San Francisco. Calif. – The San José State women’s basketball team look like a squad that hadn’t played in 10 days in a 77-62 loss to the San Francisco Dons on Saturday afternoon in War Memorial Gym.
The Spartans (5-5), the highest scoring team in the nation, suffered through their worst shooting performance of the season and were held 30 point below their season average of 92.3 points per game. They hit just 23-of-74 shots on the afternoon for 31 percent, which includes going 7-for-28 in the first half and trailing at the break 40-22.
“Early in the week we were really sharp, but as finals started kicking in, we started struggling,” said head coach Jamie Craighead. “We were lethargic in the first half and just couldn’t get anything going offensively. You would have thought that (USF) was the team that was averaging 90 points a game.”
The Dons (9-2) jumped out to a 12-1 lead in the first five minutes and never trailed in the game. With 14:35 to go in the half, Rebecca Woodberry made SJSU’s first shot from the field and following an Emily Vann 3-pointer, with 9:16 left, the lead was down to 21-15. San José State would get no closer. The Dons would finish the half on a 19-7 run led by Taylor Proctor’s 15 points. She finished the game with 17 points and 10 rebounds, one of four San Francisco players in double figures.
“We weren’t going fast enough,” said Craighead. “We didn’t push; even off their made baskets. If we had done that, their defense wouldn’t have affected us. Really for 20 minutes, both offensively and defensively, we weren’t ourselves.”
The Spartans settled for jump shots rather than attacking the basket, the opposite of USF. With their inside play, the Dons enjoyed an 18-0 advantage on points in the paint and outscored San José State 8-3 in second chance opportunities in the first half.
Ta’Rea Cunnigan, playing in her 100th career game, was held scoreless before the intermission but finished with a team-high 12. She hit a 3-pointer to start the second half and after a USF put back, Rebecca Woodberry drained another. It looked like the Spartans were starting to get back into the game. However, it wasn’t to be.
San Francisco made a 14-point game, 42-28 with 19:16 to play, into a 25-point game, 57-32 over the course of the next five and a half minutes.
“Its tough, at any level, to be down (18 points at halftime) and come back to win,” said Craighead. “I thought we came out and said ‘we can do this’, but you can’t let the other team continue to score when you’re down like that. They shot the ball pretty well and we didn’t.
“In the last 10 minutes we did a pretty good job of pressuring, in both the full and half court. (USF) started playing too quickly and making mistakes.” Over a six minute stretch the Spartans forced seven turnovers and trimmed the lead to 70-58 with 2:32 to play, but could get no closer as USF went 5-of-6 from the line down the stretch en route to the 15 point win.
The only other Spartan in double figures was Jasmine Smith, with 11 points. Riana Byrd and Rachol West each had eight points. Byrd along with Smith led the team with six rebounds apiece. Nyre Harris, in her first action since transferring from Arizona, had three points and three rebounds.
“We battled, beat them in the second half, and that’s what we’re going to focus on moving into Monday,” added Craighead.
The Spartans finish non-conference play on Monday, December 22 when they host the Sacramento State Hornets in The Event Center at 2:00 p.m. Admission to the game is free for everyone.
San Jose State vs San Francisco
12/20/14 2 p.m. at War Memorial Gym in San Francisco
At War Memorial Gym in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO 77, SAN JOSE STATE 62
SAN JOSE STATE (5-5)
0-4 0-0 0. Totals 23-74 10-18 62.
SAN FRANCISCO (9-2)
SPIETZ, Paige 6-7 7-9 20; PROCTOR, Taylor 8-16 1-2 17; DIKES, Zhane 5-12 6-8
16; WINSTON, Taj 5-10 0-0 11; GORDON, Aundrea 2-3 0-0 5; SCAFIDI, Alicia 1-3
0-0 2; HOWARD, Rachel 0-8 2-2 2; TUCKER, Tiara 0-1 2-2 2; PRICE, Claudia 1-4
0-0 2. Totals 28-64 18-23 77.
San Jose State................ 22 40 - 62
San Francisco................. 40 37 - 77
Myzhanique 0-2), San Francisco 3-13 (WINSTON, Taj 1-2; GORDON, Aundrea 1-2;
SPIETZ, Paige 1-1; HOWARD, Rachel 0-5; TUCKER, Tiara 0-1; DIKES, Zhane 0-1;
PROCTOR, Taylor 0-1). Fouled out--San Jose State-SMITH, Jasmine, San
6), San Francisco 47 (PROCTOR, Taylor 10). Assists--San Jose State 10
(Cunnigan, Ta'Rea 4), San Francisco 11 (DIKES, Zhane 4). Total fouls--San
Jose State 20, San Francisco 16. Technical fouls--San Jose State-None, San