Feb. 12, 2014
Colorado Springs, Colo. – Three Spartans had double doubles and Ta’Rea Cunnigan moved into fourth place the program’s all-time scoring list, as the San Jose State women’s basketball team defeated the Air Force Falcons 84-71 in Clune Arena on Wednesday evening.
“Everyone played and they all contributed to this win,” head coach Jamie Craighead said of the team’s first conference road victory. “We wanted to work the ball inside and that would, in turn, open things up from the perimeter.”
The Spartans (10-13, 4-8 MW) outscored Air Force 46-to-20 in the paint including going 10-for-12 on layups, an area where they have struggled at times this year.
Ta’Rea Cunnigan scored a team-high 21 points. After a layup with 1:49 to play in the first half, she moved ahead of Hulett Brooks (1990, 92-94) into fourth place on the Spartans all-time scoring list. Cunnigan now has 1,385 career points.
“It’s certainly humbling to have your name mentioned among all the great players who have played for San Jose State. We’ve struggled at times this year, so reaching this milestone on a night when we won, makes it more special.”
Jasmine Smith went 6-for-6 from the field for 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Rebecca Woodberry also had 10 boards and scored 15 points, including sinking three 3-pointers. Riana Byrd hit 6-of-8 shots and had 12 points to go along with her 10 boards. Classye James added 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting and dished out five assists.
“I was happy with the way we controlled the boards,” said Craighead of the Spartans 48-to-41 advantage in rebounds over Air Force (1-21, 0-12 MW). “That and making our free throws (19-for-25) were two areas we focused on and we accomplished what we wanted.”
San Jose State’s largest deficit of the game was six points, 23-17 with 8:29 left in the first half. But by the 4:29 mark it was tied 30-30. A jumper by Air Force’s Jimi Blagowsky, two of her game-high 29 points, gave the Falcons their last lead of the night 35-34 with three minutes to go before halftime.
The Spartans closed the first 20 minutes on an 8-to-0 run and took a 42-35 lead to the locker rooms.
A pair of Falcon buckets to open the second half cut the lead to 42-38, but successive hoops from Byrd, Woodberry and Smith pushed the advantage to double digits and the Spartans never looked back.
Three times in the second half they had a lead to 18 points; the last at 78-60 with 2:51 to play before taking the 13-point 84-71 win. The 84 points are the most since an 81-76 win over UMKC on December 21st.
“This was a good win for us,” Cunnigan said. “We want to continue putting things like this together and get on a run to finish the year. We struggled early on (in conference play) so this winalong with our win over Fresno State last week are big for us and shows people we are better than they might have thought.”
The Spartans next game is Saturday, February 15 at Wyoming. Tip off in Arena-Auditorium is set for 2:00 p.m. (MT).
San Jose State vs Air Force
2/12/14 7:00 p.m. at USAFA, Colo. (Clune Arena)
At USAFA, Colo. (Clune Arena)
SAN JOSE STATE 84, AIR FORCE 71
SAN JOSE STATE (10-13, 4-8)
Paris 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 30-67 19-25 84.
AIR FORCE (1-21, 0-12)
BLAGOWSKY, Jimi 11-19 3-6 29; BYRD, Missy 5-6 3-5 13; LEWIS, Lindsey 4-12
3-6 12; THOMPSON, Camille 4-14 0-0 9; LUJAN, Kelly 2-6 0-0 4; JACKSON, Myah
1-3 2-3 4; PHILPOT, Madeleine 0-4 0-0 0; CAVANAUGH, Mary 0-6 0-0 0; FOTSCH,
Sarah 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-71 11-20 71.
San Jose State................ 42 42 - 84
Air Force..................... 35 36 - 71
Ta'Rea 0-4), Air Force 6-13 (BLAGOWSKY, Jimi 4-4; LEWIS, Lindsey 1-2;
THOMPSON, Camille 1-1; CAVANAUGH, Mary 0-5; LUJAN, Kelly 0-1). Fouled
out--San Jose State-None, Air Force-None. Rebounds--San Jose State 48
(LEWIS, Lindsey 10). Assists--San Jose State 17 (Hall, Britta 5; JAMES,
Classye 5), Air Force 21 (THOMPSON, Camille 9). Total fouls--San Jose State
18, Air Force 19. Technical fouls--San Jose State-None, Air Force-None.