Fresno State - SJSU Saturday night

It improbably was Elton John who sang "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" and that's just what San Jose State will do against the visiting Fresno State Bulldogs on Saturday night.

These two teams met earlier and it was Paul George who primarily put FSU over the top.

We wrote this about the January 11 matchup between these two teams:

There's body by Jake. Lies by Fox. Candy by See's. Tonight, it was win by George -- Paul George. On offense and defense, the long-armed Fresno State sophomore dominated with points (29) and steals (3) as his Bulldogs won 80-70 in Fresno.

Teammate Mychal Ladd played big like surname namesake Ernie, nailing five three-pointers for his total of 15. Sylvester Seay added 19.

Mac Peterson was dialed up long distance like never before nailing a total of seven three-pointers for 21 points. Chris Oakes doubled-doubled again with 12 points and 13 boards. Adrian Oliver totaled 12.

The Bulldogs kept the second half lead around nine to 11 points until a Peterson trey pulled the Spartans within five at the 13 minute mark. A short while later, another Peterson three-pointer pulled SJSU to within four. Fresno State kept scoring but Robert Owens also buried a three to make it 54-50. Then FSU sped away and returned the point differential to the previous nine to 11 spread.

Fresno State is now undefeated in the WAC at 3-0 and has a five game home winning streak.

At the half, it was Fresno in front 38-29. Peterson nailed 5-7 three-point attempts at that point to lead the Spartans with 15 points. Oakes and Webster both missed time with two fouls apiece in the initial 20 minutes.

What kind of game was it? Try this: 6-foot-8 Nedeljko Golubovic came into the game shooting 4-22 on treys but, of course, he nailed a three-pointer in the first half.

Fresno State went 13-30 from long distance as a team, San Jose State 10-24.

The Spartans won the battle of the boards 38-31.

Webster left midway in the second half with an apparent eye injury after being poked. He totaled 15 minutes of playing time.

Fresno State in WAC play

01/02/10 vs. Boise State W, 71-68
01/09/10 vs. Hawai'i W, 78-64
01/11/10 vs. San Jose State W, 80-70
01/14/10 @ Louisiana Tech L, 81-73
01/16/10 @ New Mexico State L, 86-77
01/21/10 vs. Utah State L, 69-43
01/23/10 vs. Nevada W, 87-77
01/28/10 @ Idaho L, 74-59
01/30/10 @ Boise State L, 65-49
02/06/10 @ Hawai'i W, 61-51
02/11/10 vs. New Mexico State W, 83-64
02/13/10 vs. Idaho L, 68-59
02/17/10 @ Nevada L, 74-70
02/20/10 vs. UC Santa Barbara L, 64-60
02/23/10 vs. Cal State Bakersfield W, 79-68

Steve Cleveland's Starting Five

6-foot-10 Greg Smith: the odds-on favorite for WAC Rookie of the Year, he's a force inside but has been bothered by a shoulder injury -- keep him off the offensive boards as 34 or his 81 total rebounds in WAC action have been offensive

6-10 Sylvester Seay: averaging 15.3 ppg. along with a team-leading 6.9 boards, he shoots well from the floor (at 46%) but only 30% from three-point range but has been lessening his number of longrange attempts per game

6-foot-8 Paul George: call him the Bulldog stats stuffer as he tops the team in scoring (19.3) and is third (but not by much) in rebounding (6.1), plus at or near the top in most everything else -- he missed four games earlier due to an ankle injury

6-foot-5 Mychal Ladd: how's this for an anomaly as the kid is shooting 40% on his three-pointers but just 41% overall -- this despite having marvelous athleticism which he could seemingly employ attacking the rim -- however, he's solid as a catch-and-shoot scorer but not much of a creator

6-foot-2 Steven Shepp: FSU badly needed a viable point guard and brought in Shepp from the junior college ranks -- his shooting numbers have dropped in conference action but he possesses a 62/34 assist-to-turnover ration in conference games

The Cavalry

6-foot-8 Nedeljko Golubovic: A thumb injury has curtailed his shooting prowess but he plays intelligently

6-foot-7 Jerry Brown: he is playing a bit more now as a true freshman, adding energy more than anything else when he enters a game

6-foot-4 Brandon Sperling: the backup at the point

The Bulldog Roster by position

Greg Smith Center 6-10 250 FR

Justin Johnson Forward 6-6 205 FR
Sylvester Seay Forward 6-10 235 SR
Nedeljko Golubovic Forward 6-8 245 JR

Jerry Brown, Jr. Guard/Forward 6-7 195 FR
Paul George Guard/Forward 6-8 210 SO
Garrett Johnson Guard/Forward 6-5 190 FR

Taylor Kelly Guard 6-2 200 FR
Mychal Ladd Guard 6-5 190 SO
Steven Shepp Guard 6-2 170 SO
Brandon Sperling Guard 6-4 180 SO

Jonathan Wills Guard 6-6 180 JR (is redshirting)

What To Expect

- Here's the most recent take on Paul George from the player himself: "This last practice is when I noticed I was able to explode and able to cut with explosiveness and able to plant and move," he said. "That's when I really noticed that it's pain free." -- George played 32 minutes in the last Fresno State game so consider him fine

- Also, Greg Smith went 7-8 from the floor against Bakersfield so count him as 100% or close to it

- This has nothing to do with the game but it's a great story -- from the BarkBoard message board: "I use to live and die with every Bulldog loss. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night because I was so bummed out. But, taking my son to the games has made the games so much more enjoyable for me. The main reason is because my son has a blast whether we win or lose and we have some truly great role models on the team as well. This past Saturday, we went to both the women's and men's basketball games. We sit near the court, so as the men's team was warming up before the game, my son yelled at Steven Shepp and put his thumb up and Shepp smiled and put his thumb up to him as well. Then, when the starting line-up was announced right before tip-off, Shepp ran off the court and over to our seats and handed my son the red ball they throw out to the crowd before the games. It was one of the classiest things that anyone has ever done and my son was on cloud 9! During the game, he kept saying Steven Shepp was his best friend!! This is why I love college athletics and why I will always support the Dogs, whether they win or lose!! These student athletes deserve our support no matter what!! Thank you Mr. Shepp for making my son's day!!

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Kevin McCarthy is the Basketball Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Kevin with any questions, comments, or tips at

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