March 4, 2014
San Jose, Calif. - Riana Byrd grabbed a career-best 20 rebounds and blocked four shots, none more important than with the Spartans leading 63-61 and 21 seconds remaining to play. Byrd was fouled on the play and sank both free throws to ultimately seal a San José State women's basketball victory 65-64 over the Colorado State Rams on Tuesday night on Walt McPherson Court.
"I told the team that we had nothing to lose," head coach Jamie Craighead said after the game. "I think we were loose and executed our game plan and the result is we beat a good team."
Byrd, the second leading rebounder in the Mountain West at 9.2 per game, was a force on the boards from the start. She grabbed 11 rebounds in the first half, while she and the Spartans (11-17, 5-12 MW) held the Rams, who shoot a conference-best 43 percent, to just 31.5 percent on the night.
"The key to this game was our defense and holding them to one-shot opportunities," Byrd said. San José State controlled the boards to the tune of 51-to-42 and pulled down 37 defensive rebounds.
Coming out both teams were tight and struggled from the floor. With 7:58 to go in the first half, San José State led 15-14. Colorado State was just 5-of-24 (21 percent) while the Spartans were slightly better shooting 30 percent (6-of-20) to that point.
The lead changed six times in the final eight minutes of the half and San José State took a 27-25 lead at intermission. It was just the third time the Spartans had a lead going to the half in 17 conference games.
The Rams scored two quick buckets to open the second period and regain the lead 29-27. SJSU answered with a 9-to-1 run led by two buckets from Byrd and a 3-pointer from Ta'Rea Cunnigan, who finished with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
The Rams responded with a 7-to-0 run of their own and regained the lead 37-36 with 12:05 to play.
The game was tied 49-49 at the 7:17 mark. The lead changed seven times and was tied twice until a Cunnigan layup with 2:56 to go, gave San José State a 58-56 lead.
Colorado State's AJ Newton scored five of her 13 points on the next two possessions to trim the lead to 63-61 with 1:38 to play.
Byrd blocked a shot, grabbed the rebound and hit two free throw, to push the SJSU lead back to four points, 65-61.
With eight seconds left Sam Martin, who led Colorado State with 17 points, hit a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game.
Woodberry, who was 33-for-33 from the free throw line in conference play, was fouled with five seconds left, but missed both opportunities. Woodberry had nine rebounds and seven points on the night. Hall had a season-high seven boards.
With one second remaining a desperation half court heave came up short for the Rams and for the third year in a row San José State had won it home finale.
The Spartans wrap up the conference regular season on Friday at Fresno State. Tip off in the Save Mart Center is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Colorado State vs San Jose State
03/04/14 7:00 p.m. at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
At San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center)
SAN JOSE STATE 65, COLORADO STATE 64
COLORADO STATE (22-6, 14-3 MW)
MARTIN, Sam 7-11 2-3 17; NEWTON, AJ 4-13 2-2 13; DUFFY, Caitlin 2-8 2-2 8;
RYDER, Gritt 2-5 0-0 6; NYSTROM, Ellen 3-13 0-0 6; GUSTAVSSON, Elin 2-11 1-2
5; NICHOLS, Alicia 2-8 0-0 5; HESSELDAL, Emilie 1-4 2-2 4; THOMPSON, Hayley
0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-73 9-11 64.
SAN JOSE STATE (11-17, 5-12 MW)
25-66 7-13 65.
Colorado State................ 25 39 - 64
San Jose State................ 27 38 - 65
3-point goals--Colorado State 9-26 (NEWTON, AJ 3-7; DUFFY, Caitlin 2-7;
RYDER, Gritt 2-4; MARTIN, Sam 1-2; NICHOLS, Alicia 1-2; GUSTAVSSON, Elin
0-2; NYSTROM, Ellen 0-2), San Jose State 8-24 (Cunnigan, Ta'Rea 4-6; JAMES,
Fouled out--Colorado State-None, San Jose State-None. Rebounds--Colorado
State 42 (GUSTAVSSON, Elin 10), San Jose State 51 (Byrd, Riana 20).
Assists--Colorado State 15 (RYDER, Gritt 5; NYSTROM, Ellen 5), San Jose
State 18 (Byrd, Riana 4). Total fouls--Colorado State 13, San Jose State 14.
Technical fouls--Colorado State-TEAM, San Jose State-None. A-420