Jan. 4, 2014
San Jose, Calif. - The San Jose State women's basketball team suffered a nine minute span in the first half in which they couldn't buy a field goal and fell 78-65 to the Utah State Aggies in their Mountain West home opener on Saturday afternoon on Walt McPherson Court.
"We struggled for an extended amount of time in the first half," head coach Jamie Craighead said. "It was a game up to that point, but we need to be consistent for 40 minutes to win.
The Spartans went down 11-3 in the first three and a half minutes, but battled back on back-to-back 3-pointers from Classye James, who led the team with 15 points, and Britta Hal. Hall hit a free throw and another 3-pointer to tie the game at 13-13.
Jasmine Smith, who along with Riana Byrd each grabbed a game-high10 rebounds, scored a layup with 11:17 left in the first to tie it again at 18-18, but the Spartans (6-7, 0-2 MW) then went ice cold. They didn't score a bucket for the next nine minutes. The team missed 13 straight shot attempts, went 2-for-7 from the line and turned the ball over seven times in the span
Over the same stretch, Utah State (8-5, 2-0 MW) hit 10-of-17 shots including seven layups. By the time the Spartans stopped the run, on a Rachol West 3-pointer, the Aggies had built a 42-23 lead and took a 43-26 lead in to the half.
Utah State opened the second half with an 8-0 run, opening a 25-point advantage and had their biggest lead of the game, 27 points, at 69-42 with 6:31 to play.
"We could have easily folded at that point, but I am proud that we fought through it and battled back," said Craighead. "We worked the press, started to get turnovers and got buckets going the other way. We need to have that type of effort from the start of the game."
Paris Baird scored five of her eight points and grabbed four of her seven rebounds, both season-highs, as the Spartans sliced the Utah State lead in half over the final six minutes.
Ta'Rea Cunnigan, the second leading scorer in the Mountain West, didn't score her first field goal until 16:55 were left in the game. She finished with 13
Among four players in double figures, Utah State got 18 points from Jennifer Schlott, the conference's leading scorer at 23.1 points per game.
San Jose State returns to action next week with road games at Colorado State (1/8) and New Mexico (1/11).
Utah State vs San Jose State
01/04/14 2:00 p.m. at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
At San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
UTAH STATE 78, SAN JOSE STATE 65
UTAH STATE (8-5, 2-0 MW)
SCHLOTT, Jennifer 7-20 3-4 18; VAAULU, Franny 6-11 0-0 12; NELSON,Elise 5-8
1-2 11; BAIRSTOW, Stephanie 5-11 0-0 10; CLONINGER, Shelby 2-9 3-4 9;
PORTER, Jasmine 2-3 0-0 5; TURNER, Cristal 2-4 0-0 5; STRIKAS, Ingrida 2-4
0-3 4; JOHNSON, Lynette 1-3 1-2 3; MILES,Mariah 0-0 1-2 1; LANDRETH, Liz 0-0
0-0 0; DJUKIC, Tijana 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-73 9-17 78.
SAN JOSE STATE (6-7, 0-2 MW)
Utah State.................... 43 35 - 78
San Jose State................ 26 39 - 65
3-point goals--Utah State 5-14 (CLONINGER, Shelby 2-7; TURNER, Cristal 1-1;
PORTER, Jasmine 1-1; SCHLOTT, Jennifer 1-2; BAIRSTOW, Stephanie 0-3), San
out--Utah State-NELSON,Elise; JOHNSON, Lynette, San Jose State-SMITH,
Jasmine. Rebounds--Utah State 44 (STRIKAS, Ingrida 9), San Jose State 49
7), San Jose State 11 (Cunnigan, Ta'Rea 3). Total fouls--Utah State 23, San
Jose State 18. Technical fouls--Utah State-NELSON,Elise, San Jose
State-SMITH, Jasmine. A-328