Bulldogs and Spartans to meet for the first of two times this season on Saturday in San Jose
Feb. 6, 2014
Fresno State Game Notes
Game #22 Feb. 8, 2014 2 p.m. PT
The Event Center (5,000) San Jose, Calif.
Fresno State (13-8, 7-3 MW) at San Jose State (8-13, 2-8 MW)
Series record: Fresno State leads 51-18
Last Meeting: SJSU 62, Fresno State 61 (2/25/12 San Jose, Calif.)
Radio: ESPN2 790 AM
Live Stats: GoBulldogs.com
TV: Mountain West Network
Fresno State, currently sitting in second place in the Mountain West, travels to face San Jose State on Saturday for a 2 p.m. game.
This will be the first meeting between the schools this season and the first as members of the MW. Fresno State joined the league last season and won the conference tournament. SJSU joined the conference this year and is currently 8-13 overall and 2-8 in the league. The Spartans are led by first-year head coach Jamie Craighead.
San Jose State and Utah State are the only two teams in the conference the Bulldogs have not faced yet this season. Fresno State plays Utah State on Feb. 22 in the only meeting between the schools this year. Then on March 7 in the regular season finale, the Bulldogs will host SJSU for the second meeting before heading off to the 2014 Reese's Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev.
With a 7-3 league record the Bulldogs are tied with Boise State for second in the conference. Fresno State defeated the Broncos back on Jan. 4 and play at BSU on Feb. 26. Both schools are chasing Colorado State who is 9-1 overall in the league. Fresno State handed CSU its only MW loss back on Jan. 11 and travels to face the Rams in Fort Collins, Colo. in one week, Feb. 15.
Since opening up MW play with four-straight wins, the Bulldogs have since not won back-to-back games, going 3-3 after that win over Colorado State that was the last of the winning streak.
The Bulldogs look for a win over San Jose State to remain in the hunt for the league title.
Fresno State had won 20-straight games over the Spartans before SJSU ended the skid by winning the last game played between schools back on Feb. 25, 2012.
► The Bulldogs started out MW play by winning three-straight on the road, but have since dropped their last two away games. Fresno State looks to get back on track against the Spartans where it has a 13-5 record when playing at San Jose State over the last 20 years.
► Over the last five games, Fresno State has shot 42.8 percent from the field and hit 31 3-pointers. Guard Alex Furr, who has started in three-straight games for the 'Dogs, has accounted for 11 of those 31 three's. For the season, Furr is shooting 42.1 percent from downtown.
► The Bulldogs are on the last half of the MW schedule and only have eight remaining league games before the MW Tournament that runs March 10-15 in Las Vegas.
► Fresno State's Feb. 12 game against Nevada will be its Breast Cancer Awareness Game that benefits the Susan G. Komen Central Valley organization and the Play4Kay initiative. The Bulldogs will be wearing pink uniforms during the game and they will be auctioned off afterwards on GoBulldogs.com with all proceeds benefiting both charitable organizations.
Scouting San Jose State
San Jose State enters Saturday's game having a week's rest before playing the Bulldogs. The Spartans are 8-13 overall and 2-8 in MW play, having lost four-straight. The Spartans are however 7-4 overall at home this year. SJSU features the Mountain West's second-highest scoring offense that averages 77.7 points per game and are led by junior guard Ta'Rea Cunnigan, who ranks second in the MW in scoring at 19.2 points per game. SJSU, however, is last in the conference in scoring defense, giving up an average of 87.5 points per game and have allowed a league-high 176 3-pointers this year. Fresno State is tied for the conference lead with 162 made three's on the season.
Series History with San Jose State
The Bulldogs and Spartans have met 69 times before, but Saturday's game will be the first for both schools as members of the Mountain West. Fresno State has won 20 of the last 21 games in the series going back to 2003, but that one loss on Feb. 25, 2012 came in the last game between the schools. Fresno State leads the all-time series 51-18.
Furr Stepping Up
Junior guard Alex Furr over the last five games has seen her role increase and she has stepped up to the plate and been a main scoring contributor for the Bulldogs. Over the last five games she is averaging 10.8 points while shooting 50 percent from the field and knocking down 11 of her 20 3-point attempts. She started the run by scoring a career-high 22 points in a win at New Mexico, Jan. 18. Furr hit four 3-pointers in that win, which she matched in Wednesday's victory over Air Force. Furr led the Bulldogs in scoring for the second time this year when she went for 14 points against the Falcons on 5-of-6 shooting, including 4-of-4 from 3-point land. Her hot streak has vaulted her into the starting lineup for the 'Dogs these past three games.
In each of the last two games, center Jacinta Vandenberg has finished just shy of recording a double-double. On Jan. 29 at Wyoming, she matched her career-high with 15 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Then on Wednesday in the win over Air Force, Vandenberg had 12 points and nine rebounds in just 19 minutes of action. She leads the team with 6.4 rebounds per game this season and is averaging 6.8 points per game.
Junior forward Jessy Saint-Felix has scored 18 points combining the last two games. Before these last two games, she had scored a total of 10 points all season in 10 games played. She scored eight points on 4-of-6 shooting with three rebounds in eight minutes of action at Wyoming. Then on Wednesday she notched her first career game scoring in double figures with 10 points and two rebounds in 13 minutes of action.
Senior guard Taylor Thompson has scored in double-figures in 11-straight games and leads the team in scoring at 13.3 points per game. She is also second in the league in steals with 2.2 per game and is sixth in the MW in assists with 4.3 per game. Thompson has 431 career assists, which ranks fourth in school history. She need 15 more to move into third place on that record list. Thompson is also Fresno State's all-time leader in steals with 287 and is closing in on 300 in her career.
In the 76-49 victory over Air Force on Wednesday, the Bulldogs forced 27 turnovers and recorded a season-high 18 steals. Guard Robin Draper set a new personal-best with four steals in the game while Bree Farley had five for her second game this season with five or more steals.
The Bulldogs have out-rebounded their last three opponents, which included a 13-board advantage in the win over UNLV (Jan. 25) and an 11-rebound edge over Air Force (Feb. 5). Those are two of just six games this season where the 'Dogs have held an advantage of 10 or more boards on the glass.