By Ernie Gonzalez (@superego1012):
It was a frustrating night from start to finish inside The Pit for San Jose State (3-12, 0-4 MW) men’s basketball as they were blown out against New Mexico (7-10, 2-2 MW), 80-47.
SJSU remains winless in conference play as its losing streak extends to four, while the Lobos are back in the win column and once again hold a .500 conference record.
The Spartans continued to turn the ball over at an alarming rate, as 20 giveaways made it the sixth game in a row they’ve reached that mark.
Head coach Jean Prioleau has been crystal clear about the turnover situation, saying it’s an inevitable stat this team needs to make up for by rebounding and playing defense at extremely high levels, something the team wasn’t able to do in Albuquerque.
New Mexico shot 47 percent from the field which included 13-36 from deep, while SJSU shot a sour 31.8 percent (14-44) all around, a season-low. The teams were knotted at 34 in the rebounding category, an instrumental stat that has helped keep the Spartans in games all season.
The Spartans’ leading scorer, forward Ryan Welage netted 17 points as usual, but didn’t get help from any of his teammates. Saturday marked the 12th time in 15 games Welage has led the team in scoring.
Teammate Jaycee Hillsman had quite a strange game, having nine points, all from the stripe.
Prioleau said after the loss he wanted to make an adjustment at the break, changing the game plan on the defensive end.
“We wanted to be able to switch it up a little bit,” Prioleau said. “Go zone, go man, go zone, go man, try and change the game up. It worked in the first half. It didn’t work in the second half.”
The Spartans get a two-day break before matching up against California-rival San Diego State Tuesday night.