Idaho (5-6) at San Jose State (7-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 3, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Event Center (5,000) -- San Jose, California. Television: None. Home Record: Idaho 3-2, SJSU 3-2. Away Record: Idaho 2-3, SJSU 4-2. Neutral Record: Idaho 0-1, SJSU 0-1. Conference Record: Idaho 1-0, SJSU 2-0. Series Record: San Jose State leads, 13-10.
GAME NOTES: Off to a 2-0 start in Western Athletic Conference play for the first time in school history, the San Jose State Spartans try to keep the good times rolling on Thursday night as they entertain the Idaho Vandals.
The Spartans began the 2012-13 campaign with consecutive defeats to New Orleans and Houston, but since then the team has rattled off seven wins in 10 chances. On New Year's Eve, the team tamed Texas-San Antonio, 80-67, on the road in order to move to 2-0 in league play.
As for the Vandals, they too began their WAC slate on a positive note with a 71-64 victory over one of the newest additions to the league, Seattle University, on Dec. 29. The win was the second in three games for a program that opened the season with four defeats in five outings.
San Jose State still leads the all-time series between the teams by a count of 13-10, even after being swept by the Vandals last season. Nine of the last 10 meetings have been decided by eight points or less.
Kyle Barone delivered a double-double consisting of 25 points and 11 rebounds as he helped guide the Vandals to the seven-point win over the Seattle Redhawks in WAC play at KeyArena. Also scoring in double figures for the Vandals were Robert Harris and Connor Hill with 16 and 12 points, respectively, as the Vandals held Seattle to just 4-of-17 shooting behind the 3-point line and outscored the hosts at the charity stripe, 20-10. Barone is playing close to 33 minutes per game for the Vandals, using his time to shoot 61.1 percent from the field en route to a team-best 16.4 ppg. Barone is also first on the unit with better than eight rebounds per contest and he has blocked a total of 13 shots, which is also a team-best as they average fewer than three rejections per outing. Stephen Madison accounts for another 15.0 ppg and while he is less than reliable from 3-point range (.231), Hill (10.3 ppg) is picking up the slack in that department with 45.2 percent accuracy.
James Kinney scored 22 points and handed out seven assists as the Spartans defeated the Roadrunners of Texas-San Antonio by 13 points on the road in a Western Athletic Conference bout at the Convocation Center. Also scoring in double figures for the Spartans were Chris Cunningham and LaVanne Pennington who tallied 19 and 16 points, respectively, the former adding eight boards and three assists as he shot a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor for an SJSU squad that finished the day knocking down 9-of-18 shots out on the perimeter and held the Roadrunners to only 39.3 percent accuracy from the field overall. The defense for the Spartans has been right on so far this season, holding the competition to just 39.4 percent shooting from the floor and 32.1 percent beyond the arc, yet SJSU is still only outscoring the enemy by less than four points per game. Kinney is doing all he can to boost the scoring punch for SJSU with his 21.5 ppg, one of the top averages in college basketball at the moment.
Kinney is a tough matchup for most defenses and that will again be the case on Thursday for the visiting Vandals as they try and keep SJSU from piling up the league wins early on.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Jose State 73, Idaho 66
01/03 10:41:02 ET