San Jose State shoots for third straight win on Saturday

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

By Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State men’s basketball team will go for a third straight win at 7 pm on Saturday evening when the Portland State Vikings visit the Provident Credit Union Event Center.

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

SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (3-2, 0-0 Mountain West)
PPG: 68.6 | FG%: 42.2 | 3FG%: 27.0 | FT%: 58.6

NOTES: The Spartans are looking for their first three-game winning streak since 2016-17 when SJSU won four consecutive games as part of a 14-16 season. The Spartans are shooting for their fourth win of the season just three weeks into the season after posting four total wins in each of the previous two years. Seneca Knight is averaging a team-high 11.8 points per game while shooting 48.9% from the field.

PORTLAND STATE VIKINGS (1-3, 0-0 Big Sky)
PPG: 79.5 | FG%: 41.7 | 3FG%: 28.8 | FT%: 68.1

SERIES: SJSU leads, 4-1 (2-1 in San Jose)

LAST: SJSU won 76-73 in OT on 12/28/07 in Portland

NOTES: Portland State is 1-3 to start this season after going 16-16 last year, including an 11-9 mark in Big Sky play. Holland Woods is averaging a team-high 18.3 PPG. He had 27 points against Indiana and 22 on Wednesday against Portland. The Vikings are just 19-of-66 from 3-point range this season. Matt Hauser has hit nine of those 3s.

BROADCASTS
TELEVISION: None

STREAM: Stream all non-televised SJSU home games via the Mountain West Digital Network at sjsuspartans.com/watch.

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

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow @SanJoseStateMBB on Twitter for in-game updates

ZEALOUS ZACH
A constant in the Spartans’ two straight wins has been the play of reserve guard Zach Chappell. Chappell tallied a season-high 14 points in a win over Simpson on Nov. 17, going 5-of-7 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers. Chappell then posted 10 points in the win against Grambling State, again knocking down a pair of 3-pointers. The Spartans are shooting just 27.0 percent on threes on the season but Chappell is shooting 38.1% from deep.

SPARTANS STYMIE GRAMBLING STATE
Grambling State entered the game on Nov. 20 at SJSU with the nation’s No. 1 scoring offense, averaging 114 points over its first three games. The Spartans held the Tigers to 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.

EFFECTIVE EFFORT IN 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 3-pointers. 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 two points and two rebounds in six minutes.

SPARTANS STUN 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, Richard Washington, a JC transfer and former Wake Forest guard, posted a team-high 23 points off the bench on 8-of-13 shooting. He scored 12 of his 23 points in the final four minutes, including a stretch of three straight 3-pointers 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.

FOUR WINS FOLLOWED BY A TITLE
SJSU hopes to duplicate the success of the 1995-96 squad. The Spartans 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.

SEEING 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, guard Isaiah Nichols and walk-on guard Trey Smith 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 four-star recruit appeared in 17 games off the bench at Wake Forest as a freshman in 2016-17. He posted six points and four rebounds at No. 17 Xavier. Prioleau added two freshmen this season in guard Omari Moore and walk-on center Harminder Dhaliwal.

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 ESPN2 or ESPNU will carry the SJSU 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 teams. 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 matchup in Las Vegas. The Spartans will also have four Mountain West games on AT&T SportsNet this season — Jan. 15 at UNLV, Jan. 21 at New Mexico, Feb. 8 at Nevada and Feb. 29 vs. UNLV.

Hawkins to be named head football coach at UC Davis

by Charlie O. Mallonee

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Coach Dan Hawkins

Thomas Wolfe may have been wrong when he said, “You can’t go home again.” Dan Hawkins is coming home to UC Davis to become the 17th head football coach in the history of the program.

Hawkins will be officially introduced at a press conference on Tuesday at 10 a.m. by UC Davis Director of Athletics Kevin Blue.

“We are very excited to welcome Dan Hawkins back to UC Davis to lead an exciting new era of football at his alma mater,” Blue said. “Dan is a highly experienced head football coach who possesses in-depth expertise about what it takes to be successful in the modern era of Div. I college football.”

Hawkins played fullback for UC Davis under head coach Jim Sochor in 1981-82. Hawkins stayed on with the Aggies football program as an assistant coach from 1983-85.

Hawkins is best known for his time as head coach at Boise State (2001-05). He took a little known program to national prominence in the Western Athletic Conference. The Broncos compiled a 53-11 record and played in four bowl games under Hawkins leadership.

Hawkins left Boise State in 2006 to take the head coaching position at Colorado where stayed until 2010. After leaving Colorado, he worked for ESPN and in the Canadian Football League.

Hawkins started his head coaching career in Sacramento at Christian Brothers High School. He was also head coach of NAIA Willamette in Oregon.

UC Davis plays in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Series as member of the Big Sky Conference.

Information supplied by UC Davis Sports Information contributed to this report

UC Davis stumbles in the first game of Great Alaska Shootout losing to Weber State 86-55

by Charlie O. Mallonee

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Jeremy Senglin of Weber State goes to basket versus UC Davis Photo: Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News

The UC Davis Men’s Basketball team played the defending Big Sky Champion Weber State Wildcats in the first-round of the GCI Great Alaska Shootout on Thanksgiving night. The Wildcats lived up to their reputation of being a very good basketball team coming away with a 86-55 win over the Aggies (4-2).

Weber State put on a scoring barrage in the second half putting up 47 points to 26 points for UC Davis. The Wildcats shot 64.0-percent (16-for-25) from the field in the closing half and hit on 7-of- 13 opportunities beyond the 3-point line. The Aggies shot 34.8-percent in the second half and went 3-for-7 from long range.

UC Davis held a 20-9 lead in the first half, but Weber State hit 6-of-12 shots from behind the 3-point arc to make a comeback in the half. As the teams went to halftime Weber State held a 39-32 over the Aggies.

Joe Mooney was the Aggies leading scorer with 12 points. He was a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor including two 3-pointers.

“We have a lot of confidence in Joe, he is a good player. He will continue to earn minutes; you can tell that he is becoming more comfortable as the season progresses,” said head coach Jim Les.

Siler Schneider added 11 points, Chima Moneke had eight points and eight rebounds while Mikey Henn scored seven points for the Aggies.

Dusty Baker led the Wildcats scoring with 21 points in 22 minutes on the floor. Jeremy Senglin produced 20 points and was 4-for-8 from long range. Weber State (2-2) as a team shot 52.0-percent (13-for-25) from downtown.

No rest for the weary

UC Davis faces a quick turnaround as they will face Drake (1-3) in a 3:00 PST tipoff on Friday. Drake – a member of the Missouri Valley Conference – lost their first game of the tournament to Iona 64-53.

The Aggies will have one more game in the consolation bracket on Saturday at either 1:00 or 3:00 PM depending on the results of the Drake game.

This could be the last Great Alaskan Shootout

This the 39th and possibly the last Great Alaskan Shootout. The tournament has been financially challenged and now the Alaska State Legislature is threatening to reduce the funding it gives the event.

There are so many tournaments in warm weather locations that are more attractive to teams and their fans. There are also the several Las Vegas opportunities. Frankly, the winter conditions in Alaska with temperatures in twenties, snow and six-hours of daylight is not a big draw for fans who like to travel with their team.

Unless the tournament is able to find a larger corporate sponsor or a higher-paying television contract, the Great Alaskan Shootout may be history.

Portions of the information in this story were supplied by the Sports Information Departments of UC Davis and Weber State

Cal to face Portland State

By George Devine, Sr.

After losing their initial non-conference game against Northwestern, 44-30, the Golden Bears will host the Vikings of Portland State at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 7, at Memorial Stadium. PSU, a member of the Big Sky Conference, showed its mettle in defeating Eastern Oregon (NAIA), 57-17, in its first game of the season.

The game showed off the talents of the Vikings’ offense, which racked up 672 yards, 450 of them on the ground. That will challenge the Bears to ramp up their defense which allowed two Northwestern touchdowns late in the game to change the outcome. Moreover, Sonny Evans’ charges, who were easily picked off by Northwestern, will have to polish their “Bear Raid” offense – led in dramatic fashion by true freshman QB Jared Goff — against the likes of Aaron Sibley who ran an interception 64 yards into the end zone, in addition to Corey Crowder and Jeremy Lutali who each intercepted the Mountaineers. Portland State notched five turnovers in all.

Besides sharpening their general offensive skills, Cal will have to continue the inventive approach that Evans has signed his name to, what with the fake field goal that had kicker Vincenzo D’Amato actually receiving a lateral from holder Jackson Bouza and sending it back to Bouza, who reached the end zone. It is the kind of thing Evans became known for in his last post at Louisiana Tech, and it has left the Berkeley fans hungry for more.

After the Portland State game, Cal hosts one more non-conference foe, Ohio State, at 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 14. The remaining games, all Pac-12 conference games, are as follows, with kickoff times TBD:

September 28 @ Oregon
October 5 Washington State
October 12 @ UCLA
October 19 Oregon State
October 26 @ Washington
November 2 Arizona
November 9 USC
November 16 @ Colorado
November 23 @ Stanford