Fresno, Calif. - Trailing 53-42 after three periods, the San Jose State women's basketball team shot 70 percent (7-of-10) in the fourth quarter and made 8-of-10 free throws defeating the Fresno State Bulldogs 66-64 on Wednesday night in the Save Mart Center.
Senior Riana Byrd entered the game 13 points from becoming the 14th player in Spartan's history to reach 1,000 for her career. She hit a layup with 5:37 to play in the fourth for her 1,000th point and finished with a game-high 17, including four critical free throws and eight total points in the fourth quarter.
In addition, Byrd equaled Myzhanique Ladd with a game-high eight rebounds and enters the last seven games of the regular season 22 rebounds from 1,000 for her career. When she reaches that milestone, she join Elinor Banks as the only players in San Jose State women's basketball with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in their careers.
Byrd's bucket with 5:37 to play brought the Spartans (8-14, 6-5 MW) to within four points of Fresno State 57-53. On the Bulldogs ensuing possession Byrd stole the ball and after being fouled on the other end sank a pair of free throws to make it a two-point game.
Fresno State missed a three-pointer. Nyre Harris got the rebound. Raced to the other end and hit a jumper to tie the game at 57-57. After a Fresno State layup, Byrd responded with one of her own to tie it up again.
With 2:52 to play, Emily Vann drained a three-pointer to give SJSU its first lead of the game 62-59. Fresno's Shaquanna Collins made two free throws to cut the lead to a single point, but Vann came right back and hit two for the Spartans to return the cushion to three, 64-61.
It was 65-61 with one minute to play when a Brittany Aikens three-pointer cut the lead back one. The score was still 65-64 with 11 seconds to play when Collins drove the lane and had her potential go-ahead layup swatted away by Byrd. Harris came away with the ball and was fouled with five seconds left. She made one of her two free throws to make it a two-point game, 66-64.
Fresno State called time out and moved the ball to the frontcourt. With three fouls to give, the Spartans used them all. They were able to bleed all but 0.8 seconds from the game clock. On its fourth and final inbound attempt, Fresno State (12-8, 8-1 MW) got the ball into center Bego Faz Davalos, who had her desperation shot blocked by Harris to preserve the win for the Spartans.
The win is the first for SJSU in Fresno State's Save Mart Center, which was opened 2003 and the team's first win in Fresno since in the 2001-02 season.
The Spartans were down by a high of 15 points two times in the second quarter, before closing the half on an 11-3 run to make it a 37-30 game at intermission.
Fresno State outshot the Spartans 47 percent (25-of-53) to 38 percent (23-of-61), but SJSU went to the line 12 more times and made eight more free throws than the Bulldogs.
The Spartans also won the battle of the boards 37-to-32 including 16-to-8 on the offensive glass.
In addition to Byrd's 17 points, Dezz Ramos had 11 and Harris tossed in 10. Ladd contributed nine points to go along with her eight rebounds.
Alex Furr led Fresno State with 12 points on four three-pointers.
San José State will enjoy its first bye of the conference schedule on Saturday and will get back to action on Wednesday, February 10 when its hosts UNLV in The Event Center. Tip is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
San Jose State vs Fresno State
2/3/16 7:05 p.m. at Fresno, Calif. (Save Mart Center)
At Fresno, Calif. (Save Mart Center)
SAN JOSE STATE 66, FRESNO STATE 64
SAN JOSE STATE (8-14 (6-5 MW))
- Totals 23-61 15-20 66.
FRESNO STATE (12-8 (8-1 MW))
FURR, Alex 4-8 0-0 12; COLLINS, Shauqunna 3-4 5-6 11; SMITH, Toni 5-10 0-0
10; AIKENS, Brittany 3-8 2-2 9; FAULK, Moriah 4-7 0-0 8; FAZ DAVALOS, Bego
4-10 0-0 8; KNISHKA, Breanne 2-4 0-0 6; VOLK, Emilie 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 25-53
San Jose State................ 11 19 12 24 - 66
Fresno State.................. 25 12 16 11 - 64
Fresno State 7-19 (FURR, Alex 4-8; KNISHKA, Breanne 2-4; AIKENS, Brittany
1-4; FAULK, Moriah 0-2; VOLK, Emilie 0-1). Fouled out--San Jose State-None,
Fresno State-None. Rebounds--San Jose State 37 (Byrd, Riana 8; LADD,
Myzhanique 8), Fresno State 32 (SMITH, Toni 7). Assists--San Jose State 12
DAVALOS, Bego 5). Total fouls--San Jose State 10, Fresno State 16. Technical
fouls--San Jose State-None, Fresno State-None. A-1564