San Jose, Calif. - The San José State women's basketball team led the Mountain West's top squad, the Colorado State Rams, 45-44 at the half, but shot just 10 percent (2-of-20) in the first 11 and a half minutes of the second half and lost 85-76 on Wednesday night in The Event Center.
The start to the second half spoiled what was one of the best first halves of shooting for the Spartans in awhile. Led by Aniya Baker's 15 first-half points, which came on 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range, San Jose State shots 48.5 percent (16-of-33).
Rebecca Woodberry, the team's second leading scorer at 11.6 points per game, had failed to reach double digits in each of the team's last four outings, but came out against Colorado State (21-6-13-3 MW) hitting 4-for-6 from the field, including 2-for-3 from distance, for 10 points before halftime.
Riana Byrd finished the game with six points and a game-high 11 rebounds. She swatted two Rams shots in the first half to pass Rhoda Chew (1982-85) and move into second place and the program's career blocked shots list. With 150 career blocks, Byrd is six from tying Elinor Banks (156 from 1978-81) for San José State's women's basketball career blocked shots record.
Scoring runs by each team marked the first half. The first, a 10-0 spurt, went to the Spartans. Leading 8-6 at the 16:13 mark, SJSU got a pair of Rebecca Woodberry three-pointers and a pair of Jasmine Smith layups to forge an 18-6 lead with 13:32 to go before the half.
San José State (11-15, 5-10 MW) still led 21-13 inside 11 minutes left, only to see the Rams embark on a 7-0 run of their own. In the spurt, Gritt Ryder contributed two of her 11 made free throws on the night and Colorado State trailed by one point 21-20 with 8:25 left.
The teams traded buckets until the 5:03 mark, when CSU went on a second 7-0 run. Alana Arias scored four of her 20 points on the night in the run. Trailing 40-34 with 3:07 left, Woodberry sank a runner in the lane and Baker drained a trey to draw SJSU to within a point 40-39. After Baker's fifth three ball of the half slipped through the net with 27 seconds left, the Spartans had a 45-44 lead and took it into the locker room.
The second half started and whatever momentum the Spartans had taken into the locker room was gone. A Smith layup at the 15:54 mark and a Rachol West three-pointer at 15:22 were all the field goals the team would score until Ta'Rea Cunnigan hit a jumper in the lane with 8:25 to play.
The Spartans stayed in the game by sinking 9-of-10 free throws during that time and ended the game making 18-of -22 (81 percent). It was the best performance from the line since an 85 percent effort against UC Davis on December 12.
Colorado State had a 67-61 lead after Cunnigan's bucket with 8:25 to go, but that would be as close as San José State would come. SJSU made just 23 percent of its shots in the second half while the Rams converted on 46 percent of theirs in the nine-point win.
In addition to Baker, who led the Spartans with a career-high 20 points, Cunnigan added 16, Woodberry 14 and Smith 11. Ryder paced the Rams with 22. Hanne Mestdagh scored 14.
The Spartans wrap up the home portion of the 2014-15 schedule on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. against the Nevada Wolf Pack. The game will be the Play 4Kay Pink game as well as senior day. Seniors Ta'Rea Cunnigan, Chereese Thomas and Rebecca Woodberry will be honored in a ceremony prior to tip off.
Colorado State vs San Jose State
02/25/15 7:00 p.m. at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
At San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
COLORADO STATE 85, SAN JOSE STATE 76
COLORADO STATE (21-6, 13-3 MW)
RYDER, Gritt 4-12 11-12 22; ARIAS, Alana 9-12 2-2 20; MESTDAGH, Hanne 5-8
0-0 14; NYSTROM, Ellen 3-7 2-4 8; GUSTAVSSON, Elin 2-5 3-4 7; NEWTON, AJ 1-8
3-6 6; PATRICK, Jamie 1-5 2-2 4; WHARRY, Keyora 2-2 0-0 4; WELLS, Victoria
0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-60 23-30 85.
SAN JOSE STATE (11-15, 5-10 MW)
Paris 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-67 18-22 76.
Colorado State................ 44 41 - 85
San Jose State................ 45 31 - 76
3-point goals--Colorado State 8-25 (MESTDAGH, Hanne 4-7; RYDER, Gritt 3-9;
NEWTON, AJ 1-4; PATRICK, Jamie 0-4; NYSTROM, Ellen 0-1), San Jose State
Fouled out--Colorado State-None, San Jose State-None. Rebounds--Colorado
State 40 (NYSTROM, Ellen 9), San Jose State 41 (Byrd, Riana 11).
Assists--Colorado State 22 (RYDER, Gritt 7), San Jose State 17 (Harris, Nyre
5). Total fouls--Colorado State 18, San Jose State 21. Technical
fouls--Colorado State-None, San Jose State-None. A-361