By Lindsey Boyd @lindsboyd3
Comeback season is in the works for SJSU Men’s Basketball (3-11, 0-3 MW) after it forced UNLV into overtime last Wednesday. The Spartans, who are ranked last in the Mountain West Conference, ultimately lost 82-76 to a team ranked six spots above them.
The close game boosted their confidence as they travel to play against New Mexico (6-10, MW 1-2) who stands just two spots ahead of them.
New Mexico (6-10, MW 1-2) is coming off a two game losing streak against the two best teams in the conference. It had a tight 77-74 loss to Nevada and were most recently blown out 90-62 against the top team, Boise State.
As seen repeatedly this season, SJSU’s defense-driven play is battling against a heavily offense-focused team. Head Coach Jean Prioleau has put strong emphasis on crashing the boards. It averages the second best rebounding defense in the conference with 30 per game and has the second best rebounding margin of +7.9, right behind Boise State.
The difference in the game will come from turnovers. SJSU has the worst turnover margin in the conference, whereas New Mexico has the best.
SJSU also has had some trouble getting out on transition and breaking through the screens that allow it’s opponents to shoot threes. It will have to watch out especially for junior Anthony Mathis whose 47.1 three-point percentage puts him in the No. 3 spots in the Mountain West.
Not to mention, the Lobos are ranked No. 6 in the nation for 3-point field goal attempts with 500, and No. 13 for 3-point makes per game with 10.9.
Freshman Noah Baumann has been starting off hot for the Spartans and continues to hold down the team on offense with Ryan Welage who averages over 18 points a game.
Tip-off is at 7 p.m. in New Mexico.