Jan. 11, 2014
Albuquerque, N. M. - The San Jose State women's basketball team had its best performance in four Mountain West games, but lost to the New Mexico Lobos 80-68 on Saturday afternoon in The Pit.
"I saw real improvement tonight," said head coach Jamie Craighead. "I was happy with the effort on both ends of the court and we competed really hard for all 40 minutes. We need this type of effort every night."
The Spartans had four players in double figures getting 15 points each from Ta'Rea Cunnigan, Classye James and Jasmine Smith. Riana Byrd added 12 points, all coming with three fouls in the second half. Rebecca Woodberry grabbed a team-best seven rebounds.
San José State, which had been struggling from the field for the last five games, shot 41 percent in the first half and 40 percent for the game. It was the first time since shooting 44.9 percent against Georgia State on December 18, that the Spartans were above 39 percent from the floor.
SJSU hit 12-of-29 shots in the first 20 minutes, 10 of which were layups, and had a 19-18 lead on a Smith hoop with 7:52 to play in the half. When Paris Baird hit a jumper in the lane with 2:14 before the intermission the score was 32-29 in favor of the Lobos.
New Mexico (7-7, 2-1 MW) closed the period with a pair of free throws from Deeva Vaughn, two more free throws and a 3-pointer from Sara Halasz and went to the locker room with a 39-29 lead. Vaughn finished the game with 21 points and Halasz had 23 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
New Mexico opened a 58-40 lead with 11:29 to play, but the Spartans refused to go away. San José State put together a 14-to-2 run over five minutes keyed by seven points from Cunnigan. With 6:35 left the Lobos' 18-point lead was down to six, 60-54.
It was still a six-point margin with 1:39 to play, forcing the Spartans to foul to stop the clock. The did so three times, but New Mexico hit all their free throws and San Jose State was unable to score with their possessions and lost 80-68.
"I was happy to see Ta'Rea (Cunnigan) get back on track tonight," Craighead said, "and Riana (Byrd) and Jasmine (Smith) were strong on the baseline for us. Now we need to get Becca (Woodberry) hitting the outside shots."
All night the Spartans struggled to find their touch from long range, hitting just two-of-14 3-point attempts. But they had success working the ball inside with 20 of their 25 buckets coming off layups.
San José State's next game is in the Event Center on Wednesday, January 15 at 7:00 p.m. against the Air Force Falcons.
San Jose State vs New Mexico
01/11/14 2:00 p.m. at Albuquerque, N.M. (The Pit)
At Albuquerque, N.M. (The Pit)
NEW MEXICO 80, SAN JOSE STATE 68
SAN JOSE STATE (6-9, 0-4 MW)
0-2 0-0 0. Totals 25-63 16-25 68.
NEW MEXICO (7-7, 2-1 MW)
HALASZ, Sara 9-17 4-4 23; VAUGHN, Deeva 9-13 3-4 21; BROWN, Antiesha 6-12
6-6 19; KELLER, Kianna 4-7 2-5 10; OWENS, Bryce 1-9 0-0 3; CHAVEZ, Alexa 1-4
0-1 2; MITCHELL, Brea 1-4 0-0 2; LAPEYROLERIE, Alex 0-0 0-0 0; GREENWOOD,
Josie 0-0 0-0 0; ALLEMAND, Brooke 0-4 0-1 0. Totals 31-70 15-21 80.
San Jose State................ 29 39 - 68
New Mexico.................... 39 41 - 80
0-1; Cunnigan, Ta'Rea 0-3), New Mexico 3-15 (BROWN, Antiesha 1-3; OWENS,
Bryce 1-4; HALASZ, Sara 1-4; MITCHELL, Brea 0-2; ALLEMAND, Brooke 0-2).
New Mexico-VAUGHN, Deeva; KELLER, Kianna. Rebounds--San Jose State 34
(Smith, Jasmine 9), New Mexico 51 (HALASZ, Sara 14). Assists--San Jose State
12 (Cunnigan, Ta'Rea 4), New Mexico 22 (CHAVEZ, Alexa 6). Total fouls--San
Jose State 22, New Mexico 21. Technical fouls--San Jose State-None, New