Honolulu, Hawai’i – Four Spartans scored in double figures and the San Jose State women’s basketball team overcame an eight-point, first quarter deficit to defeat the University of Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine 77-61 in each team’s opening game of the Rainbow Wahine Showdown.
“We missed the nearly same amount of shots in the first quarter (15) as we did for the rest of the game (19), but we did get good looks and for me that’s a good thing,” head coach Jamie Craighead said. “We’ve just got to make those shots early on. We cleaned things up on the defensive end and most importantly when they missed we got the rebound. It allowed us to get back on offense and kept them from getting any second chance points.
“Winning the first game in this tournament is huge. We came here to play Hawai’i. Against Mississippi State and Oregon we get to throw the ball up and see where we are at; see if we have gotten better since Arizona State. But make no mistake we were here to play Hawai’i and getting this win, the first road win of the season, is big for us.”
The Spartans (2-3) missed their first eight shots of the game, but thanks in large part to Jasmine Smith’s season-high 14 rebounds in the game, six in the first quarter, the Spartans and Rainbow Wahine were tied 7-7 midway through the first.
Over the next four minutes, Hawai’i (2-3) went on a 10-2 run to and led 17-9 inside a minute to play in the period. Rachol West, hit a jumper and a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to four points, 17-13 as the teams went to the second quarter.
A Smith jumper made it a two-point game and with just over eight minutes to go before the half, the first of West’s game-high four threes gave SJSU its first lead of the game, 18-17. The Spartans would not trail again.
After the Rainbow Wahine trimmed the San José State lead to a single point with 4:13 to go in the second period, SJSU closed the half with a Hallie Gennett layup and consecutive three-pointers from Paris Baird, West and Dezz Ramos, respectively.
“In the second quarter we started flowing more and took an eight-point lead into the half and never gave it up,” Craighead said. “They went on their runs, but we held them off and answered every time. We were able to sub and play people a little more and that will be important tomorrow.”
In the second half, Hawai’i cut the lead to six points on two occasions, but SJSU answered each time and built their biggest lead of the game with 2:11 to play, 73-56. From there they cruised to the 77-61 final score.
West had a season-high 16 points on 5-for-9 shooting, including 4-for-7 from beyond the arc. Hallie Gennett and Myzhanique Ladd scored 10 points each and Ladd tallied five rebounds and two assists. Smith added eight points to her game-leading rebounding total.
Celebrating a birthday, Paris Baird had seven points, grabbed nine rebounds and led the team with three steals. The nine boards equaled her career-high. Dezz Ramos had six assists and scored 11 of her team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter. Andrea Kohlhaas added six points and Alexis Harris rounded out the scoring with the first bucket of her college career.
“They played Dezz really tight initially and until other people started hitting shots, they were able to stay in that tight defense,” Craighead said. “I thought that her teammates knocking down shots allowed her to get free and get some open looks. That’s how we have to play. We want the ball to move and we want lots of people scoring.”
The Spartans shot just 21 percent in the first quarter (4-of-19), but went 27-of-46 (59 percent) in the final three periods for a total of 48 percent for the game. San José State held a 42-to-29 advantage on the boards, the first time this season SJSU outrebounded an opponent.
The tournament continues tomorrow with the Spartans playing the #7/7 Mississippi State Bulldogs at 3:00 p.m. (HT). There will be no streaming video, but fans can follow the action through the live stats feature at sjsuspartans.com.
San Jose State vs Hawaii
11/25/16 5:30 pm at Stan Sheriff Center - Honolulu, HI
At Stan Sheriff Center - Honolulu, HI
SAN JOSE STATE 77, HAWAII 61
SAN JOSE STATE (2-3)
0-0 0-0 0; HAFOKA, Fieme'a 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 31-65 5-11 77.
Toeaina, Sarah 9-17 6-8 24; Salanoa, Leah 4-9 0-0 12; Harris, Briana 3-12
1-3 8; Crawford, Olivia 2-9 0-0 5; Woodfolk, Makenna 1-3 2-4 4; Tago,
Julissa 2-3 0-0 4; Koloi, Keleah-Aiko 2-5 0-0 4; Donohue, Taylor 0-0 0-0 0.
Totals 23-58 9-15 61.
San Jose State................ 13 22 21 21 - 77
Hawaii........................ 17 10 18 16 - 61
0-1; Ladd, Myzhanique 0-1), Hawaii 6-22 (Salanoa, Leah 4-7; Harris, Briana
1-6; Crawford, Olivia 1-5; Koloi, Keleah-Aiko 0-1; Toeaina, Sarah 0-3).
Fouled out--San Jose State-None, Hawaii-None. Rebounds--San Jose State 42
(Smith, Jasmine 14), Hawaii 29 (Tago, Julissa 6; Woodfolk, Makenna 6).
Assists--San Jose State 11 (Ramos, Dezz 6), Hawaii 8 (Crawford, Olivia 3;
Toeaina, Sarah 3). Total fouls--San Jose State 15, Hawaii 13. Technical
fouls--San Jose State-None, Hawaii-None.