Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com
By: Ana Kieu
LAS VEGAS — The San Jose State Spartans flew out of the Bay Area and arrived in Las Vegas Wednesday afternoon. They got ready for round two with the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Here are the game notes and stats you need to know: /
San Jose State will take on UNLV on Wednesday night at 8 pm PT on AT&T SportsNet.
UNLV escaped with a 82-76 overtime win over SJSU in their first matchup this season at the Event Center.
Spartan fans can tune into KLIV 1590 AM to listen to Justin Allegri’s play-by-play. The pregame show begins at 7:30 pm PT.
SJSU defeated UNLV in both meetings last season, making it the first time since the 1993-94 season. But the Runnin’ Rebels got revenge in San Jose earlier this season with an 82-76 overtime win.
UNLV holds a 36-6 lead over the Spartans in the all-time series. Prior to last season, they haven’t lost a game to SJSU since 1996.
Freshman wing Noah Baumann is shooting 60.0 percent (18-30) from beyond the arc during league play, which ranks first among all MW players. He has been deadly all year long from downtown with an overall percentage of 51.7 (31-60).
UNLV got a taste of what Baumann could do in the first meeting this year when he hit 4-of-5 shots from beyond the arc. Some defenses in league play have clamped down on Baumann including the last game against Wyoming where he only took one shot. New Mexico and SDSU allowed him to take only six shots combined. However he’s had break through games of three-plus hits from deep in four MW games.
SJSU’s current 43.1 field goal percentage defense is the best it’s had in a very long time. The Spartans took the MW’s fifth-ranked 42.4 field goal percentage defense into the beginning of last week before Boise State knocked down 53.1 percent of its shots on Wednesday, followed by 44.1 percent on Saturday by Wyoming.
If the season with that 42.4 percentage, it would be the best for any Spartan team since the 2000-01 season. Last season, Spartan opponents hit 46 percent of their shots. UNLV hit 47.3 percent of its shots against the Spartans in the first meeting of the season.
SJSU shot 48.4% (30-62) on Wednesday night compared to Wyoming’s 44.1% (30-68). It’s the sixth time in nine MW games that the Spartans have finished with a higher shooting percentage than the opponent and the fourth time have equal or more amount of made field goals.
Yet, the Spartans come into Wednesday’s tilt winless in league play. In games where SJSU outshoots its opponent, it’s generally turnovers and 3-point shooting that push the game in the opponents’ favor. The Spartans’ 17.6 turnovers per game are the most in Division I basketball, and MW foes have made an average of 8.2 or more three-point baskets per game than SJSU.
Ryan Welage became the 15th player in SJSU men’s basketball history (108th season) to score 1,000-career points on January 9, 2018, at SDSU. Since then, he’s worked his way up to 12th place on the all-time scoring list and is just 11 points shy of passing Sid Williams for 11th.
Welage now has 136 made 3-pointers in his career, ranking third on the Spartans’ all-time list. He is two away from tying Adrian Oliver with 138 made threes and then he’ll only be trailing the program’s all-time leader, Tim Pierce, who made 153.