San Jose, Calif. – In what has become all too familiar for the San Jose State women’s basketball team at home this season, they battle one of the top teams in the league to the final buzzer, but in the end come up just short.
On Wednesday night it was the undefeated in conference play, Colorado State Rams who squeaked out an 80-78 win over the Spartans (6-14, 4-5 MW) in The Event Center. In its last three home games, against Fresno State, Boise State and Colorado State, SJSU is 0-3 and has lost by a combined 10 points.
Trailing 78-77 with 1:28 to play, Riana Byrd went to the free throw line with two shots. She made the first to tie the game, but missed the second. Nyre Harris battled for the rebound and came away with the ball. Rather than pulling it out and setting up the offense, Harris passed to Byrd at the right elbow where Byrd hoisted a jump shot that rimmed out.
The Rams (17-1, 7-0 MW) came down with the rebound and then made the go ahead bucket, a jumper from Emilie Hesseldal with 55 seconds to play, on the next possession.
Dezz Ramos, who scored 12 of her team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter, had missed a jumper with 42 seconds to go. Byrd had a chance to tie the game on a layup after grabbing the Ramos miss, but couldn’t convert.
Following a missed CSU three-pointer with 11 seconds to go, Byrd grabbed her 15th rebound of the game and fed Ramos who sprinted up the right side of the court. She pulled up for a jumper from 12 feet and was fouled with 1.8 seconds to play.
With Ramos, the leagues best free throw shooter at the line, it looked like the Spartans and Rams were heading for overtime. But her first attempt bounced off the back of the iron. On her second shot, which she purposely missed, the ball went right to the Rams’ Ellen Nystrom and the game was all but over.
Byrd’s 15 boards are her season-high and give her 959 for her career. She passed Rhoda Chew (946 rebounds from 1982-85) for second place on the program’s career rebound list. Her five points gives her 983 for her career. She is 17 points from becoming the program’s 14th player to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
Paris Baird gave the team a lift off the bench with a career-high 15 points. Baird was 6-for-9 from the floor and a career-best 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. She grabbed three rebounds, had two assists and led the team with two steals.
SJSU’s 78 points are the most by any team against the Rams this year and nearly 28 points above their average of 50.7 points allowed per game.
The Spartans defense forced 11 turnovers and scored 19 points off those CSU mistakes while San Jose State committed a season-low six turnovers which turned into just five Colorado State points.
The Spartans lost a close battle on the boards 45-41, but they grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and converted them into 13 second-chance points.
San Jose State’s next game is at Air Force. The Spartans and Falcons tip off at 6:00 p.m. (MT) in Colorado Springs on Saturday night.
Colorado State vs San Jose State
01/27/16 7:00 p.m. at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
At San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
COLORADO STATE 80, SAN JOSE STATE 78
COLORADO STATE (17-1, 7-0 MW)
PATRICK, Jamie 5-10 3-3 18; WHARRY, Keyora 8-17 0-0 16; GUSTAVSSON, Elin 4-7
5-6 14; NYSTROM, Ellen 4-9 3-4 12; TVRDY, Hannah 3-5 0-0 7; ARIAS, Alana
2-13 1-4 5; HESSELDAL, Emilie 2-4 0-0 4; KAISER, Callie 2-4 0-0 4; MIRKOVIC,
Veronika 0-0 0-0 0; AUSTGULEN, Stine 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-69 12-17 80.
SAN JOSE STATE (6-14, 4-5 MW)
0-0 0. Totals 26-73 16-24 78.
Colorado State................ 24 11 26 19 - 80
San Jose State................ 18 24 21 15 - 78
3-point goals--Colorado State 8-15 (PATRICK, Jamie 5-8; NYSTROM, Ellen 1-3;
GUSTAVSSON, Elin 1-1; TVRDY, Hannah 1-2; HESSELDAL, Emilie 0-1), San Jose
Fouled out--Colorado State-None, San Jose State-None. Rebounds--Colorado
State 45 (HESSELDAL, Emilie 11), San Jose State 41 (Byrd, Riana 15).
Assists--Colorado State 19 (HESSELDAL, Emilie 6), San Jose State 18 (RAMOS,
Dezz 5). Total fouls--Colorado State 17, San Jose State 13. Technical
fouls--Colorado State-None, San Jose State-None. A-492
Flagrant 1 foul on SJSU #1 at 1Q 04:18.