Spartans Face First Conference Road Test At Wyoming

Jasmine Smith and the Spartans play at Wyoming on Saturday afternoon.
Jan. 1, 2015

San Jose State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader


San Jose, Calif. - Following a win in The Event Center to open the 2014-15 Mountain West schedule, the San Jose State women's basketball team travels to Laramie, Wyoming to play the Wyoming Cowgirls in its first road contest of the league schedule.

GAME 13

at Wyoming (5-6, 0-1 MW)

Saturday, January 3, 2:00 p.m.

Arena-Auditorium, Laramie, Wyoming

Streaming video is available on the Spartan Digital Network at www.sjsuspartans.com/video
Live stats available at www.sjsuspartans.com

LIVE STATS

Fans can view live stats of all San José State women's basketball games, home and away, by accessing the "Gametracker" feature at www.sjsuspartans.com.  Click on the link on the women's basketball schedule page to follow the action.

VIDEO STREAMING

Spartan Digital is your all-access passport to Spartan Athletics.  For live and recorded video/audio of San José State women's basketball home, Mountain West (road and home) and select road contests, Spartan Digital is your home.  Go to Spartan Digital at top of the Spartans Athletics home page or go to www.sjsuspartans.com/video.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Keep up with all 16 of San José State's team through social media sites Twitter and Facebook.  For Twitter go to @sjsuathletics and on Facebook become friends with Sammy Spartan.

The women's basketball Twitter handle is @sjswbb and Facebook page is /SanJoseStateWBB.

RADIO COVERAGE

Fans across the nation can now listen to every Spartans' women's home game via Stretch Internet Radio. KSJS-FM (90.5 FM, San Jose) also originates home broadcasts and select road contests. 

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TICKETS

Tickets for San José State women's basketball home games are free for all SJSU students with a valid student ID.  Adult tickets are $5.00 and $3.00 for youth (12 and under). 

Groups of 20 or more can buy discounted tickets at $3.00 per person by 5:00 p.m. the business day before the game via the Spartan Ticket Office at (408) 924-SJTX (7589) or (877) SJSUTIX (757-8849).

The Event Center Box Office opens two hours prior to tip-off for any weekend, holiday game or doubleheader and is open regular business hours (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) for weekday games or weekday doubleheaders.

PARKING

Parking for all San José State women's basketball games is in the University's Seventh Street Parking Garage. The Seventh Street Garage, located on the Northwest corner of San Salvador Street and Seventh Street, can be accessed through Seventh Street.  Parking is $5.00.

SPARTANS KEEP HOME RECORD PERFECT WITH WIN OVER UTAH STATE

After its 62-58 win over Utah State (12/31), San José State has run its home record to 6-0 on the season. The last time the Spartans have gone this far into the season with out dropping a game at home was the 7-0 start in 2002-03. The best home record by a Spartan team came in the 1978-79 season.  That year the team completed the regular season with out losing a game on its home court, going 14-0. 

NEW YEARS EVE A CELEBRATION FOR SPARTANS

With its 62-58 win over Utah State, San José State finally celebrated its first victory on New Year's Eve on its fourth attempt.  In its three previous attempts the Spartans were 0-3.  On 12/13/1985 they lost at Santa Clara 60-45.  It was a 61-47 loss to Brown on 12/31/11 and a 57-54 defeat by UTSA on 12/31/12.

WEST NAMED MOUNTAIN WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Rachol West (So., F, Bakersfield, Calif.) has earned the Mountain West Women's Basketball Player of the Week honor for games played from December 22-28.

West, a sophomore out of Garces Memorial High School in Bakersfield, Calif., led the Spartans with a career-high 19 points in a 102-94 defeat of Sacramento State last Monday.

In 19 minutes off the bench, West went 7-for-13 from the floor (53.8 percent) including 5-for-8 (62.5 percent) from beyond the three-point line.  She also grabbed five rebounds, dished out one assists and made one steal in the win. 

Trailing 53-43 at the half, the team opened the second period with a 16-5 run capped by a three-pointer by West to put San José State in the lead, 59-58. Her fourth three of the game pushed the Spartan advantage to 65-60 with 14:40 to play and her career-best fifth three-pointer, with 5:02 left in the game, gave the Spartans a 10-point lead, 89-79.

This is the first Mountain West Conference Player of the Week honor of West's career and the first for a Spartan this season.

SCOUTING WYOMING

The Cowgirls, picked to finish third in the conference's preseason poll of the head coaches and media members, dropped their Mountain West opener 58-55 at UNLV.  The team enters its match-up against the Spartans with a 5-6 record, 3-2 in games in its Arena-Auditorium. 

Wyoming is under the direction of third-year head coach Joe Legerski.  In 11 years as a collegiate head coach, all at Wyoming, Legerski brought a 216-126 record into the 2014-15 season.  In six of his years in Laramie he has guided the Cowgirls into postseason play.

The Cowgirls offense is led by junior guard Marquelle Dent, who tops the squad in points (17.3/g), steals (2.0/g) and assists (5.8/g). Kayla Woodward, a senior forward and MW Preseason Player of the Year, leads the team with 7.6 rebounds per game and is scoring 14.7 ppg. Senior Guard Kaitlyn Mileto is the third member of the team scoring in triple digits at 10.6 ppg.

This will be the fifth meeting between these programs in which the Wyoming hold a 3-1 advantage.  In the two games played in Laramie, the Cowgirls hold a 2-0 advantage and have won by 33 points (86-53 in 1996-97) and 23 points (103-80 in 2013-14).

OFFENSE...WE GOT OFFENSE...IT'S FOURTH IN THE NATION!

The Spartans are scoring at a Mountain West Conference high 88.1 points per game clip, which ranks fourth in the nation.  San José State is in rarefied air among the likes of Baylor (91.0 ppg), UConn (89.8 ppg) and DePaul (89.5 ppg). 

Against Columbia (11/16) the team set a program and conference record for points in a game, when they dropped 119 on the Lions, which is the fourth highest single-game point total in the NCAA this year.  The Spartans have eclipsed 100 points in a game three times this year and have come away with a victory each time.

CAN YOU HANDLE PRESSURE...SPARTANS 4TH IN THE NCAA IN TURNOVER MARGIN

Through 12 games the Spartans have shown what their pressure defense is capable of doing.  SJSU has forced its opponents to turn the ball over 288 times and in those, made 144 steals.  San José State has made those opponent miscues pay off to the tune of a 301-157 advantage in points off turnovers.  Nationally, the team ranks fourth in turnover margin at 9.08 and 18th in steals per game grabbing 12.0 per game.

WHAT'S MINE IS YOURS...SAN JOSE STATE RANKS 41ST NATIONALLY IN ASSISTS

At 16.0 assists per game the Spartans are ranked second in the Mountain West Conference and are 41st in the nation.  Aniya Baker (So, PG, Perris, Calif.) leads the team with 4.3 assists per game, which is good for fourth among MW performers and 92nd nationally.  Chereese Thomas (Gr., PG, Dublin, Calif.) is also in the top-10 in the conference, ninth, at 3.0 assists per outing.

THREES ARE THERE FOR THE TAKING...SJSU IS 13TH IN THE NATION IN MADE 3-POINTERS

San José State is hitting an average of 8.5 shots from beyond the arc per game, which ranks 13th in the nation and tops in the Mountain West, but taking and hitting threes are nothing new under head coach Jamie Craighead.

With 245 made 3-pointers and 793 attempts, the 2013-14 Spartans shattered the program's previous marks in each category.  The previous record of 146 3-pointers in the 27 games (1999-00) was equaled in just 20 games (at UNLV 1/29) last season.  In addition, they passed the previous record for attempts in a season (493 in 29 games in 2000-01) in that same game.

Both marks set Mountain West Conference records as well. 

MY OH MYZHANIQUE

Myzhanique Ladd (Fr., G, Seattle, Wash.), the 2013-14 Ms. Basketball in the state of Washington, leads the Spartan freshman with a 7.1 ppg average and has earned starts in nine of the team's 12 games this year.  She ranks third among all conference freshman in scoring and has reached double figures in scoring four times this year including in three of her first four games.

SMITH, WEST & BAKER IN TOP-5 FOR SOPHOMORE SCORING

Among sophomores in the Mountain West Conference, the Spartans have three of the top five scorers as we head into conference play.  Jasmine Smith (So., F, Burbank, Calif.) ranks second at 10.7 points per game.  Her scoring average is nearly the same as last season (10.8 ppg in 2013-14), but she is doing it in seven fewer minutes per game (down from 23 per game last year to 15.5 per game this year).

Rachol West (So., F, Bakersfield, Calif.) ranks fourth with an 7.8 points per game average.  West is coming off the best offensive performance of her career, a 19-point outburst against Sacramento State in which she drained 5-of-8 3-point attempts and grabbed five rebounds in just 19 minutes of work. For her effort she was named the Mountain West  Women's Basketball Player of the Week.

Aniya Baker's (So., PG, Perris, Calif.) 7.3 points a game is the fifth most among conference sophomores.  Baker, in her first season as a regular starter, is close to doubling her freshman scoring average of 4.1 points.  She has increased her shooting percentage from the field, 3-point range and from the free throw line over her freshman campaign while playing at UC Davis.

CAREER FREE THROW RECORD FALLS IN UC DAVIS WIN

By hitting each of her six free throw attempts in the Spartans win over UC Davis (12/10), Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Sr., G, Winchester, Calif.) set a new San José State career free throw record.  Cunnigan passed Cricket Williams (466 from 2001-04) to establish the new record 471...and counting.  Currently, her 473made free throws are the record for the school (men's or women's program) and the most by any active women's basketball player in the NCAA.  She glided past the men's record, Adrian Oliver's 442 free throws from 2009-11, in the team's win at UC Irvine (11/22).

CUNNIGAN NEARS SAN JOSÉ STATE SCORING RECORDS

With an 11 point effort against Utah State (12/31), Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Sr., G, Winchester, Calif.) moved into second place on the program's career scoring list.  Entering the game against Wyoming her 1,680 career points are 80 behind all-time women's scoring leader Karen Mason (1,760 points from 1978-81) and 87 behind Ricky Berry (1,767 points from 1986-88) for the school's all-time record (men or women).

In the Utah State win (12/31) Cunnigan passed Elinor Banks (1,672 points from 1978-81) for third place and then Cricket Williams (1,676 points from 2001-04), who occupied second place. 

SHILL MAKES RETURN VS. UTAH STATE

Emily Schill (So., F, Tacoma, Victoria, Australia) saw her first game action in nearly 18 months, logging four minutes in the Spartans 62-58 win over Utah State (12/31).  Schill set the program's freshman single-game scoring record with 36 pts versus Utah State (1/12/13).  Following her freshman campaign she suffered a leg injury, underwent surgery and has been rehabbing for the last 13 months.  In her first action she had a rebound and blocked a shot.

EVERYBODY BRINGS SOMETHING TO THE PARTY!

In 2014-15, San José State is getting production up and down its lineup.  Each of the 11 Spartans who have played in the first 12 games is averaging double-digit minutes.   The bench has scored 411 of the team's 1,057 points; 39% of the total production.  In four of its games, all 11 have been in the scoring column and in seven of the other eight, at least nine players have scored. 

Nyre Harris (Jr., G, Stockton, Calif.) completed her year in residency at the conclusion of the fall term.  In the three games, two of which were starts, Harris is averaging 20.0 minutes and 8.0 points.

Emily Schill (So., F, Tacoma, Victoria, Australia) made her season debut in the Utah State win playing four minutes.

CUNNIGAN ABOUT TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP UP IN ANOTHER CAREER CATEGORY

In addition to the San José State women's basketball scoring record, in which Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Sr., G, Winchester, Calif.) trails Karen Mason (1,760 points, 1978-81) by 80 points, she is on the cusp of moving up the career 3-pointers list.

Cunnigan is two made 3-pointers from tying Cricket Williams for sixth place on the program's career 3-pointers list (114). 

CUNNIGAN AMONG ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS IN THE NCAA

Among Division I women's basketball players, Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Sr., G, Winchester, Calif.) ranks first free throws made (476) and second in free throw attempts (643).  She is eighth in steals (229).   Her 1,421 field goal attempts are 11th most among active women players and she ranked 20th in field goals (546).  Her 16.5/g career scoring average is the 15th highest among current players.  Finally, Cunnigan is the eighth leading scorer among active players with 1,680 career points.