Las Cruces, N.M. – The San Jose State women’s basketball team shot 30 percent from the floor, including just 18 percent in the second half and lost its season opener 66-55 to the New Mexico State Aggies on Friday evening.
NMSU was only marginally better from the floor, shooting 35 percent, in the win. They out rebounded the Spartans 52-to-41 and outscored them in the paint 22-to-8.
“We knew they were a physical team,” head coach Jamie Craighead said, “and we talked about that, but it seemed like they got to be a little more physical here than we saw last year (in the Event Center). That was a key to this game for them and against us.”
Trailing 12-6 midway through the first period, the SJSU went on an 8-0 run. Rachol West drilled a pair of three-pointers that bookended a Hallie Gennett layup. It gave SJSU a 14-12 lead. Unfortunately it would be the team’s last lead of the game.
Despite hitting 7-of-16 shots (44 percent) in the first quarter, the Spartans (0-1) committed seven turnovers, including four in the last three minutes, which sparked a 10-2 Aggies run. NMSU scored seven points off those miscues and took a 22-16 lead into the second period.
The second quarter saw more of the same. The Spartans outshot New Mexico State 42 percent to 32 percent, but committed eight turnovers, which led directly to six points for the Aggies (1-0). NMSU had as much as a 12-point lead the second, but Dezz Ramos scored four of her team-high 17 points down the stretch to cut the advantage to 36-29 at the intermission.
“When we weren’t turning it over, we weren’t hitting shots and when we weren’t hitting shots, we were turning it over,” Craighead said. “That allowed them to play their game for the majority of the time. When we needed to be solid defensively, because we were struggling on the offensive end, we weren’t and it was just a big mess.”
Gennett drained a pair to threes midway through the third period to make it a six-point game, at 42-36, but the team then went 1-of-11 from the field in the final six minutes of the quarter. A Taylor Turney trey was the only thing that kept it at a 13-point NMSU lead at the end of the third.
In the fourth quarter, the Spartans could get no closer than nine points, 62-53 with 1:26 to play, before the Aggies closed the game out with an 11-point victory, 66-55.
“A couple of times, when it looked like we were starting to get something going and getting within striking distance, we gave up basket to someone we shouldn’t have,” Craighead said. “It was a bunch of little things that added up and we’ve got to clean them up and fix them.”
Gennett, in her SJSU debut, was the only Spartan, other than Ramos, in double figures in the scoring column. She had 10 points and six rebounds. Paris Baird grabbed six rebounds, had four points, three steals and two blocks. Jasmine Smith scored three points, but pulled down a team-high nine rebounds and had three steals.
Brooke Salas, who scored a game-high 18 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, paced New Mexico State.
The season opening road trip wraps up on Sunday with a game in Tempe, Arizona. The Spartans play the #18 Arizona State Sun Devils with tipoff scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Fans can watch the game on streaming video through a link on the team’s scheduled page at www.sjsuspartans.com.
San Jose State vs NM State
11/11/16 5:30 p.m. at Pan American Center
At Pan American Center
NM STATE 66, SAN JOSE STATE 55
SAN JOSE STATE (0-1)
0-1 0-0 0; HAFOKA, Fieme'a 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 18-61 13-20 55.
NM STATE (1-0)
Salas, Brooke 6-22 4-4 18; Freeman, Brianna 5-14 4-4 14; Taylor, Tyesha 5-7
0-0 10; Mack, Moriah 3-10 2-2 9; Williams, Zaire 3-4 1-2 8; William, Tamera
2-7 0-0 5; Cooper, Jasmine 1-3 0-0 2; Toilolo, Jeneva 0-0 0-0 0; Prince,
Aaliyah 0-1 0-0 0; Pack, Gia 0-3 0-0 0; Walton, Brandee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals
25-71 11-12 66.
San Jose State................ 16 13 11 15 - 55
NM State...................... 22 14 17 13 - 66
Ladd, Myzhanique 0-3), NM State 5-15 (Salas, Brooke 2-6; Mack, Moriah 1-2;
William, Tamera 1-3; Williams, Zaire 1-2; Prince, Aaliyah 0-1; Pack, Gia
0-1). Fouled out--San Jose State-None, NM State-None. Rebounds--San Jose
State 41 (Smith, Jasmine 9), NM State 52 (Salas, Brooke 13). Assists--San
Zaire 5). Total fouls--San Jose State 16, NM State 16. Technical fouls--San
Jose State-None, NM State-None. A-715