Courtesy: Ilya Pinchuk (Moscow, Idaho)
|On the road again|
Game 11: Idaho (5-6, 1-0) at San Jose State (7-5, 2-0)
When: Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 (7 p.m. PT)
Where: San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
Radio: Vandal Radio Network/VandalXtra
Online Video: www.SJSUSpartans.com
Live Stats: www.SJSUSpartans.com
A Look at the Spartans
San Jose State is 7-5 overall and 2-0 in WAC play for the first time in school history after posting back-to-back road wins last week at Texas State (72-55) and UTSA (80-67). SJSU averages 71.1 points per game on 43.1 percent shooting, while limiting opponents to 67.4 points and a .394 clip. The Spartans also out-rebound opponents by a +7.5 margin per game and average 14 offensive rebounds per game. SJSU earns nearly 22 free throw attempts per game and shoots 67.6 percent from the free throw line. Senior guard James Kinney (21.5 pts/gm) is tops in the WAC and seventh in the NCAA in scoring this season. He’s also 15th in the nation with 2.6 steals per game. Junior forward Chris Cunningham is second in the WAC in rebounding at 9.4 per game.
San Jose State Head Coach George Nessman
George Nessman is in his eighth season at San Jose State, where he holds a 84-146 overall record. The Spartans went 9-22 last season, but in 2011, Nessman led the team to the first round of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI), its first postseason action since 1996. His 28-year coaching career includes stints at De La Salle High School (Concord, Calif.), Porterville CC and Bakersfield CC. He was also an assistant at Cal for one season in 2004-05.
Idaho won its fifth-consecutive WAC road opener on Saturday at Seattle U, 71-64. Idaho trailed by as many as seven points in the second half, but closed out the game on a 14-4 to claim the win. Senior center tallied his second-consecutive 20/10 game with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while junior guard Robert Harris nailed three clutch 3-pointers in the final three minutes.
Vandals vs. Spartans
Idaho swept the season series last year, but San Jose State holds a 13-10 edge all-time in a series that dates back to the 1926-27 season. Grab your popcorn, because these games always seem to be close. Of the 23 games in series history, 16 have been decided by single figures. Nine of the last 10 games have been decided by eight points or less and the teams played a double-overtime thriller on Feb. 3, 2011, at the Cowan Spectrum. Last time Idaho visited SJSU on March 3, 2012, the team shot 65 percent overall and 71 percent from 3-point range in the second half to secure a 70-64 win.
Creeping Up on the Ten Spot
After his second-consecutive 20/10 game on Dec. 29 at Seattle U, senior center Kyle Barone inched closer to Idaho’s all-time top-10 list for career points. He’s now at 1,097 and needs 19 more points to pass Deon Watson (1990-94) for No. 10 at Idaho. At his current scoring pace, Barone could crack the top five all-time at Idaho by the end of the regular season. With 99 more points, he’ll become the all-time leading scorer among post players in Idaho history.
Yeah, He Can Shoot, Too
Junior guard Robert Harris entered Idaho’s Dec. 29 game at Seattle U with a 2-of-5 career tally from 3-point range. He went 4-of-8 in the game and clinched the team’s comeback win with back-to-back-to-back triples on consecutive possessions in the final three minutes.
Back-to-Back 20/10 Games
With 24 points and 10 rebounds on Dec. 20 against Boise State and then 25 points and 11 boards on Dec. 29 at Seattle U, senior center Kyle Barone became the first Vandal man since Orlando Lightfoot in 1993-94 to post consecutive 20-point, 10-rebound performances. Barone has three 20/10 games this season and six in his career. He has the most 20/10 games by any Vandal since Lightfoot, the team’s all-time leading scorer, but he’s unlikely to catch Lightfoot, who had more than 30 such games in his three-year career.
Click on the PDF link above to view complete game notes.