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.

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.

San Jose State Spartans podcast with Ana Kieu: SJSU to battle Fresno State in football season finale; SJSU men’s basketball exceeds expectations; plus more

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateFB

On the SJSU Spartans podcast with Ana:

1. Football: SJSU dropped a heartbreaker at UNLV 38-35 on Saturday, November 23rd.

2. Football: SJSU gets ready to host arch-rival Fresno State in season finale on Saturday, November 30th.

3. Men’s basketball: SJSU got blown out by Portland State at home 91-76 on Saturday, November 23rd.

4. Men’s basketball: SJSU got blown out by Oregon State at Las Vegas Classic 83-48 on Wednesday, November 27th.

5. Men’s basketball: SJSU heads to UCLA to take on the Bruins on Sunday, December 1st.

Ana’s Final thoughts

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

San Jose State to host Fresno State for the Valley Trophy

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

By Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State football team hasn’t seized the Valley Trophy since 2016. Can the Spartans snap the Fresno State Bulldogs’ two-game win streak in the fierce Mountain West rivalry this Saturday? We don’t know, but we can tell you what you need to know about Saturday’s matchup.

GAME #12
San Jose State vs. Fresno State
CEFCU Stadium, San Jose, Calif.
Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, 7:30 pm PT
ESPN2

SAN JOSE STATE RECORD
4-7, 1-6 Mountain West. Most recently, the Spartans lost at UNLV, 42-40, on Nov. 23 in a MW game. SJSU seeks to end a three-game losing streak and finish a season with a victory for the fourth time in five seasons.

FRESNO STATE RECORD
4-7, 2-5 Mountain West The Bulldogs lost to Nevada, 35-28, on Nov.  23, in a MW contest. UNLV is in the midst of a three-game losing streak.

RADIO COVERAGE
KKSF (910 AM, Oakland), RealTalk 910, is the new flagship radio station for SJSU football. Justin Allegri calls the play-by-play. Kevin Richardson provides commentary. The UNLV broadcast begins at 7:00 pm PT with a pregame show.

Network affiliates are KION (1460 AM/101.1 FM, Salinas), KFIV (1360 AM, Modesto), KWSX (1280 AM, Stockton).

The San Jose State vs. Fresno State broadcast with Allegri and Richardson calling the action also will be carried on www.siriusxm.com Channel 976.

KSJS (90.5FM, San Jose) also will carry a play-by-play broadcast of the SJSU vs. Fresno State football game. Air time is 7:15 pm PT with a pregame show.

TELEVISION
ESPN2 will provide broadcast coverage beginning at 7:30 pm PT. Dave Lamont calls the play-by-play. Ray Bentley provides commentary. Taylor McGregor is the sideline reporter.

SERIES HISTORY
Fresno State leads the series, 42-37-3, in a series that began in 1921. The Spartans have faced the Bulldogs more times than any other opponent and vice versa.

Fresno State has won the last two meetings between these teams including a 31-13 victory last year in Fresno. SJSU’s last win in the series was a 16-14 triumph in Fresno to conclude the 2016 season.

Since 2013, the teams have played for the Valley Trophy signifying SJSU’s representation of the metropolitan, high-tech Silicon Valley and Fresno State representing the agricultural-rich San Joaquin Valley. Each team has kept the oversized Valley Trophy for three seasons.

The 2019 game marks the 21st time SJSU is finishing a regular season against Fresno State. The Bulldogs are winners of 14 of these 20 games, but the Spartans have triumphs in three of the last four season finales for the two teams with wins in 2016 (16-14 at Fresno), 2013 (62-52 in San Jose) and 2011 (27-24 in Fresno).

The 2013 victory over then-#16-ranked and unbeaten Fresno State was SJSU’s last win over a top-20 ranked opponent. The Spartans are 3-4 against the Bulldogs with wins in 2013, 1990 and 1986 when Fresno State was a nationally-ranked opponent.

The 83rd meeting between these teams also is the first time since 2008 the teams are concluding a regular season on ESPN2.

REGULAR SEASON FINALE
SJSU is 5-5 in its last 10 regular season finales. The last time the Spartans finished the regular season with a win was a 20-17 victory over Wyoming in 2017 inside CEFCU Stadium.

SENIOR NIGHT
For SJSU, 18 seniors are expected to participate in Senior Night pregame activities. Eleven of the 18 can be considered starting players. Five of the 18, tight end Brett Foley, punter Alex Galland, defensive back Chandler Hawkins, and offensive linemen Deano Motes and Quinn Oseland are pursuing master’s degrees. The 2019 senior class is the largest in Brent Brennan’s three seasons as the Spartans’ head coach.

POINTS GALORE
SJSU has scored 344 points in its first 11 games. The current point total is the most by the Spartans in a season since 2015 when the team won the AutoNation Cure Bowl in a 13-game season scoring 363 points.

The last season SJSU scored at least 344 points in a 12-game regular season was in 2013 when the team scored 389 points.

30-POINT GAMES IN 2019
SJSU has scored 30 or more points in eight of its 11 games this season compared to four a year ago. The last time SJSU scored 30 or more points eight times in a season was in 2012 when the Spartans posted an 11-2 win-loss record and a Military Bowl victory.

In its football history dating back to 1893, SJSU hasn’t scored 30 or more points nine times in one season.

JOSH LOVE
With a late-season surge, Spartans quarterback Josh Love made his way into the MW’s top-10 in several categories.

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

San Jose State gets blown out at home by Portland State, 91-76

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State men’s basketball team concluded its homestand with a game versus the Portland State Vikings on Saturday evening at Provident Credit Union Event Center. SJSU also hoped to win their third straight game.

On the contrary, SJSU was unable to keep the winning ways rolling. Portland State had the game from start to finish.

The Spartans played from behind from the get-go as the Vikings jumped out to an 11-point lead at the 10:22 mark before Richard Washington swung the momentum back to the Spartans’ favor with a deep 3-pointer. Zach Chappell scored the next 9 SJSU points with three triples to cut the deficit to 3 at 26-23. But the Spartans just couldn’t keep  up as the Vikings closed out the first half with a 14-6 run to take a 40-30 lead into the locker room.

Portland State showed no signs of slowing down out of the break. The Vikings extended the lead to 16 at the second media timeout at 52-36. The Vikings’ 15-2 run then put the game out of reach as they claimed a 24-point advantage. SJSU turned the ball over five times in the span and finished the night with 20 turnovers.

SJSU, however, didn’t go down without a fight. Seneca Knight sparked an 11-0 SJSU run that cut the lead down to 69-56 with 5:13 to go before a Portland State 3 put an end to it. After a pair of Chappell free throws, the lead was cut to 11, which was as close as the Spartans would get. Portland State hit free throws in the final minutes to shut the door and pick up their second win of the season.

The Spartans (3-3) were held to a 40% shooting clip and was 28% from behind the arc after putting up 25 shots. They made just 3-of-10 in the second half.

SJSU got most of their points (47) from off the bench as Washington (18) and Chappell (17) combined for 35 points. Knight, who was held scoreless until 7:36 remaining, finished with 17 points of his own. Washington pulled down a team-high 8 boards.

Despite a poor start from the free throw line in the first half, SJSU fared well in the second half, going 16-of-17 from the charity strip

Portland State (2-3) was led by Matt Hauser’s game-high 24 points. Hauser was one of six Vikings to reach double-digits. The team shot 44% for the evening.

The Spartans head to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Oregon State Beavers on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 8 pm PST.

SJSU Spartans podcast with Ana Kieu: Has football bye helped?; Does home court help men’s basketball?; plus more

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateFB

On the SJSU Spartans podcast with Ana:

1. Football: SJSU was on a bye week last week. The Spartans take on the UNLV Rebels on Saturday, Nov. 23.

2. Men’s basketball: SJSU hosted the Simpson Red Hawks on Sunday, Nov. 17.

3. Men’s soccer: Fourth-seeded CSU Bakersfield scored a late goal to end SJSU’s postseason on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

4. Women’s basketball: SJSU picked up first road victory with 73-70 win over UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Nov. 15.

5. Women’s golf: SJSU signed two winning golfers for the 2020-21 season.

Ana’s final thoughts…

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