Photo credit: @SJSUMBB
By: Ana Kieu
SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Jose State men’s basketball will play their final regular season game of 2019 on the road this Saturday. SJSU will take on Fresno State at the Save Mart Center beginning at 4:00 pm PST. Fans can stream the game online on the Mountain West Network and can listen to Justin Allegri’s radio call on the TuneIn app.
San Jose State (4-25, 1-16) at Fresno State (21-8, 12-5)
Saturday, March 9, 4:00 pm PST
Save Mart Center (15,956)
Fans can view live stats of all SJSU men’s basketball games, home and away, by accessing the Live Stats feature at www.sjsuspartans.com. Click on the link on the men’s basketball schedule page to follow the action.
What Would a Win Mean?
The Spartans are looking for win #5 on the season, which would be the most in the last two seasons since going 14-16 in 2016-17. A win over the Bulldogs in the Save Mart Center would be SJSU’s first win in Fresno since 2009.
Recapping Game #1 vs. Fresno State
Fresno State held a slim 29-25 lead with 6:34 to play in the first half before they scored the final 18 points of the half to take control. Although, they cooled off in the second half shooting and were just 3-of-15 from the 3-point range in the half, SJSU was unable to climb back into the contest and fell 73-53
Michael Steadman led the Spartans with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Newcomers Getting Things Done
SJSU has played nine first-year players this season, including regular starters Michael Steadman, Zach Chappell, Craig LeCesne and Brae Ivey. The newcomers are accounting for 69.4% of the Spartans’ offense (1,323-1,905).
Steadman alone is accounting for 20% of the team’s offense with 386 points (20.2%).
Baumann Like a Boss
Sophomore Noah Baumann is shooting lights out from beyond the arc this season, so good in fact that he leads the Mountain West and ranks 10th in the NCAA in 3-point percentage at 46.0%. Baumann also ranks in the top-10 in the MW in 3-pointers per game (2.6).
Baumann set a new school record of 22 consecutive games with a 3-point bucket made against UNLV on Feb. 16, breaking a tie with Robert Owens, who closed out 2009-10 on a 21-game streak, for the new record. His streak is currently at 27.
In SJSU’s loss to Utah State, Baumann had one of the most impressive performances of his career as he scored a career-high 29 points and tied the then-school record with seven 3-pointers (7-of-10). He also set career highs in 3-point attempts and field goal attempts.
Baumann has hit the school record in 3-point makes twice the season, the second time, however, vs. New Mexico, he broke the record outright with 8. He finished 8-of-12 from 3-point range to lead the Spartans to a win over New Mexico.
Not satisfied with just two, Baumann once again made seven 3s in the home finale vs. Wyoming. Six of his seven came in the first half. He finished the night with a game-high 27 points.
Baumann holds the first, second and third highest-scoring performances by a Spartan this season with 29 vs. USU, 27 vs. WYO and 26 vs. UNM. He is averaging 11.5 points in conference play, second-most on the team (Steadman). He is also averaging 15.0 points in the last five games.
Freshman Zach Chappell has come on strong as of late, starting the last six games and averaging 9.0 points in the last five games. Against UNLV, Chappell finished with 11 points, a career-high six rebounds and nine assists – tied for the most by a Spartan this season. He had 10 points vs. Colorado State.
In SJSU’s win over UNM, Chappell finished with a career-high 17 points and dished out 9 assists. He now has two games with 9 assists on the season, which is tied with Craig LeCesne for the most by any Spartan.
Chappell then scored 14 points at San Diego State.
Chastain Taking Over
Junior Ashtin Chastain has been tasked to fill in the gap in the starting lineup with senior Oumar Barry sidelined by injury. Chastain has started the last 12 games in his stead.
Reviewing SJSU’s Big Win Over UNM
SJSU’s 89-82 win over UNM was a historic night in the Event Center. Not only did it break a 17-game losing streak, it also featured a plethora of records.
The win was the second all-time against the Lobos and the first-ever in SJ.
Baumann broke his own school record with eight 3-pointers on 8-of-12 shooting. He finished with a team-best 26 points.
Brae Ivey tied a school record with six steals on the evening. He is 1 of multiple players to tally 6 steals, but just the first to do so since Justin Graham vs. Santa Clara (12/10/10).
Steadman had his second-straight game with 21 points as well as his second-straight double-double. He had 10 made field goals and 20 field goal attempts, both the most by a Spartan this season.
Steadman and Baumann became the first duo to score 20 points this season and were the first to do so since Ryan Welage and Jaycee Hillsman vs. Wyoming in the Mountain West Tournament last season (3/7/18).
Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau made some changes to his staff in the offseason as he brought in former NC State All-American Julius Hodge as an assistant coach and promoted director of operations Ryan Cooper to assistant coach.
Freshman Seneca Knight has upped his game recently as well. In his last five games, he is averaging 9.0 points, fourth-best on the team in that stretch. Against CSU, he led the team with a 14-point performance. He followed with 12 points at Air Force and had 12 more at SDSU.
JUCO transfer Michael Steadman has made a big impact this season as a leader on and off the court. He is averaging a team-high 13.3 points per game and ranks fifth in the MW with 8.5 rebounds per game. He has 11 double-doubles on the season, ranking third in the MW and has scored in double figures in 21-of-28 games. He also has 13 games with double-digit rebounds.
He leads the Spartans with five games with at least 20 points, and has twice achieved the feat in back-to-back efforts. First was against AF and USU. He put up a career-high 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in the loss to AF. He then followed up with 20 points at USU.
His second such streak started with a career-best 17 rebounds to go with 21 points at AF. He followed with 21 points and pulled down 11 boards in the win over UNM.
He is averaging 14.8 points per game in the last five games and is averaging 13.2 in MW games.
He is currently riding a four-game streak with a double-double. In his last outing, he scored 12 points to go with 10 points vs. WYO. He is averaging 16.5 points and 1.3 rebounds in the streak.
Prioleau has used 10 different lineups throughout the season with no one player starting each time out. Barry had started the first 17 games before an injury kept him out of the lineup the last four games. Seven newcomers have made starts, including Knight, Chappell, Trey Smith and Christian Anigwe.
Importance of Baumann and Steadman
In SJSU’s four wins this season, there have been two critical factors: Baumann and Steadman.
In those four games, the pair is averaging 15.3 points each. Steadman has pulled down 11.3 rebounds in those games, while Baumann has been red-hot from 3-point range in each game, averaging 69.6% from the 3-point range (16-23).
On the Board(s)
SJSU ranks third in the MW in offensive boards with 11.0 per game. They rank fifth in defensive boards with 26.2.
Series History: Fresno State
The longstanding rivalry between SJSU and Fresno State will see the 173rd game of the series played on Saturday. The series dates back to 12/18/16 in a 58-32 Spartan victory. In the first of two games this season, the Spartans fell to the Bulldogs 73-53 in the Event Center.
The Bulldogs enter the game currently third in the MW standings at 12-5 in MW play. They lead the conference in 3-point shooting at .375 and also lead in 3-point defense at .301. Braxton Huggins and Deshon Taylor both rank in the top six in scoring in the NCAA, while Nate Grimes is the third-best rebounder with a 9.4 per game average.
Baumann Chasing History
Noah Baumann is having a season to remember in his second season as the Spartans’ sharpshooter. In addition to breaking two school records already (consecutive games with a 3 and single-game 3-pointers), he is quickly ascending the single-season mark for made 3-pointers.
He is 75-163 from the 3-point range with one regular season games to go. His 75 makes are currently tied for the second-most in school history.
He hit seven 3s against WYO in his last outing, moving up from a tie for sixth on the list to a tie for second.