San Jose, Calif. - The San Jose State women's basketball team went on an 18-to-4 tear in the final six minutes to reduce a 17-point deficit to three, but with six seconds left a Jayzyl Tauala 3-point attempt rimmed out and the Spartans lost 57-54 to the UTSA Roadrunners in The Event Center.
The loss leaves the Spartans at 4-9 overall, 1-1 in Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play. UTSA improves to 7-6, 1-1 in WAC action.
The Spartans trailed by as many as 21 points in the second half and Cori Cooper jumper with 6:46 to play gave UTSA a 17-point advantage, but then they slowed their offense down and lost their momentum.
San Jose State's Classye James scored eight of the team's next 12 points and the lead was down to five, 53-48 with just over two minutes to go.
Riana Byrd's jumper, off the glass, made it a one-possession game, 53-50, with 1:34 left in regulation. A pair of free throws pushed the lead to five points but Byrd, who finished with 12 points and tied The Event Center record with eight steals, hit another jumper with 34 seconds left to get the Spartans back to within three.
After the team's traded free throws to make the score 57-54, the Spartans were forced to foul to stop the clock. A Chereese Thomas foul sent Simone Young to the line with 16 seconds left. Young missed both attempts and the Spartans got possession back looking to tie it up.
Tauala, had a good look at the bucket from the top of the circle, but her 3-point attempt rimmed out. With one second to play Thomas committed her fifth foul. Again, the Roadrunners missed both attempts and the Spartans got the rebound, but a full court shot by Alexis Hill fell short and San Jose State lost 57-54.
The Spartans were in foul trouble most of the game. Ta'Rea Cunnigan picked up three in the first half and Byrd and Thomas each had two by the break. Cunnigan and Thomas would foul out and Byrd played most of the second half with four.
San Jose State jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the first three minutes only to watch the Roadrunners go on a 17-to-1 run over a six minute span and take a 19-8 lead. UTSA's largest lead of the half was 16 points and they took a 33-20 advantage to the locker rooms.
San Jose State committed 13 turnovers while pressuring UTSA into only six in the first 20 minutes. They took advantage of those mistakes for a 16-to-7 differential in points off turnovers. Cunnigan led the Spartans with seven points at the break. She would finish with nine, the first time this year she didn't score in double figures.
Byrd, Classye James and Emily Schill combined for five points in the first half, but keyed the Spartans comeback in the second. Schill finished the night with 10 points and 10 rebounds and James had 11 points.
San Jose State shot 50 percent (13-of-26) in the second half and held the Roadrunners to a season low six buckets in the second half.
The Roadrunners' Young hit four of seven from behind the 3-point line to lead UTSA with 12 points, Cooper had 11.
The Spartans open road play in the WAC on Thursday when they visit the Cowan Spectrum in Moscow, Idaho. Tipoff against the Idaho Vandals is set for 6:00 p.m.
UTSA vs San Jose State 12/31/12 4:00 p.m. at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center) At San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center) UTSA 57, SAN JOSE STATE 54
UTSA (7-6, 1-1 WAC) Young, Simone 4-8 0-2 12; Cooper, Cori 5-6 1-2 11; Wright, Whitney 3-4 2-2 8; King, Kamra 2-11 2-2 7; Spaletta, Ashley 2-4 1-2 6; Thorman, Lyndi 1-4 2-2 4; Menz, Jenny 1-5 0-0 3; Mitchell-Cole, Niaga 1-5 0-1 2; Bell, Mannasha 1-2 0-0 2; Malone, Jermini 0-2 2-4 2; Hergott, Mathilde 0-0 0-0 0; York, Whitney 0-1 0-1 0; Montgomery, Jalisa 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-52 10-18 57.
SAN JOSE STATE (4-9, 1-1 WAC) Byrd, Riana 5-7 2-2 12; James, Classye 2-9 6-7 11; Schill, Emily 4-9 2-2 10; Cunnigan, Ta'Rea 4-6 0-0 9; Thomas, Chereese 3-8 0-0 6; Tauala, Jayzyl 1-3 2-2 4; DeBoise, Jamiyla 0-1 2-4 2; Hill, Alexis 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 19-45 14-17 54. UTSA.......................... 33 24 - 57 San Jose State................ 20 34 - 54
3-point goals--UTSA 7-20 (Young, Simone 4-7; Menz, Jenny 1-3; King, Kamra 1-4; Spaletta, Ashley 1-3; Mitchell-Cole, Niaga 0-1; Malone, Jermini 0-2), San Jose State 2-6 (Cunnigan, Ta'Rea 1-1; James, Classye 1-3; Tauala, Jayzyl 0-2). Fouled out--UTSA-None, San Jose State-Thomas, Chereese; Cunnigan, Ta'Rea. Rebounds--UTSA 30 (Cooper, Cori 5; King, Kamra 5), San Jose State 30 (Schill, Emily 10). Assists--UTSA 19 (King, Kamra 5), San Jose State 9 (Schill, Emily 2; Byrd, Riana 2). Total fouls--UTSA 18, San Jose State 20. Technical fouls--UTSA-None, San Jose State-None. A-213