four-game win streak heading into the weekend. The squad went to
overtime for the second time this season on Wednesday night and pulled out a
victory against host Wyoming.
Unfortunately for the Spartans, they are in a difficult situation tonight as
they go up against an opponent that they are winless against in six previous
encounters. However, the teams have not played each other since the 1999
campaign when UNM slipped by the Spartans in San Jose in overtime, 82-81, in
January of that year, and then blew the doors off SJSU in The Pit barely a
month later, 82-46.
Cameron Bairstow scored 15 points, leading four players in double figures, as
the New Mexico Lobos captured a thrilling three-point win in overtime against
the Cowboys in conference action at Arena Auditorium. Alex Kirk and Cleveland
Thomas both tallied 12 points for the Lobos, followed by Kendall Williams with
10 points, although the latter shot just 4-of-16 from the floor on the night.
One of the missed shots for Williams came from 3-point range at the end of
regulation as he tried to win the game for the visitors. On the glass, UNM
owned a 37-31 rebounding margin and limited the hosts to just five offensive
A 55.8 percent shooter from the field who knows better than to try an make
himself into a perimeter threat, Bairstow leads the Lobos in scoring with 20.4
ppg and is also second on the unit with 7.4 rpg. Alex Kirk (14.6 ppg), the man
who is tops on the glass with 9.5 rpg, for some reason believes he can stretch
defenses out to the perimeter, even though he has knocked down only 22.2
percent of his 3-point tries. Far more trustworthy on the outside is Williams
(18.2 ppg) who, despite having a rough go of it three nights ago, has a team-
best 24 triples.
The Spartans were led by Rashad Muhammad who tallied a game-high 28 points,
while Chris Cunningham responded with 13 points and Jaleel Williams 11 in the
squad's third straight setback on Wednesday when they bowed to visiting
Colorado State. In a game that featured 10 ties and 16 lead changes, SJSU came
up short despite converting 9-of-19 shots behind the 3-point line.
Playing slightly more than 30 minutes per game and coming off the bench in all
but one of the 15 outings for the Spartans this season, Muhammad leads the
team in scoring with 17.4 ppg. Shooting just 44.2 percent from the floor
overall, Muhammad has proven himself a top prospect out on the perimeter where
he has made good on 47.6 percent of his tries for a team that is averaging 10
triples per contest. Opponents have converted 53 fewer 3-pointers, yet they
are still outscoring the Spartans by close to two points per outing.
New Mexico is playing just its fourth true road game of the season tonight,
but being in enemy territory hasn't shaken the squad up all that much and the
history for the Lobos in this series is certainly favorable.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: New Mexico 70, San Jose State 60
01/11 10:32:59 ET
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