San Jose, Calif. – The last three times the Fresno State Bulldogs came The Event Center, they were at or near the top of the conference standings. On Wednesday night, like the previous two encounters, they left with their tail between their legs. This time it was a 56-51 win for the Spartans.
The victory snaps San José State’s two-game skid, halts Fresno State’s undefeated run through the Mountain West and ends its 13-game win streak, which dates back to December 6, 2014.
Despite the score being in the fifty’s the game was played at a pace that suited the Spartans. They were able to push the ball on offense and on defense cause chaos for the Fresno State players.
The Spartans forced Fresno State into nine of its 25 turnovers in the first 12 minutes and despite hitting just 20 percent (4-of-20) to that point only trailed 15-10.
Over the next four minutes San José State (10-11, 4-6 MW) went on a 12-0 run led by five points each from Nyre Harris and Ta’Rea Cunnigan. Cunnigan, the leading scorer in San José State history, finished the night with nine points and nine rebounds. Harris wouldn’t score again, but she dished out four assists and grabbed two rebounds.
With 1:18 to go before intermission, Fresno State’s Shauqunna Collins hit a layup to tie the game at 22-22. It was two of her team-high 12 points.
Aniya Baker, who had seven assists and three rebounds in the game, drove a dagger through the heart of the Bulldogs as time expired in the half.
With 24 seconds to go, Riana Byrd grabbed a rebound off a Fresno State (17-4, 9-1 MW) miss. Baker brought the ball across the time line and held it as the clock wound down. With four seconds left she launched an NBA-range rainbow three that drew nothing but the bottom of the net and sent the teams to the locker rooms with San José State leading 25-22.
Despite the poor start from the field, SJSU shot 29 percent for the half and out rebounded the Bulldogs 21-20. They forced Fresno State into 16 turnovers and turned those opportunities into 11 points.
In the second half, the Spartans offense was clicking to the tune of 12-of-27 shooting. Byrd, who scored 12 of her 14 points in the second 20 minutes, got eight of those in the paint on four-of-seven shooting. Her scoring inside opened things up on the outside for Rebecca Woodberry who had 19 points, including five from beyond the arc. Byrd also recorded three blocks, which moves her into third place on the program’s career shot-blocking list with 140.
San José State took a 27-22 lead on a Cunnigan jumper in the first minute of the second half, only to see Fresno State tie the game after its next two possessions. The Spartans pushed the lead to seven points, 34-27, only to again have the Bulldogs tie it up at 36-36 inside 11 minutes to play.
Fresno State had a brief 42-40 lead with 8:27 left in regulation, but a Byrd layup tied the game and then Woodberry buried a three to give the Spartans a lead the would not relinquish in the five-point win.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 36 percent from the floor and behind the three-point line. Fresno State hit 32 percent overall and 21 percent from long range.
In addition to Collins, Fresno State had two other players in double figures led by Alex Sheedy with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Toni Smith also had 10 points.
The Spartans head out on the road for their next game. The team will be in Reno, Nev., on Saturday for a 4:00 p.m. tip off against the Wolf Pack.
Fresno State vs San Jose State
02/04/15 7:00 p.m. at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
At San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
SAN JOSE STATE 56, FRESNO STATE 51
FRESNO STATE (17-4, 9-1 MW)
COLLINS, Shauqunna 4-8 2-4 12; SHEEDY, Alex 4-12 1-2 10; SMITH, Toni 5-12
0-0 10; DRAPER, Robin 3-10 2-2 9; FURR, Alex 2-10 1-1 6; FOX, Raven 1-4 0-0
2; FAZ DAVALOS, Bego 1-3 0-0 2; HARTVICH, Natascha 0-1 0-0 0; ROVETTI,
Stephanie 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-61 6-9 51.
SAN JOSE STATE (10-11, 4-6 MW)
Fresno State.................. 22 29 - 51
San Jose State................ 25 31 - 56
3-point goals--Fresno State 5-23 (COLLINS, Shauqunna 2-3; DRAPER, Robin 1-4;
SHEEDY, Alex 1-4; FURR, Alex 1-8; HARTVICH, Natascha 0-1; ROVETTI, Stephanie
0-1; FOX, Raven 0-2), San Jose State 7-19 (Woodberry, Rebecca 5-10;
Fouled out--Fresno State-None, San Jose State-None. Rebounds--Fresno State
40 (SHEEDY, Alex 11), San Jose State 40 (Byrd, Riana 12). Assists--Fresno
State 11 (FURR, Alex 4), San Jose State 15 (Baker, Aniya 7). Total
fouls--Fresno State 9, San Jose State 10. Technical fouls--Fresno
State-None, San Jose State-SMITH, Jasmine. A-623