San Jose State Spartans podcast with Ana Kieu: A similar men’s basketball team in terms of losses

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

On the SJSU Spartans podcast with Ana:

1. Men’s basketball: SJSU dropped a thriller to San Diego State 59-57 on Sunday, Dec. 8.

2. Men’s basketball: SJSU returns home to host Stanford on Saturday, Dec. 14.

3. Women’s basketball: SJSU won conference opener 76-61 over Utah State on Wednesday, Dec. 4.

4. Women’s basketball: SJSU downed SDSU 84-67 on Saturday, Dec. 7.

5. Softball: SJSU signed four student-athletes for 2021.

Ana’s final thoughts…

Catch Ana on the SJSU Spartans podcast each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

SJSU Sports Hall of Fame Basketball Player George Clark Dies at 89

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

By Ana Kieu

George Clark, the first San Jose State men’s basketball player to finish a three-year career averaging in double-figure scoring and double-figure rebounding, passed away peacefully on December 4, 2019, at age 89 in Lincoln, California.

Born July 2, 1930, in Gibbons, Nebraska, the Clark family of seven migrated west to Oregon before settling in California during the Great Depression. A basketball, football and baseball letter-winner and one-time student body president at San Jose (Calif.) High School, George Clark originally enrolled at the University of Southern California, but transferred to San Jose State College where he flourished as the Spartans’ 6’6″ center.

In his three varsity seasons playing for coach Walt McPherson, San Jose State had a winning record each season, was nationally-ranked by the Associated Press for the last three weeks of the 1949-50 season, and appeared in a NCAA Tournament for the first time when the 1951 team lost to #11 Brigham Young University, 68-61, in a first-round (Sweet 16) game in Kansas City, Missouri.

A STAR & RECORD-SETTER
Mr. Clark was a second-team All-California Collegiate Athletic Association award winner as a sophomore on the 1950 team that posted a record of 21-7, San Jose State’s third consecutive 20-win season; was named to an All-Independent team for his play in 1951; and was co-captain of the 1952 squad that finished with a 15-10 win-loss record.

“George did not like to lose. He had a fire in him. That’s why he was a good rebounder,” said Dean Giles, his teammate on the 1950 and 1951 San Jose State teams.

“He understood the game pretty well and he anticipated well. And, he was a good passing center. Offensively, we used to run ‘rubs.’ We ran everything off of a high post. It was ‘Kentucky-style’ basketball. George was an integral part of our offense.”

“He understood how to block out and retrieve the ball. He caused most centers a lot of trouble. He was a dominant center in our conference. I can’t think of a better one. George did a good job rebounding. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have gotten as far we did.”

During his San Jose State career, Mr. Clark averaged 10.0 points a game in scoring and 11.4 rebounds a game in the 75 games he played. He and Coby Dietrick, who played for the 1969 through 1971 Spartans and then 13 seasons in the ABA and NBA, are the only Spartans to have double-figure career averages in points and rebounds.

“His trademark was the hook shot. There weren’t many who could shoot that shot. He could ‘hook’ it from the foul line in. He was a good teammate. I always enjoyed playing with George,” Giles said.

Mr. Clark remains the San Jose State record holder single-season record holder for most rebounds in a season (376 in 1952), rebound average in a season (16.4 per game in 1952), and rebound average in a career (11.4 per game). He set a single-game school record of 27 rebounds in a 51-49 win over the University of Oregon on January 3, 1952, which was broken five seasons later.

Clark’s college teammates included former San Jose State career scoring leader and Portland Trail Blazers’ general manager Stu Inman (1926-2007), six-time San Francisco 49ers’ All-Pro end Billy Wilson (1927-2009), former University of Portland men’s basketball coach Jack Avina (1929-2018), and former Harlem Globetrotter Bobby Crowe. Mr. Clark played in New York’s Madison Square Garden, the Cow Palace in San Francisco, and the Kansas City Municipal Auditorium as a Spartan.

“George had a leadership style about him. He was like a coach on the floor. He was a very competitive guy,” said San Jose State basketball alum and former Santa Clara University men’s basketball coach Carroll Williams, a teammate of Mr. Clark’s on the local Green Frog Market AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) team back in the 1950’s. “He was a really good college player.

“We ran a lot of ‘Guard Around’ and ‘Forward Around.’ (In) ‘Guard Around,’ the forward would hit the post and back screen for the guard. Then, George would make the pass or take a hook (shot). In ‘Forward Around,’ the guard would hit the post and screen down for the forward to come around,” added Williams, who was a student teacher at San Jose High when Mr. Clark also served as the school’s boys’ basketball coach.

TEACHERS & BROADWAY MUSICALS
Mr. Clark graduated from San Jose State in 1953 as a physical education major. He would later earn a master’s degree in general administration from his alma mater in 1966.

Professionally, Mr. Clark was a high school teacher and administrator in Santa Clara, Monterey, Kings and Santa Cruz counties in Northern and Central California for 37 years. As a school administrator, he was invited to Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Columbia to share his experiences in the field of secondary education.

A fan of Broadway musicals, Mr. Clark remained connected to San Jose State long after his playing career. He founded the Santa Cruz chapter of the San Jose State University Alumni Association in 1985 and was the association’s president from 1995 through 1997. Enshrined in the San Jose State Sports Hall of Fame, Mr. Clark was a long-time member of the Order of Sparta, a former athletes association that recommended Spartan greats for induction, and the Spartan Foundation, the fund-raising volunteers for San Jose State University Athletics.

“San Jose State lost a dear, cherished and loyal alum recently in George Clark. It was easy to recognize him as a former Spartan basketball player, because George took over the room, and he was one of the best to play here,” said San Jose State University director of athletics Marie Tuite.

“George meant so much more to San Jose State and to Spartan Athletics than just his playing contributions. He was active in alumni social activities, attended as many athletics events as possible, and always had a kind word, found the silver lining, and maintained a jovial, genuine and positive outlook on life.

“We join many others expressing condolences to Bonnie, his wife, and their children. George loved his Spartans and he left a lasting impression on many of us. He will be dearly missed by many.”

Mr. Clark is survived by his wife of 65 years, Bonnie (Dohemann) Clark; daughters Kristen Clark Cozad, Terry Clark Gilmete and her husband Silvestre, and Remy Clark Nutter and her husband Patrick; brother-in-law and wife, Gordon and Sharon Dohemann; five grandchildren; two great grandsons, and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life for Mr. Clark will be scheduled in the future. In lieu of flowers, the family recommends donations to the San Jose State University Spartan Athletics Fund or the William Jessup University men’s basketball program.

Mr. Clark will be remembered and honored at San Jose State’s next home men’s basketball game, against Stanford University on Saturday, December 14 at 4:00 p.m.

SDSU remains undefeated with 59-57 win over SJSU

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By Ana Kieu

The San Jose State men’s basketball team had hoped to snap a 4-game losing skid at Viejas Arena against San Diego State on Sunday afternoon, but the Spartans’ hopes weren’t granted in the Mountain West contest.

SJSU’s starting five featured Brae Ivey, Omari Moore, Christian Anigwe, Seneca Knight and Sam Japhet-Mathias.

SDSU jumped out to a 7-2 lead at the first media timeout at the 15:18 mark of the first half. Though, neither team was off to the best of starts as the Spartans and Aztecs combined for just 7-of-24 from the floor at the 12-minute mark of the first.

Ralph Agee scored 5 points off the bench to provide a beautiful yet fiery spark for the Spartans with 9:52 left in the first. Then, Christian Anigwe hit a 3-pointer and Zach Chappell scored off the high glass with 6:08 left in the first.

Omari Moore made a move and delivered a 3 to cut the deficit to 10, Ralph Agee knocked down a triple to cut the deficit to 8 and SJSU scored 6 unanswered points to cut the deficit to 5 late in the first. But, despite the Spartans’ efforts, SJSU trailed 30-25 at the halftime break.

SJSU was off to a great start to open the second half. The Spartans scored back-to-back buckets and Ralph Agee had one of his best outings in a Spartan uniform with a season-high 12 points at the 15:46 mark of the second. Yet, SDSU led 39-31 at the first media timeout of the second.

Brae Ivey made a 3 from downtown to cut the deficit to 5 once again. SJSU trailed 41-36 at the 12:34 mark of the second. Ivey later buried a triple to keep the Spartans in the game with 8:55 left in the second.

Two perfect 3-point buckets from Seneca Knight and Christian Anigwe cut the deficit to 3 to trail 52-49 with 4:18 left in the second. SDSU led 54-49 at the final media timeout with 4 minutes left in the second. Knight hit a 3 to cut the deficit to 2 and Brae Ivey buried a triple to lift the Spartans to a 55-54 lead — their first lead of the game — with 1:29 left in the second. Knight scored a layup to extend the lead 57-54 with 1:03 left in the second.

But the Spartans’ contentedness was short-lived as the Aztecs took the lead 59-57 with 0:9 left on the clock. Malachi Flynn hit the game-winning 3 over three Spartan defenders. The Aztecs won 59-57.

With the win, SDSU remains undefeated with a 10-0, 2-0 MW record. With the loss, SJSU fell to 3-7, 0-2 MW.

The Spartans return home to host the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 4 pm PST.

San Jose State visits undefeated San Diego State on Sunday

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

By Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State men’s basketball team continues its opening week of Mountain West play with a visit to undefeated San Diego State on Sunday afternoon.

Here’s what you need to know about Saturday’s conference contest.

SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (3-6, 0-1 MW)
PPG: 65.6 | FG%: 39.8 | 3FG%: 27.0 | FT%: 65.2

NOTES: The Spartans trailed by just three at the half and kept it close until a late run by No. 25 Utah State in Wednesday’s 71-59 conference-opening loss. SJSU is 3-0 when shooting better than 45% on field goals and is 0-6 when shooting under 45%. After using the same starting lineup for the first six games of the season, Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau has used a different combo in each of the last three. Freshman guard Omari Moore has started twice in that stretch.

SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS (9-0, 1-0 MW)
PPG: 77.0 | FG%: 47.1 | 3FG%: 40.1 | FT%: 71.9

SERIES: SJSU trails, 35-40 (8-26 in San Diego)

LAST: SJSU lost, 84-56, on 3/2/19 at SDSU

NOTES: SDSU has started a season 9-0 for the second time in program history. The Aztecs opened Mountain West play on Wednesday with a 79-57 win at Colorado State. Malachi Flynn, a Washington State transfer, had a game-high 23 points plus 7 assists. Flynn is sixth in the MW in points per game (16.9) and second in assists per game (5.4).

BROADCAST INFORMATION
TV: Fox Sports SD with Steve Quis and Ros Gold-Onwude

STREAM: Foxsports.com/live

RADIO: Justin Allegri on the call through TuneIn.com and the TuneIn app. Search for “San Jose St. Basketball”.

AMAZING ANIGWE 
Sophomore Christian Anigwe has been an anchor for the Spartans in the middle this season. Anigwe ranks ninth in the MW in rebounds per game at 6.6 RPG. The 6-foot-9 big man is also seventh in the MW in blocked shots per game at 1.2 BPG. He has had a season-best three blocked shots vs. both Grambling and Oregon State.

SAN JOSE STATE STYMIES GRAMBLING STATE
Grambling State entered the game on Nov. 20 with the nation’s No. 1 scoring offense, averaging 114 points over its first three games. The Spartans held the Tigers 38 points under their average in an 83-76 win at the Provident Credit Union Event Center. Grambling State was 1-of-10 shooting on 3-pointers.

SAN JOSE STATE DOWNS SIMPSON
The Spartans had 13 different players score in an 85-60 win over Simpson on Nov. 17. Zach Chappell came off the bench to score a season-high 14 points, including a pair of 3s. Seneca Knight was 6-of-8 shooting for 15 points. Craig LeCesne added 13 points in 19 minutes. Ralph Agee posted 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Harminder Dhaliwal made his collegiate debut and had 2 points and 2 rebounds in six minutes.

SAN JOSE STATE STUNS HOFSTRA IN SEASON OPENER
SJSU opened the 2019-20 season with a bang, defeating Hofstra on the road, 79-71, on Nov. 6. Hofstra won 27 games last year, SJSU lost 27 games. In his Spartan debut, JC transfer and former Wake Forest guard, Richard Washington, posted a team-high 23 points off the bench on 8-of-13 shooting. Washington scored 12 of his 23 points in the final four minutes, including a stretch of three straight 3s to put the game away. Craig LeCesne had his first career double-double with a career-high 19 points plus 11 rebounds. It was SJSU’s first win in a road opener since 2010-11 when the Spartans topped Eastern Washington, 67-60. The Spartans snapped a 21-game road losing streak dating back to 2017-18. SJSU won on the East Coast for the first time since 2001-02, when the Spartans defeated Fairleigh Dickinson at the BCA Tournament hosted by NC State in Raleigh, N.C.

RETURNING STARTERS
The Spartans return seven players who started at least one game a season ago. Seneca Knight is the most experienced, as the sophomore started 17 games, including the final 12, of his rookie season. Brae Ivey was just behind Knight, as the former junior college transfer started 16 games last season. Craig LeCesne and Zach Chappell both started 15 games last year. Christian Anigwe, Isaiah Nichols and Trey Smith each started one game.

SIX NEW PLAYERS
SJSU head coach Jean Prioleau will have the help of six newcomers on the roster in 2019-20. The Spartans have three new junior college transfers in Richard Washington (Tallahassee CC), Eduardo Lane (Marshalltown CC) and Ralph Agee (East LA College). Washington started his collegiate career at Wake Forest, where he played eight games as a freshman before an injury caused him to miss the entire 2017-18 season. Another Wake Forest transfer will join the Spartans on the floor this season, as center Samuel Japhet-Mathias will be eligible after a redshirt season last year. The former four-star recruit appeared in 17 games off the bench at Wake Forest as a freshman in 2016-17. He posted 6 points and 4 rebounds at No. 17 Xavier. Prioleau added two freshmen this season in guard Omari Moore and walk-on center Harminder Dhaliwal.

TV SCHEDULE
SJSU will play 10 games on TV this season, including three at home. SJSU hosts an ESPN networks game this year for the first time since 2010-11, when either ESPN2 or ESPNU will carry the SJSU tip against Utah State on Dec. 4. SJSU will also be on ESPN2 or ESPNU when visiting Utah State on Feb. 26. SJSU will have four non-conference games on TV, all against Pac-12 competition. The Spartans will be on CBS Sports Network when hosting Stanford at the Provident Credit Union Event Center on Dec. 14. SJSU will battle both UCLA and Arizona on Pac-12 Networks and meet Oregon State on FS1 for a neutral site game in Las Vegas. The Spartans will also have four Mountain West contests on AT&T SportsNet this season — Jan. 15 at UNLV, Jan. 21 at New Mexico, Feb. 8 at Nevada and Feb. 29 vs. UNLV.

San Jose State Spartans podcast with Ana Kieu: Is there hope for the men’s basketball team?

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

On the SJSU Spartans podcast with Ana:

1. Ana, talk about SJSU football beating Fresno State 17-16 and reclaiming the Valley Trophy last Saturday night.

2. SJSU men’s basketball suffered a blowout by UCLA 93-64 this past Sunday.

3. SJSU men’s basketball lost to #25 Utah State 71-59 on Wednesday night.

4. SJSU men’s basketball heads to Viejas Arena to take on SDSU on Sunday.

5. SJSU baseball added 6 signees to its 2020 signing class.

Ana’s final thoughts…

Catch Ana on the SJSU Spartans podcast each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose State falls to #25 Utah State 71-59

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State men’s basketball team were on one of television’s biggest platforms on Wednesday night. ESPN2 televised the SJSU vs. #25 Utah State conference contest at the Provident Credit Union Event Center, which was a pretty big deal if you follow the Mountain West.

The Spartans’ starters were Brae Ivey, Omari Moore, Christian Anigwe, Seneca Knight and Sam Japhet-Mathias.

USU’s Justin Bean went on a 4-0 run to open the scoring, but SJSU’s Brae Ivey ended the Aggies’ run with a fastbreak 3-pointer at 18:16. Bean continued to give the Spartans the fits with back-to-back layups to extend the Aggies’ lead to 8-3 at 16:50. SJSU’s Seneca Knight hit a 3 to make it a 2-point game 38 seconds later. USU’s Sam Merrill quickly responded with a 3 to put the Aggies ahead 11-6. Ivey, however, hit a 3 to put the Spartans back within 2 at 15:10.

The back-and-forth play continued past the 10-minute mark of the first quarter. The Spartans held a 21-19 lead with 7:08 left. The Aggies gave the Spartans fits, but somehow, SJSU made it a close game until the first half came to an end. SJSU’s Christian Anigwe buried a 3 to help the Spartans regain the lead 21-19. Then, SJSU’s Isaiah Nichols to cut the lead to 1 late in the half.

SJSU trailed 36-33 at the break. But the Spartans played one of their best halves in the young season as they shot 40% and hit six 3s.

USU struck first to open the second half, but SJSU made it a 3-point game, thanks to a Sam Japhet-Mathas layup at 19:12. Sam Merrill was a key Aggies scorer who received help from big men such as Brock Miller, Justin Bean and Alphonso Anderson. SJSU’s Craig LeCesne knocked down a jumper to cut the deficit to 10 with 6:20 left.

SJSU made some key plays like Seneca Knight’s pair of fastbreak free throws along with a fastbreak 3 late in the half. But it was USU who prevailed from Sam Merrill, Justin Bean, Abel Porter and Diogo Brito. The Aggies won 71-59.

With the win, USU improved to 8-1, 1-0 MW. With the loss, SJSU fell to 3-6, 0-1 MW.

The Spartans head to Viejas Arena to take on the San Diego State Aztecs on Sunday, December 8 at 12 pm PST.

Josh Love named Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

By Ana Kieu

San Jose State senior quarterback Josh Love, who had one of the best regular seasons by a FBS quarterback in 2019, was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, the conference’s premier passer on the league’s 30-player first-team, and was one of seven Spartans honored with All-Mountain West honors.

Wide receivers Tre Walker and Bailey Gaither, offensive linemen Troy Kowalski and Jack Snyder, linebacker Ethan Aguayo and placekicker Matt Mercurio joined Love as All-Mountain West honorees.

“I am so excited about the All-Mountain West honors our players received. These players worked so hard here at San Jose State and for the conference to recognize them is extremely exciting for them individually and also for us as a program. ‘Spartan Up!” said SJSU football head coach Brent Brennan in response to the conference awards announcement.

Brennan, the 11 other Mountain West head coaches, and a panel of media members cast votes for the conference awards.

Love completed 60.9% of his passes with only eight interceptions for 3,923 yards and 22 touchdowns as the Spartans recorded a 5-7 win-loss record, four more wins than in 2018. All of his season totals were personal bests for the one-time walk-on from Long Beach (Calif.) Poly High.

Love became only the third quarterback in conference history to throw for 400 or more yards five games in a season. His six career 400-yard passing games ranks second on the all-time Mountain West list behind Oakland Raiders and Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr, who had 11 in two seasons. His 3,923 passing yards are #6 on the Mountain West’s single-season list and ranks third nationally this season in games played through November 30. He’s also sixth nationally in total offense at 319.6 yards per game.

The numbers complement a year in which the co-captain led the Spartans to game-winning touchdown drives with less than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of 75 yards at Arkansas for SJSU’s first win in school history against a SEC opponent and 83 yards vs. Fresno State to conclude the season.

Love’s the first Spartan to receive a Mountain West “superlative” postseason award since 2013 when wide receiver Tyler Winston was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year; the first SJSU player to be named Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year; the first Spartan quarterback since Mike Perez in 1987 to be named a conference Offensive Player of the Year; and the first San Jose State signal caller since Ralph Martini in 1990 to be named a first-team all-conference quarterback.

Since 1970 when SJSU aligned itself in a football-playing conference, Steve DeBerg (1976–Pacific Coast Athletic Association), Ed Luther (1979–PCAA), Perez (1986–PCAA and 1987–Big West) and Love (2019–Mountain West) are the four Spartan quarterbacks to garner conference Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Walker, a junior from Los Angeles’ Narbonne High, joined Love as a first-team All-Mountain West honoree. He led the Mountain West in receptions per game and receiving yards per game in the regular season with 79 catches for 1,161 yards and two touchdowns. He currently ranks fifth nationally in receptions per game (7.9) and third in the FBS in receiving yards per game (116.1). Three times, Walker had 10 or more catches in a game and in six games, he had at least 100 yards in pass receptions, many of them from passes by Love.

Aguayo, a senior from Mission Viejo, Calif., and a graduate of JSerra High, was San Jose State’s one second-team All-Mountain West honoree. He led the conference and was fourth nationally in tackles per game at 11.3 in the regular season. For the second consecutive season, he was credited with more than 100 tackles and his 345 career stops is among the top-10 totals by an active FBS player.

Gaither, a senior from Paso Robles, Calif.; Mercurio, a freshman from Salinas, Calif.; and Kowalski, a senior from Glendale, Ariz., and Snyder, a junior from Kentfield, Calif., received honorable mention All-Mountain West honors.

Gaither had personal single season bests of 52 receptions for 812 yards and six touchdowns – one each in six consecutive games to set a school record. Mercurio led the Spartans in scoring with 97 points, was tied for 10th nationally in field made per game converting 20 out of 24 attempts, and was tied for 24th in the FBS for field goal percentage at the end of the regular season (83.3%).

Kowalski and Snyder comprised the left side of the offensive line that was one of the top pass protection quintets in college football. In the regular season, SJSU was tied for eighth nationally yielding just 14 sacks in 12 games, but were third nationally behind Georgia and Clemson for pass attempts (35.6 to 1) per sacks of the quarterback.

SJSU men’s hoops hosts #25 Utah State in ESPN2 clash on Wednesday night

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

By Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State men’s basketball team plays host to No. 25 ranked Utah State on Wednesday night at 8:15 pm in a televised Mountain West clash on ESPN2.

Here’s what you need to know about Wednesday’s game.

SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (3-5, 0-0 MW)
PPG: 66.4 | FG%: 39.5 | 3FG%: 25.7 | FT%: 65.6

NOTES: The Spartans enter conference play coming off a pair of Pac-12 road losses. SJSU is 2-2 at home this season and will be the host in five of its next seven games. Seneca Knight is averaging a team-high 11.8 points per game with Richard Washington just behind at 10.1. The Spartans have shot 40% or better in all three wins and shot under 40% in all five losses.

#25 UTAH STATE AGGIES (7-1, 0-0 MW)
PPG: 81.4 | FG%: 46.8 | 3FG%: 36.5 | FT%: 76.8

SERIES: SJSU trails, 22-62 (14-21 at home)

LAST: SJSU lost both games vs. Utah State last year

NOTES: Utah State opened the season with seven straight wins before falling at Saint Mary’s on Friday, 81-73. Sam Merrill, who’s averaging a team-high 17.4 points per game, had 23 points in the loss to the Gaels. The Aggies have been playing without Neemias Queta, who has missed all eight games thus far with an injury.

BROADCAST INFORMATION
TV: ESPN2 with Roxy Bernstein and Richie Schueler

Stream: espn.com/watch with a cable login

RADIO: Justin Allegri on the call through TuneIn.com and the TuneIn app. Search for “San Jose St. Basketball”.

ZEALOUS ZACH
A constant in the Spartans’ last five games has been the play of reserve guard Zach Chappell. Chappell posted a season-high 17 points, including 3-of-3 shooting from deep, in a loss to Portland State on Nov. 23. Chappell tallied 14 points in a win over Simpson on Nov. 17, going 5-of-7 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers. The Spartans are shooting just 25.7% from 3 on the season, but Chappell is shooting 42.1% from deep.

SAN JOSE STATE STYMIES GRAMBLING STATE
Grambling State entered the game on Nov. 20 with the nation’s #1 scoring offense, averaging 114 points over its first three games. The Spartans held the Tigers 38 points under their average in an 83-76 win at the Provident Credit Union Event Center. Grambling State was 1-of-10 shooting on three-pointers.

EQUAL EFFORT IN HOME WIN OVER SIMPSON
The Spartans had 13 different players score in an 85-60 win over Simpson on Nov. 17. Zach Chappell came off the bench to score a season-high 14 points, including a pair of 3s. Seneca Knight was 6-of-8 shooting for 15 points. Craig LeCesne added 13 points in 19 minutes. Ralph Agee posted 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Harminder Dhaliwal made his collegiate debut and had 2 points and 2 rebounds in 6 minutes.

SAN JOSE STATE STUNS HOFSTRA IN SEASON OPENER
SJSU opened the 2019-20 season with a bang, defeating Hofstra 79-71 on the road on Nov. 6. Hofstra won 27 games last year, while SJSU lost 27 games. In his Spartan debut, JUCO transfer and former Wake Forest guard, Richard Washington, posted a team-high 23 points off the bench on 8-of-13 shooting. Washington scored 12 of his 23 points in the final four minutes, including a stretch of three straight 3s to put the game away. Craig LeCesne had his first career double-double with a career-high 19 points plus 11 rebounds. It was the Spartans’ first win in a road opener since 2010-11 when SJSU topped Eastern Washington, 67-60. The Spartans snapped a 21-game road losing streak dating back to 2017-18. SJSU won on the East Coast for the first time since 2001-02, when the Spartans defeated Fairleigh Dickinson at the BCA Tournament hosted by NC State in Raleigh, N.C.

STAGNANT STARTERS
The Spartans return seven players who started at least one game a season ago. Seneca Knight is the most experienced, as the sophomore started 17 games, including the final 12, of his rookie season. Brae Ivey was just behind Knight, as the former junior college transfer started 16 games last season. Craig LeCesne and Zach Chappell both started 15 games last year. Christian Anigwe, Isaiah Nichols and Trey Smith–a walk-on guard–each started one game.

SIX NEW PLAYERS
Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau will have the help of six newcomers on the roster in 2019-20. The Spartans have three new junior college transfers in Richard Washington (Tallahassee CC), Eduardo Lane (Marshalltown CC) and Ralph Agee (East LA College). Washington started his collegiate career at Wake Forest, where he played eight games as a freshman before an injury caused him to miss the entire 2017-18 season. Another Wake Forest transfer will join the Spartans on the floor this season, as center Samuel Japhet-Mathias will be eligible after a redshirt season last year. The former 4-star recruit appeared in 17 games off the bench at Wake Forest as a freshman in 2016-17. Japhet-Mathias posted 6 points and 4 rebounds at No. 17 Xavier. Prioleau added two freshmen this season in guard Omari Moore and walk-on center Harminder Dhaliwal.

FOUR WINS FOLLOWED BY A TITLE
SJSU hopes to duplicate the success of the 1995-96 squad. SJSU won the Big West Conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament a year after going 4-23 during the 1994-95 season. The Spartans went 4-27 last season.

SAN JOSE STATE TELEVISION SCHEDULE
SJSU will play 10 games on TV this season, including three at home. SJSU hosts an ESPN networks game this year for the first time since 2010-11, when either ESPN2 or ESPNU will carry the SJSU tip against Utah State on Dec. 4. SJSU will also be on ESPN2 or ESPNU when visiting Utah State on Feb. 26. SJSU will have four non-conference games on TV, all against Pac-12 foes. The Spartans will be on CBS Sports Network when hosting Stanford at the Provident Credit Union Event Center on Dec. 14. SJSU will battle both UCLA and Arizona on Pac-12 Networks and meet Oregon State on FS1 for a neutral site game in Las Vegas. SJSU will also have four Mountain West contests on AT&T SportsNet this season — Jan. 15 at UNLV, Jan. 21 at New Mexico, Feb. 8 at Nevada and Feb. 29 vs. UNLV.

UCLA downs SJSU 93-64 in Los Angeles

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By Ana Kieu

The San Jose State men’s basketball team wrapped up a 2-game road trip with a non-conference contest against the UCLA Bruins at Pauley Pavilion on Sunday. SJSU had hopes to snap a 2-game losing skid.

SJSU had time for a shootaround around Pauley Pavilion. Then, Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau confirmed the starters for Sunday’s game in Brae Ivey, Christian Anigwe, Seneca Knight, Sam Japhet-Mathias, and Craig LeCesne.

UCLA got on the board first, but SJSU responded as Christian Anigwe finished a 3-point play to cut the deficit to 7-5 early in the first quarter.

UCLA led 16-7 when SJSU called a timeout at 15:28. Also, Richard Washington called bank on a shot at 14:18. In addition, there was great ball movement by Omari Moore and company and that led to a Zach Chappell corner 3. However, SJSU trailed 20-12 midway through the first.

Richard Washington doubled up for his second 3 of the night at 10:20. Yet, SJSU trailed 26-17. UCLA then took a 34-22 lead at the under-8 timeout with 7:13 left.

The Spartans went cold, but continued to shoot free throws following the final media timeout of the first. Omari Moore made a great play–a steal that he laid in on the other end–to snap the Spartans’ scoring drought. But SJSU trailed 46-26 at the halftime break, so they had their work cut out for them.

SJSU, however, saw little improvement in the second half. The Spartans trailed 58-35 at the first media timeout of the second at 15:58. The Bruins took a commanding 66-44 lead at the second media timeout at 11:51. The Spartans’ Omari Moore recorded a season-best 11 points and was 4-for-5 from the field at 11:51, too. Then, UCLA went on a 13-0 run, which prompted head coach Jean Prioleau to call a timeout, and extended its lead to 79-46 with 9:01 left in the second. UCLA went on to win 93-64.

With the win, UCLA improved to 6-3. With the loss, SJSU fell to 3-5.

The Spartans return home to host the #15 Utah State Aggies on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 8:15 pm PST.

San Jose State edges Fresno State 17-16 on Senior Night to win Valley Trophy

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateFB

By Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — For the San Jose State football team, Saturday night was a little bit more about celebrating 18 seniors on Senior Night. Those seniors were Chandler Hawkins, Zamore Zigler, Sailosi Latu, Jesse Osuna, Brandon Ezell, Josh Love, DeJon Packer, Ethan Aguayo, Christian Webb, Lionell Wiggins, Korey Mariboho, Deano Motes, Troy Kowalski, Bailey Gaither, Brett Foley, Duane Tuatasi, Alex Galland, and Quinn Oseland.

With that said, SJSU had their game faces on when the Fresno State Bulldogs were in town. Senior quarterback Josh Love and the Spartan offense opened the game with the ball. But the Bulldogs struck first as senior quarterback Jorge Reyna threw a 38-yard pass to tight end Jared Rice, who ran for the opening touchdown, and Cesar Silva kicked in the extra point. It was 7-0 Bulldogs with 7:49 left in the first quarter.

Fresno State made it a 14-0 game just 2:41 later. Ronnie Rivers rushed for a 5-yard rushing touchdown and Silva kicked in the extra point.

Junior center Kyle Hoppe suffered an injury and didn’t return. However, SJSU got on the board first as Matt Mercurio kicked a 22-yard field goal to reduce the deficit to 14-3 with 1:13 left in the first. The Bulldogs led 14-3 at the end of the first.

The second quarter looked better for the Spartans. Jay Lenard snagged an interception–his second interception of the season–for the first turnover of the game late in the second.

Just minutes after Cade Hall showed some moves with the strip sack, Justin Rice kicked a 10-yard field goal to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 16-3 with 5:27 left in the second. The Bulldogs led 16-3 at halftime.

SJSU pulled within six to cut the deficit to 16-10 with 9:43 left in the third quarter. Love rushed for a 2-yard rushing touchdown and Mercurio kicked in the extra point. The Spartans continued to trail 16-10 after the third.

DeJon Packer saved the night for the Spartans. Packer rushed for a 10-yard rushing touchdown to put the Spartans up 17-16 with 2:11 left in the fourth quarter. Packer’s touchdown was all the Spartans needed to beat Fresno State 17-16 and keep the Valley Trophy for the first time since 2016.

With the win, SJSU finished the regular season 5-7, 2-6 Mountain West. Fresno State wrapped up the season 4-8, 2-6 Mountain West.

Follow me on Twitter @AnaKieu for San Jose State football offseason updates.