Fresno State (9-7, 2-0 WAC) hosts San Jose State (8-6, 1-1 WAC) on Monday night at 7 p.m.
Jan. 10, 2010
FRESNO, Calif. -
The Fresno State Bulldogs, who sport a 2-0 record in Western Athletic Conference play, will meet longtime rival San Jose State on Monday night at 7 p.m. in the Save Mart Center. Head Coach Steve Cleveland and the Bulldogs own a three-game winning streak. The Dogs have won their past five straight at home and six of their past seven home contests. Fresno State is one of two WAC teams that remains undefeated in conference action.
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Fresno State (9-7, 2-0 WAC) vs San Jose State (8-6, 1-1 WAC)
Date: Monday, January 11, 2010 (Tip Off: 7:00 p.m. PT)
Site: Save Mart Center (15,596); Fresno, Calif.
Radio: KMJ 580 AM (Paul Loeffler/Randy Rosenbloom)
Online: Bulldog All-Access on www.GoBulldogs.com
Cleveland's Focus on Defense, Winning at Home Elevates Program
In the offseason, Cleveland placed a recharged emphasis that defense helps win championships and getting a defensive stop is just as effective as scoring. Through the first half of the season, Fresno State is reaping the results by leading the WAC in steals, blocked shots and holding opponents to under 40 percent from the field. In his fifth season, Cleveland notes how championship teams defend their home floor. With five consecutive home victories, the Bulldogs are focused on winning their final eight games in the Save Mart Center.
`Dogs Ready to Make Run in Experienced and Talented WAC
Cleveland and the Bulldogs know that conference play is the most important time of the year. Fresno State starts with three WAC home games for the first time in the Cleveland Era and the first time since the 2002-03 season when the Dogs went 4-0 in four WAC home games. The WAC returned 8 of 10 2008-09 All-WAC honorees, including the Bulldogs' forward Sylvester Seay, for this season. The top eight teams qualify for the 2010 WAC Tournament.
About the Spartans
The San Jose State Spartans, a member of the Western Athletic Conference, is 6-6 on the season and 1-1 in league play, with 78-75 home victory over Idaho and a 96-67 road loss at Nevada. Adrian Oliver leads the Spartans with an average of 21 points per game and Chris Oakes paces SJSU on the boards with more than 10 rebounds per contest.
Against the Spartans
Fresno State leads the overall series with San Jose State (76-72). The Bulldogs have won 19 of the past 24 meetings between the two schools and seven of the past eight contests. Fresno State and SJSU have competed at least once a year since 1968.
George Growing as Defender, Scorer and Team Leader
Sophomore Paul George is growing into his role as an astute defender, multi-dimensional scorer and leader-by-example. He is the Bulldogs' top scorer (17.3 ppg), rebounder (7.8 rpg), steals machine (2.8 spg), best free throw shooter (91.4%) and owns the most minutes played (33.6 mpg). In his 50-game Bulldog career, George (Palmdale, Calif.) is the only Bulldog to start every game the last two seasons. The sophomore is also known for his exciting high-flying and thunderous dunks, 3-point prowess and strong defensive effort.
Shepp Starring in Rookie Campaign
Sophomore Steven Shepp is showing his visionary style for running the Bulldog offense. As a transfer from Allegany College of Maryland, Shepp spent the first month of games sparking the team from the bench before earning his starting role in every game since the start of December. His passionate approach to the game and pass-first philosophy led to a career-high nine assists versus NDSU (Dec. 21). He also presents a deep threat to score.
Seay Steps Up Aggressiveness, Shining as Only Senior
For the second straight season, Fresno State fields just one senior. This year, senior Sylvester Seay stepped into the veteran role as one of the team leaders to guide a talented and young group of Bulldogs. Seay's relentless style of play has helped spark a defensive resurgence and offensive efficiency. Seay (San Bernardino, Calif) has begun embracing his leadership role and setting the standard for his younger teammates.
LAST TIME: Bulldogs Pound Warriors, Extend Home Win Streak to 5
Sophomore guard/forward Paul George led an energized and motivated Bulldog men's basketball team with a game-high 21 points and nine rebounds in Fresno State's 78-64 wire-to-wire victory over Western Athletic Conference rival Hawai'i on Saturday night. The 14-point win was the largest against the Hawai'i Warriors since 2001.
Come See Dogs Fly On Mission for WAC Championship
With the Fresno State men's basketball team expected to compete for a WAC championship with exciting offensive sets and strong defensive pressure, Bulldog fans can see their Dogs fly and packages are available for every budget. The Bulldogs play six home games this month so the Red Wave can celebrate throughout the holiday season with their family and friends. Tickets are available at the Save Mart Center Box Office or Ticketmaster locations. All seating for mini plans is in the premier lower bowl and can be purchased at the Bulldog Ticket Office by calling (559) 278-3647 or by logging onto www.gobulldogs.com.
"We Are Your Team!" -- Catch the Bulldogs fly by the Spartans on Monday night at 7 p.m. in the Save Mart Center. Get your tickets today at www.gobulldogs.com