Colorado Springs, Colo. – Some times it is scarier to face a team that hasn’t won a game in a long time than one that is winning every night. On Wednesday the San José State women’s basketball team found that out when they lost to the Air Force Falcons 83-80 in a Mountain West game.
Air Force (2-18, 1-8) was riding a 30-game conference-losing streak as well as having dropped 17 straight coming into its game with the Spartans.
San José State, which seemed to have exorcised its first-half shooting demons with a 50 percent effort against Boise State a week ago, reverted to old ways in the 6,000-foot altitude of Colorado Springs.
The Spartans (9-10, 3-5 MW) had a 23-18 lead with 7:51 to go before intermission despite hitting just 8 of their first 31 shots. Then Air Force went on a five-plus minute, 20-5 run and turned a five-point deficit into a 38-28 advantage with 2:15 to go in the half.
Back-to-back three-pointers from Aniya Baker and Rebecca Woodberry, who finished with a double double (12 points, 11 rebounds) sliced the lead to four points and the teams went to the lockers with Air Force up 41-36.
San José State hit just 25.6 percent (11-of-43) in the first 20 minutes. It trailed by just five points despite Air Force shooting 48.5 from the field in the half.
The Falcons, who were led by Jimi Blagowsky’s game-high 29 points, built an eight points advantage four times in the first five minutes of the second half. But the Spartan battled back and tied the game at 54-54, with 13:44 to play, on a pair of Ta’Rea Cunnigan free throws. It was the first of nine ties the teams would share in the second half.
Cunnigan, the schools all-time leading scorer, paced San José State with 20 points and in the process moved past 1,800 career-points. She has 1,807 and with two 3-point attempts, moved in to fifth place on the career list having taken 405 in 109 games as a Spartan.
Only one time in the last 13 minutes did either team have more than a single bucket lead and with 44 seconds left the Spartans held a 79-78 advantage.
On Air Force’s next possession they missed a foul shot, but got the rebound, missed a jumper and got another rebound. They finally converted a three-point play to take an 81-79 lead with 24 second on the clock.
Riana Byrd missed a layup for San José State, but Rachol West grabbed the offensive board. West missed a jumper, but got her own rebound and was fouled. She made one of two from the line to pull SJSU to within a point, 81-80, with four seconds left.
San José State was forced to foul. With three ticks on the clock, Angela Johnson knocked down both free throws; two of 16 points for her which went along with her 11 rebounds.
The Spartans last shot was a three from the corner by West, but it came up short and the SJSU lost 83-80.
For the game the Spartans out rebounded Air Force 50-47, including 22-9 on the offensive glass. Air Force wound up shooting 46 percent for the game to SJSU’s 34 percent.
San José State out played Air Force in points in the paint (32-to-24), points off turnovers (18-to-5), ands second chance points (18-to-10), but when they really needed it, couldn’t convert crucial second chances.
San José State has to shake this one off and get ready to host New Mexico on Saturday in The Event Center. Tip off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.
San Jose State vs Air Force Falcons
01/28/15 7:00 p.m. at Clune Arena, (USAF Academy, Colo.)
At Clune Arena, (USAF Academy, Colo.)
AIR FORCE FALCONS 83, SAN JOSE STATE 80
SAN JOSE STATE (9-10,(3-5))
Ladd, Myzhanique 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 27-79 21-34 80.
AIR FORCE FALCONS (2-18, (1-8))
BLAGOWSKY, Jimi 10-22 7-7 29; JOHNSON, Angela 5-7 6-8 16; PORTER, Cortney
6-16 1-2 16; PHILPOT, Madeleine 4-5 3-3 11; LEWIS, Lindsey 4-9 0-0 9;
GRAHAM, Sydney 1-2 0-0 2; BORNGESSER, Maggie 0-0 0-0 0; CANTU, Sarah 0-1 0-0
0; BENNETT, Dee 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 30-65 17-20 83.
San Jose State................ 36 44 - 80
Air Force Falcons............. 41 42 - 83
Cortney 3-6; BLAGOWSKY, Jimi 2-9; LEWIS, Lindsey 1-1; GRAHAM, Sydney 0-1;
CANTU, Sarah 0-1; BENNETT, Dee 0-1). Fouled out--San Jose State-HARRIS,
Nyre; Smith, Jasmine, Air Force Falcons-LEWIS, Lindsey; PHILPOT, Madeleine.
Rebounds--San Jose State 50 (Woodberry, Rebecca 11), Air Force Falcons 47
(BENNETT, Dee 12). Assists--San Jose State 11 (Baker, Aniya 3), Air Force
Falcons 21 (PORTER, Cortney 6; GRAHAM, Sydney 6). Total fouls--San Jose
State 19, Air Force Falcons 25. Technical fouls--San Jose State-None, Air
Force Falcons-None. A-149