San Diego State Aztecs vs San Jose State Spartans
Tip off: Wednesday, January 6, 7 p.m. PST
San Diego State comes home to host San Jose State after holding off the Utah State Aggies 67-70. The Aztecs have started strong in Mountain West play going 2-0 propelled by good play from senior Winston Shepard. The Spartans come into Viejas Arena looking for their first victory in Mountain West play this season, and their first win at San Diego State since the 1996-1997 season.
Despite coming home to his apartment burglarized after their trip to Utah State, Winston Shepard had great back-to-back games against Wyoming ( 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 1 assist) and Utah State (18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, shooting 43.8%). This play is what Steve Fisher and the team hoped for since their dismal start to the 2015-2016 season. Maybe Shepard recovers some of his swagger and funnels his frustrations after having his possessions stolen days before.
For San Jose State it’s hasn't gone smoothly. Never mind the 0-2 in conference play, they haven’t won a single Mountain West Conference game since the 2013-2014 season. Literally, their lone victory that season came against Nevada. This year they have rallied under senior forward Frank Rogers who posts an average stat line of 14.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game.
Although Rogers is really shining this year, it’s hard to see the Spartans in pulling off the upset at Viejas Arena in front of The Show. San Diego State continues to dominate on defense, holding their opponents to 60.3 average points per game (8th in the nation). San Jose State scores an average of 75.6 points per game, but their last Div.I victory was against San Diego. Normally for the Aztecs, home games against teams like the Spartans were almost guaranteed wins, but since losing to Grand Canyon, Little Rock and San Diego, it all depends on who scores for the night. Both San Diego State and San Jose State has their work cut out for them, but San Diego State will work less and smarter.
Prediction: San Jose State 59, San Diego State 69