Reno, Nev. – The San José State women’s basketball team a snapped a seven-game conference road losing streak and came away with its first overtime win in four tries this season in an 80-77 overtime victory over the Nevada Wolf Pack on Saturday afternoon.
“This is the second game in a row that we followed the game plan and it paid off with a win,” said head coach Jamie Craighead. “We’ve talked about flipping the page after the first half of the conference schedule. We’re 2-0 in the second half (of Mountain West play). We beat the top team in the league a few days ago and got this one on the road, in overtime. I hope we are starting to believe we can win anywhere and against anyone.”
Ta’Rea Cunnigan led all scorers with a career-high 35 points and picked up nine of the team’s 19 steals, also a career-high.
Tied 66-66 at the end of regulation, the Spartans (11-11, 5-6 MW) did all their scoring in the first two minutes of the extra period from the free throw line. Cunnigan hit three shots from the charity stripe, while Nevada (4-17, 2-8 MW) got two layups and a pair of free throws and led 72-69 with three minutes to play.
At the two minute mark Nyre Harris, who had seven points, four steals and eight rebounds, sank a pair of free throws to get San José State within a point 72-71. Thirty seconds later Cunnigan nailed a three-pointer to put the Spartans in front 74-72.
On Nevada’s next possession, Aniya Baker stepped into the passing lane, stole the ball and put the Spartans up by four 76-72 with 56 seconds to play. Baker sank a pair of free throws with 20 seconds left increasing SJSU’s lead to 78-72.
Nevada’s Iman Lathan cut the lead to 78-74 on two free throws with 12 seconds remaining. San José State then put the ball and the game in the hands of Cunnigan. She was fouled with 10 seconds left, calmly walked to the line and knocked down both free throws putting the lead back to six, 80-74.
But Nevada wasn’t done. With five seconds to go, Ashley Jones canned a trey and then Nevada fouled Baker with 3 ticks on the clock. Baker, who finished with eight points, six rebounds and four assists, missed both free throws. Lathan heaved the ball from three-quarter court for Nevada but it fell short as the buzzer sounded.
Cunnigan scored eight of the team’s 14 points in the extra period.
The Spartans shot 32 percent for the game (28-of-87). The Wolf Pack were slightly better at 33 percent (26-of-77). Neither team was impressive from the line either. SJSU was 18-of-29 (62 percent) while Nevada was 18-of-32 (56 percent). However, in the extra period the Spartans made nine free throws to the Wolf Pack’s four.
“Ta’Rea was unbelievable, “ Craighead said. “There were a couple of sequences, when we needed it, where she just took over the game. She was unstoppable.”
Nevada controlled the glass 74-51, including grabbing 30 offensive boards. Mimi Mungedi, a 6-8 center, hauled down 29 rebounds for the Wolf Pack and led her team with 24 points.
“A player like (Mungedi), someone that tall, is hard for anyone to defend,” Craighead said. “I thought we did a good job packing it in and trying to deny her easy buckets. She got most of her points of rebounds.”
The Spartans have six days off before their next game. They return to action next Saturday, February 14, when they host the Wyoming Cowgirls in The Event Center. Tip off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.
San Jose State vs Nevada
02/07/15 4 pm at Reno, Nev. (Lawlor Events Center)
At Reno, Nev. (Lawlor Events Center)
SAN JOSE STATE 80, NEVADA 77
SAN JOSE STATE (11-11, 5-6 MW)
28-87 18-29 80.
NEVADA (6-15, 2-8 MW)
MUNGEDI, Mimi 9-16 6-14 24; CAMERON, Anna 5-16 3-4 16; BURNS, Emily 4-17 5-6
15; LATHAN, Iman 5-15 4-8 14; JONES, Ashlee 2-4 0-0 6; LESURE, Nyasha 1-7
0-0 2; REEVES, Kayla 0-0 0-0 0; SHELBOURN, Julia 0-0 0-0 0; JOHNSON, Aja 0-1
0-0 0; ZELLER, Teige 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-77 18-32 77.
San Jose State................ 35 31 14 - 80
Nevada........................ 37 29 11 - 77
0-6), Nevada 7-19 (CAMERON, Anna 3-8; BURNS, Emily 2-6; JONES, Ashlee 2-4;
LATHAN, Iman 0-1). Fouled out--San Jose State-BYRD, Riana; Smith, Jasmine,
Nevada-BURNS, Emily. Rebounds--San Jose State 51 (Byrd, Riana 9), Nevada 74
(MUNGEDI, Mimi 29). Assists--San Jose State 15 (Baker, Aniya 4), Nevada 16
(LATHAN, Iman 7). Total fouls--San Jose State 25, Nevada 20. Technical
fouls--San Jose State-None, Nevada-None. A-1067