Courtesy: Damon Tarver

Spartans Host Santa Clara in a South Bay Battle: Game Preview

The San Jose State Spartans (5 – 3) host the Santa Clara Broncos today in a battle for bragging rights between two universities in the San Francisco south bay area.

The Spartans enter this game after a win over Sacramento State 62 – 57 at the Event Center Saturday.  The Broncos most recently defeated Pacific Union 77 – 42 in Santa Clara Saturday.  The two schools are located only several miles from each other, forming a natural rivalry between the two programs.  San Jose State is a member of the Western Athletic Conference, and will transition to the Mountain West Conference next school year.  Santa Clara remains a member of the West Coast Conference.

Conference affiliations aside, SJSU forward Chris Cunningham adds an additional wrinkle to this Battle in the Bay:  he transferred out of Santa Clara and into the San Jose State program last season.  The 6’9″ forward leads the Spartans in rebounding, averaging a double-double with 10.5 rebounds per game and 11.1 points per game.  Senior guard James Kinney is the Spartans’ leading scorer, averaging 23.0 ppg.  DJ Brown checks in at 10.5 ppg and dishes out a team-leading 4.75 assists per game.  Kinney is second on the team in rebounding at 6.4 rpg, while center Alex Brown averages 4.5 rpg.

The Spartans average 72.4 ppg and allow opponents 66.9 ppg.  They shoot 43.6% from the field, 37.2% behind the 3-point line, and 65.7% from the free throw line.

The Broncos are also led by a senior guard: Kevin Foster averages 21.3 ppg, and also dishes out 4.5 apg.  Marc Trasolini scores at a clip of 14.9 ppg, and also leads the Broncos in rebounding with 7.3 rpg.  Forward Niyi Harrison is second in rebounding at 5.7 rpb, despite playing only 13 minutes a game.  Evan Roquemore and Raymond Cowells III round out the top scorers with 12.8 and 9.3 ppg, respectively.  Roquemore leads in assists at 6.75 apg.

The Broncos average 83.0 ppg, while allowing opponents 67.4 ppg.  They shoot 47.1% from the field, 38.0% from behind the 3-point arc, and 70.8% from the charity stripe.

Both teams like to push the pace, so this could end up being a good, old-fashioned shoot out.  The match up between the inside/outside tandems of Cunningham/Kinney vs. Trasolini/Foster should be entertaining and whoever wins those match ups should come away victorious.

Tip off is at 7 pm in San Jose State’s Event Center.

Tags: Alex Brown Chris Cunningham College Basketball DJ Brown Evan Roquemore James Kinney Kevin Foster Marc Trasolini NCAA Niyi Harrison Raymond Cowells III San Jose State Spartans Santa Clara Broncos

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