San Jose St. Spartans vs. Utah St. Aggies Pick & Prediction MARCH 6th 2024

No. 22 Utah State will continue its bid to claim the No. 1 seed for next week’s Mountain West postseason tournament when it visits hapless San Jose State on Wednesday night.

The Aggies (24-5, 12-4) are tied for first place with Boise State but hold the tiebreaker edge by virtue of sweeping the two regular-season games against the Broncos.

Complicating matters is that No. 21 San Diego State, Nevada and UNLV all have 11-5 league marks with two games to go.

However, Utah State has defeated the Spartans in 37 of the past 40 meetings. But Aggies coach Danny Sprinkle doesn’t want to hear about series domination, conference tournament seedings or tiebreaker scenarios.

“We are not worried about anything but San Jose State on Wednesday,” Sprinkle said. “… We are still turning the ball over too much. We need to get better and clean up some things still.”

The Aggies have won three consecutive games after going through a stretch in which they lost three of five. They began the winning streak with a home victory over then-No. 19 San Diego State and an overtime road win at Fresno State before posting a 72-60 home victory over Air Force on Friday.

Ian Martinez scored 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field against Air Force for his fifth effort of 20 or more points this season. Martinez had averaged 5.0 on 3-of-16 shooting over the previous two games.

“I had been missing a lot of shots lately, so it kind of got my confidence going,” Martinez said of seeing the ball go through the net. “I think it gave us a little rhythm, too.”

Martinez ranks second on the Aggies in scoring at 13.2 points per game. He stepped up on a night in which star Great Osobor had to leave for part of the game after taking a knee to the head.

“He had a pretty big gash that they went and put some stitches in,” Sprinkle said.

Osobor struggled after his return and finished with just six points and three rebounds. He has team-best averages of 17.5 points and 9.0 rebounds a game.

Osobor was in top form when Utah State rolled to an 82-61 home win over San Jose State on Jan. 30.

He scored 31 points — one shy of his career high — and was 9 of 15 from the field and 13 of 19 from the free-throw line in the easy triumph.

Martinez didn’t miss a single shot while scoring 16 points. He made four 3-pointers while going 6 of 6 from the field. Myron Amey Jr. scored 14 points to lead the Spartans.

Amey has team-best averages of 15.5 points and 5.0 rebounds for San Jose State (9-21, 2-15) and also has knocked down a team-leading 67 3-pointers.

But Amey had a rough outing when the Spartans lost 68-50 to host UNLV on Saturday night. He scored just six points on 1-of-9 shooting.

Alvaro Cardenas led San Jose State with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting. He ranks second on the squad in scoring with a 12.9 average.

However, the Spartans were down 33-18 at halftime and trailed by as many as 22 points during their fifth straight setback and 12th in the past 13 games.

“We just dug too big of a hole early,” San Jose State coach Tim Miles said. “I thought the second half was a good effort. We played even for a while, and we cut into their lead and had some real chances.

“But our offense wasn’t good enough the whole night. Our rebounding wasn’t good enough.”

–Field Level Media

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