San Jose State (5-4) vs. James Madison (4-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 22, 11:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: MGM Grand Garden Arena (7,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: None. Home Record: SJSU 3-2, JMU 1-2. Away Record: SJSU 2-2, JMU 0-3. Neutral Record: SJSU 0-0, JMU 1-1. Conference Record: SJSU 0-0, JMU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The first-ever meeting between the San Jose State Spartans and the James Madison Dukes takes place on a neutral floor on Saturday night, as the teams meet up at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas as part of the Vegas Holiday Hoops event.
The Spartans have been on a lengthy break since their last outing, a 75-54 setback against Santa Clara on Dec. 11 at home. The defeat snapped what had been a three-game win streak, which was the longest for the program in the last two seasons.
As for the Dukes, they are currently two games under .500 overall with a record of 4-6, although they have been working their way into the win column more often than not of late. Last weekend, the team dismissed UNC Greensboro by a score of 85-73 at home, capping a lengthy five-game homestand by winning four of the last five outings.
After this matchup, the Dukes will be right back in action on Sunday versus San Diego in this event as well.
San Jose State fell behind Santa Clara immediately in the last outing, the hosts shooting just 30.4 percent from the floor in the first half and then turning in an even more dismal 21.6 percent effort after the break. James Kinney tried to keep the Spartans in the mix with his 19 points on 4-of-6 shooting beyond the arc, but it wasn't nearly enough. After Kinney, who sank 6-of-16 from the floor, the other starters combined to make just 5-of-22 from the field. The team finished up the meeting at 25.0 percent from the floor, the second time in the last five games that they've failed to reach even 30 percent accuracy and yet somehow the program is still knocking down a respectable 41.5 percent overall, en route to 70.3 ppg. Kinney remains one of the top scorers in all of college basketball with his 22.6 ppg, while Chris Cunningham works the interior with 10.6 ppg and 9.8 rpg to pace the program in the latter category.
The Dukes jumped all over UNCG in the first half last weekend, the hosts shooting 56.3 percent from the floor over the first 20 minutes and at the same time holding those Spartans to just 8-of-31 (.258) shooting, en route to a 20- point lead and eventual 12-point margin of victory. Rayshawn Goins registered a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds, followed by Devon Moore who filled up his stat line with 22 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Also getting in on the action were Andrey Semenov and Ron Curry with 14 and 13 points, respectively, the latter handing out six of the unit's 18 assists. Goins, the leading scorer for the team five times already this season, is producing 14.4 ppg and is also first on the glass with close to seven and a half rebounds per outing. Semenov, who has played in only half of their 10 contests, accounts for another 11.6 ppg and is one of their top 3- point threats with 52.4 percent accuracy on the outside.
As long as Kinney can find enough open shots and Cunningham is there to clean up after him in the paint, this is a game that the Spartans should be able to capture.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Jose State 72, James Madison 65
12/22 10:39:29 ET