13 January 2011

On the road, SJSU wins first conference game ever

Today in a close road game in Ruston, La., the San Jose State Spartans men's basketball team beat the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 79-74. SJSU led as many as ten points early in the game, but an 11-0 run by LT gave the home team a 39-38 halftime lead. SJSU fought back from behind to secure a four-point lead as the second half wrapped up, and LT missed a potentially tying three-pointer with just 2 seconds left, and SJSU made two subsequent free throws to seal the win. More at ESPN and Spartan Hoops. As SJSU is now 9-7 overall and 1-4 in the WAC, LT is 9-9 overall and 0-4 in the WAC.

Adrian Oliver sat out today due to concussion-like symptoms.

SJSU vs. LT last year
SJSU: 14-17 (6-10 WAC); first round WAC tournament
LT: 24-11 (9-7 WAC); second round WAC tournament and second round of CollegeInsider.com tournament

LT at SJSU, Jan. 21, 2010: SJSU 87, LT 76. That game, Oliver scored a career-high 39 points.
SJSU at LT, Feb. 4, 2010: LT 71, SJSU 64.

Next game: at New Mexico State
The defending WAC champion New Mexico State Aggies are recovering from a shaky pre-conference 6-8 start with a 3-1 WAC record (and are now overall 9-9 like LT). This game is the last of a three-game home stand for NMSU, which has won the first two games vs. Fresno State (80-68 last Saturday) and Hawaii (82-64 today). NMSU's one WAC loss was on New Year's Eve at Boise State, 81-78.

Although SJSU made a comeback home victory vs. NMSU on January 23, 2010, as part of a slump as the season ended included a loss in New Mexico State two weeks later.

Local media in Las Cruces, N.M. was cautiously optimistic: Las Cruces Sun-News sports writer Jason Groves previewed today's game with this headline "Aggies can't afford to let down." Yet he asserted: "New Mexico State has proven it can play with the top teams in the Western Athletic Conference. The Aggies knocked off Fresno State last weekend when the Bulldogs were unbeaten. They suffered a three-point loss at first-place Boise State on opening weekend." SJSU's challenge to NMSU is "the No. 3 scorer in the country in senior guard Adrian Oliver, who is averaging 24.2 points per game."


"Coach told us to stay focused and don't follow our record," Aggies sophomore wing Tyrone Watson said. "They are not the teams that their record is. They have had to travel and go through the process of not having legs. They are very capable. We have seen them on film and we know them from last year and San Jose beat us last year once. We are not taking anything for granted."

The SJSU/NMSU game will be on Saturday at 6PM Pacific time and broadcast live on KSJS-FM 90.5 for SJSU fans but not on any regional radio in New Mexico and on ESPN3.com.

Still one team with a perfect WAC record
Utah State beat Boise State on the road 68-59 and remains the only WAC team without a conference loss, having now a record of 15-2 overall and 4-0 in conference. Boise State is now 4-1 in WAC and 11-6 overall.

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