San Jose, Calif. - In San José State women's basketball's 59-58 win over the New Mexico Lobos, senior Riana Byrd reached a career milestone, but it was overshadowed by her game-winning bucket as time expired.
Byrd's heroics nearly never materialized. With seven seconds remaining, New Mexico's Laneah Bryan hit the first of two free throw attempts to tie the game 57-57. Bryan missed the second, which Byrd rebounded, one of her nine boards in the game.
Instead of calling time out and advancing the ball to the frontcourt, Byrd fired a pass to Nyre Harris, who was just beyond of the half court stripe. Bryan jumped into the passing lane and stole the ball. Myzhanique Ladd then fouled her with 2.7 seconds to play, sending her back to the line.
As in the previous trip, Bryan made the first free throw, to put UNM up 58-57. And again missed the second. Ladd, who finished the game with a career and game-high 12 rebounds ands scored eight points, gabbed the miss and called time out.
The Spartans (10-14, 8-5 MW) advanced the ball to the frontcourt. Ladd took it out and lobbed it to Byrd, coming off a wheel play, on the baseline. New Mexico's Jaisa Nunn jumped into the passing lane and got a hand on the ball, but Byrd gathered it, slid down the baseline and laid in the game winning shots as the buzzer sounded.
The game-winner nearly overshadowed the career milestone Byrd reached in the game. With a rebound with 6:01 to play, her fifth of the game, Byrd became just the second player in San José State history, man or woman, to reached 1,000-career rebounds. She joins San José State Hall of Famer Elinor Banks as the only players, man or woman, to score 1,000 point and grab 1,000 rebounds in their Spartans careers.
Byrd finished with nine rebounds and has 1,004 for her career and is 58 rebounds from tying Banks' career record of 1,062 boards from 1978-81.
The win is the San Jose State's fourth in a row, its longest winning streak since the 2011-12 season. And the team's eight conference equals its most in the last 10 years.
The Lobos (12-11, 5-7 MW) jumped out to a 10-4 lead, hitting 4-of-6 shots in the first five minutes, but over the next 15 minutes were just 6-for-30 including a six-plus minute scoring drought. By the time the horn sounded to end the half, SJSU led 31-22.
In the second quarter New Mexico was willing to run with the Spartans, but they paid a heavy price. They shot just 16 percent (3-of-18), missed all five three-point attempts and both free throws, scoring just six points.
The Spartans on the other hand hit 6-of-14 from the floor; repeatedly beating UNM down the floor for fast break layups. Emily Vann and Paris Baird drained threes and SJSU sank all four of its free throw attempts.
Despite the bad second quarter, Lobos weren't going away. The slowly and methodically chipped away at the SJSU lead during the third period. The Spartans held a game-high 11 point lead with seven minutes to go in the quarter, but by its end the advantage was down to just two, 44-42.
If the Spartans were going to pick up their fourth straight victory, they would have to win the fourth quarter, as they had done in their previous two wins.
A Baird jumper inside nine minutes to play gave SJSU a four-point lead, but back-to-back buckets by UNM's Nunn tied the game at 46-46.
Trailing 52-49 with four minutes to play, Dezz Ramos was fouled on a three-point attempt. She missed the shot but sank all three free throws to tie the game at 52-52. It was tied again at 57-57 with seven seconds to play, leading to Byrd's last second heroics.
Despite the Lobos height advantage, the Spartans out rebounded UNM on Saturday 44-to-40. It is the fourth time in the last five game SJSU has won the battle of the boards.
SJSU made 18-of-28 free throws, including seven of 12 attempts in the fourth quarter as compared to the Lobos who were 10-of-16 from the line for the game.
Jasmine Smith and Harris paced the Spartans offense with 12 points each. Smith was 6-of-9 from the floor and added seven rebounds. Harris was 8-of-12 from the line and, like in the UNLV win, hit critical free throws down the stretch. She also grabbed six rebounds.
Khadijah Shumpert led New Mexico with 14 points and eight rebounds.
New Mexico vs San Jose State
02/13/16 2:00 p.m. at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
At San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
SAN JOSE STATE 59, NEW MEXICO 58
NEW MEXICO (12-11, 5-7 MW)
SHUMPERT, Khadijah 6-14 2-2 14; OWENS, Bryce 5-12 3-4 13; NUNN, Jaisa 6-12
0-0 12; CHAVEZ, Alexa 3-7 1-2 7; BEYNON, Cherise 2-11 2-2 6; BRYAN, Laneah
0-2 2-4 2; JOHNSON, Whitney 1-2 0-2 2; LAPEYROLERIE, Alex 1-4 0-0 2; KELLER,
Kianna 0-1 0-0 0; BOVERO, Jayda 0-3 0-0 0; OTTO, Jannon 0-2 0-0 0. Totals
24-70 10-16 58.
SAN JOSE STATE (10-14, 8-5 MW)
- Totals 19-55 18-28 59.
New Mexico.................... 16 6 20 16 - 58
San Jose State................ 13 18 13 15 - 59
3-point goals--New Mexico 0-9 (; OWENS, Bryce 0-2; BEYNON, Cherise 0-1;
BRYAN, Laneah 0-1; LAPEYROLERIE, Alex 0-2; BOVERO, Jayda 0-1; OTTO, Jannon
out--New Mexico-None, San Jose State-None. Rebounds--New Mexico 40
(SHUMPERT, Khadijah 8), San Jose State 44 (Ladd, Myzhanique 12).
Assists--New Mexico 13 (BEYNON, Cherise 4), San Jose State 14 (Ramos, Dezz
5). Total fouls--New Mexico 24, San Jose State 15. Technical fouls--New
Mexico-None, San Jose State-None. A-291