Jan. 9, 2014
The San José State women's basketball team finishes a two-game Mountain West road trip on Saturday afternoon. The Spartans are in Albuquerque, N. M., to play the Lobos of New Mexico for the first time since the 1998-99 season and are looking for their first MW win of the season.
at New Mexico (6-7, 1-1 MW)
Saturday, January 11, 2:00 p.m. (MT)
The Pit, Albuquerque, N. M.
Live stats available at www.sjsuspartans.com
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.
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.
FILLING IT UP
Averaging 80.5 points per game, the Spartans are the second leading scoring team in the Mountain West Conference and rank 21st in the nation. Just three years ago, the team was averaging less than 48 points, that's an increase of more than 34 points per game.
San José State has four players among the top-16 scorers in the league, the most of any team. Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Jr., G, Winchester, Calif.) ranks 3rd (17.9/g). Rebecca Woodberry (Jr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) is 7th (14.0/g), Classye James (Jr., G, East Palo Alto, Calif.) is 12th (13.1/g) and Jasmine Smith (Fr., F, Burbank, Calif.) ranks 16th (12.6/g).
CRASHING THE BOARDS
Riana Byrd (So., C, Richmond, Calif.), Jasmine Smith (Fr., F, Burbank, Calif.) at 8.9 rebounds and Rebecca Woodberry (Jr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) at 7.3 rebounds are a one-three-five punch when it comes to rebounding in the Mountain West.
Byrd leads the MW (9.8/g) and ranks 49th in the nation. The three have combined for 17 double-digit rebounding efforts led by Byrd and Smith's seven each, also tops in the conference.
CLIMBING THE CAREER LIST(S)
After little more than two seasons, Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Jr., G, Winchester, Calif.) is already in the top-10 of four San José State career categories. Her 1,192 points put her in ninth place. She is 35 points from moving ahead Lamisha Augustine (2002-06, 1,226 pts.) for eighth.
Both her 360 free throws and 485 free throw attempts rank second on the program's career list. She trails only Cricket Williams (2001-04) in both categories. Cunnigan is 106 made free throws and 247free throw attempts from tying Williams in each category.
She ranks 5th in career free throw percentage (.742) and 8th in career steals (172).
Cunnigan ranks 10th in 3-point attempts (233) and makes (72). She is five 3-point attempts from tying Kim Skaggs (1989-92) and Sherry Yult for ninth place at 238 and is four made 3-pointers from tying Yult for ninth.
She joined Cricket Williams as just the second player in Spartans' history with more than 1,000 points and 300 free throws.
Riana Byrd (So., C, Richmond, Calif.), blocked 64 shots in her freshman campaign and has 20 more this season, is already in fourth place in the program's career blocks list. She is 54 blocks from tying Lamisha Augustine (2002-06) for third place all-time.
WOODBERRY FINDING SAN JOSE TO HER LIKING
Rebecca Woodberry (Jr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) who transferred from Nebraska, has found her stroke from long range. She is 13th in the nation in 3-pointers made per game (3.2) and leads all Mountain West shooters. Her 44 made 3-pointers are 14 more and her 127 3-point attempts are nearly 50 more than her next closest conference rival.
Her 44 makes are just three shy of tying Kari Steele (1994-95) for 10th place on the program's single-season 3-point list. Steele holds the progam record with 74 treys in 1996-97.
Woodberry is 26 3-point attempts from cracking the top-10 of the Spartans single-season list. Natalie White launched 153 in 2008-09 and ranks 10th. The single-season record is 212 by Jessica Kellogg in 2002-02.
In addition, Woodberry is fifth overall in the MW, and first among juniors, in total rebounding at 7.3 per game. Her 5.4 defensive boards are fourth in the league.
With six double doubles, Jasmine Smith (Fr., F, Burbank, Calif.) ranks among the best in the nation and leads the Mountain West. She, Riana Byrd (So., C, Richmond, Calif.) and Rebecca Woodberry (Jr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) have combined for 10 double doubles which also lead the league.
BYRD PICKS UP WHERE SHE LEFT OFF LAST SEASON
Last year Riana Byrd (So., C, Richmond, Calif.) was the first Spartan to average a double double, 11.4 pts and 10.9 rebs., in 23 years. In 2013-14 the beat goes on for Byrd. She is averaging 9.3 points and 9.8 rebounds, but is doing it in six minutes less per game (28.5-to-22.2).
HALL SERVING THEM UP
Britta Hall (Fr., G, Tualatin, Ore.) leads the Spartans and all Mountain West freshmen in assists, averaging 3.7 per game. In six of the team's 14 contests Hall has recorded at least five assists and her season-high came against San Francisco (11/20) when she dropped eight dimes on the Dons.
STILL ONE OF THE YOUNGEST TEAM
San José State was the youngest team in Division I last year with just four years of collegiate experience on the roster (two years of Division I and two years of junior college). With injuries, which have sidelined several players, the Spartans are nearly right back to where they were last year. Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Jr., G, Winchester, Calif.), Classye James (Jr., G, East Palo Alto, Calif.) and Rebecca Woodberry (Jr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) each have two years of collegiate experience. Riana Byrd (So., C, Richmond, Calif.) and Jayzyl Tauala (So., G, Pacifica, Calif.) are working their way back to the lineup and have one year each of college experience.
BEING HEALTHY HELPS
Classye James (Jr., G, East Palo Alto, Calif.) was hampered by a hip injury all last season but gutted it out in 27 of the team's 30 games. She averaged 7.6 points, shot just .263 from the field and .183 from behind the arc. With a summer to heal, James is showing the game that earned her a McDonalds All-American nomination as a senior in high school. She is averaging 13.1 points, has reached double figure scoring in 10 games, including seven of the last eight. Her shooting has improved to .365 (58-for-159) and in 14 games is nearly 90 percent of the way to her season scoring total from a year ago (184 points in 14 games in 2013-14 vs. 206 in 27 games in 2012-13).
SPARTANS FIRST FIVE SEE FIRST CHANGES
In head coach Jamie Craighead's up tempo offense every player on the roster will get lots of time on the court this season. Through 14 games, the Spartans have sent the same five out to start 12 games - Britta Hall (Fr., G, Tualatin, Ore.), Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Jr., G, Winchester, Calif.), Classye James (Jr., G, East Palo Alto, Calif.), Rebecca Woodberry (Jr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) and Riana Byrd (So., C, Richmond, Calif.).
The first change to the starting line up came in the 12th game of the year, at Nevada (1/1). Jasmine Smith (Fr., F, Burbank, Calif.) was inserted in place of Hall and at Colorado State (1/8) Smith started in place of Byrd.
SCOUTING NEW MEXICO
The Lobos have started the year 6-7 overall and are 1-1 in Mountain West Conference action heading into their matchup with the Spartans on Saturday afternoon.
New Mexico has had an up and down season able to put together back-to-back win just once. They dropped their conference opener at Colorado State and picked up their first MW win of the year on Wednesday night, a 75-65 victory over Wyoming. The Lobos are 5-3 in The Pit this season.
Antiesha Brown, a junior guard, leads the team and ranks ninth in the conference in scoring (13.3 pts). She also leads the team in steals (1.4/g). Senior guard Sara Halasz and junior center Ebony Walker also score in double figures, 10.5 pts. and 10.3 pts., respectively. Halasz tops the squad in rebounds at 6.0 per outing.
Head coach Yvonne Sanchez is in her third season leading the New Mexico program. Last season the Lobos were 17-14. Sanchez brought a 26-33 career-record into the 2013-14 season.
This will be the third meeting between these programs, with the Lobos holding a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series. The only game played in Albuquerque was a 66-43 New Mexico win in the 1998-99 season.