Women's Hoops Face Wyoming For First Time Since 1997

Ta'Rea Cunnigan moved into sixth place on the Spartans career scoring list with 28 points against Air Force on Wednesday night.

Jan. 16, 2014

Spartans Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Cowgirls Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

San Jose, Calif. - The San José State women's basketball team and Wyoming Cowgirls played each other twice during the 1996-97 season as members of the WAC.  They are the only times the two have matched up, but the rivalry begins anew when the Cowgirls come to The Event Center on Saturday afternoon.

 

GAME 17

vs. Wyoming (11-3, 2-1 MW)

Saturday, January 18, 2:00 p.m.

The Event Center, San Jose, Calif.

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

KSJS-FM (90.5 FM, San Jose) originates San José State women's basketball 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. 

FILLING IT UP

Averaging 79.6 points per game, the Spartans are the second leading scoring team in the Mountain West Conference and rank 29th in the nation.   Just three years ago, the team was averaging less than 48 points, that's an increase of more than 31 points per game.

San José State has four players among the top-15 scorers in the league, the most of any team. Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Jr., G, Winchester, Calif.) ranks 2nd (18.3/g).  Rebecca Woodberry (Jr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) is 7th (13.6/g), Classye James (Jr., G, East Palo Alto, Calif.) is 12th (13.0/g) and Jasmine Smith (Fr., F, Burbank, Calif.) ranks 15th (12.6/g).

CRASHING THE BOARDS

Riana Byrd (So., C, Richmond, Calif.), Jasmine Smith (Fr., F, Burbank, Calif.) at 8.7 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 62nd in the nation, Smith is 88th in the country.  The three have combined for 18 double-digit rebounding efforts led by Byrd's eight, 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 five San José State career categories.  Her 1,235 points put her in 6th place.  She is 106 points from moving ahead Kari Steele (1994-97, 1,340 pts.) and into the top five all-time scoring leaders in program history.

Both her 369 free throws and 499 free throw attempts rank second on the program's career list.  She trails only Cricket Williams (2001-04) in both categories.  Cunnigan is 97 made free throws and 233 free throw attempts from tying Williams in each category. 

She ranks 5th in career free throw percentage (.739) and 8th in career steals (177). 

Cunnigan ranks 8th in 3-point attempts (242) and 10th in makes (74). She is 55 3-point attempts from tying Sara Plavljanin (2011-12) for 7th place and is two made 3-pointers from tying Sherry Yult (1990-93) for ninth.

Cunnigan 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 22 more this season, is already in fourth place in the program's career blocks list.  She is 52 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 24th in the nation in 3-pointers made per game (2.9) and leads all Mountain West shooters.  Her 48 made 3-pointers are 12 more and her 139 3-point attempts are nearly 40 more than her next closest conference rival.

Her 48 makes are good for 10th place on the program's single-season 3-point list. Woodberry is three made 3-pointers out of 7th place on the list.

Woodberry is 14 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 5.6 defensive boards are third in the league.

SEEING DOUBLE

With six double doubles, Jasmine Smith (Fr., F, Burbank, Calif.) ranks among the best in the nation and leads the Mountain West.  She along with Riana Byrd (So., C, Richmond, Calif.) and Rebecca Woodberry (Jr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) have combined for 10 double doubles which also lead the league.

SMITH AMONG THE TOP OF THE MW AND THE BEST FRESHMAN

Jasmine Smith (Fr., F, Burbank, Calif.) is just a freshman, but ranks in the top-15 of five categories in the Mountain West Conference.  She is first in offensive rebounds (3.9/g), third in total rebounds (8.7/g), sixth in field goal percentage (.477), seventh in defensive rebounds (4.8/g), 13th in steals (1.4/g) and 15th in scoring (12.6/g).

She is the highest ranked freshman in each of those categories and is achieving these numbers while coming off the bench in 15 of the Spartans 16 games this year.

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 9.5 points and 9.4 rebounds, but is doing it in six minutes less per game (28.5-to-22.0).

HALL SERVING THEM UP

Britta Hall (Fr., G, Tualatin, Ore.) leads the Spartans and all Mountain West freshmen in assists, averaging 3.4 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.) 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 McDonald's All-American nomination as a senior in high school.  She is averaging 13.0 points, has reached double figure scoring in 10 games, including seven of the last nine.  Her shooting has improved to .364 (64-for-176) and in 16 games has already passed her scoring total from a year ago (208 points in 2013-14 vs. 206 in 27 games in 2012-13).

SPARTANS FIRST FIVE...NEARLY ALL THE TIME

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 16 games, the Spartans have sent the same five out to start 14 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 the second time there was a change in the starting line up was at Colorado State (1/8) Smith started in place of Byrd.

SCOUTING WYOMING

The Cowgirls are 11-3 overall and 2-1 in Mountain West Conference action heading into the match up with the Spartans on Saturday afternoon.

Wyoming was idol on Wednesday.  Their two MW wins came on their home court; 72-64 over Nevada (1/4) and 55-48 over Boise State (1/11).  Their lone conference loss came at New Mexico 75-65 (1/8).

Kayla Woodward, a junior forward leads the team in scoring (16.6/g) and is second in rebounds (7.0/g).  Senior guard Fallon Lewis scores 14.9 points per outing and tops the team with 9.2 rebounds.  Kaitlyn Mileto, a junior guard, is also scoring in double figures (13.5/g) and sophomore guard Marquelle Dent leads the squad with 4.2 assists a game. 

Head coach Joe Legerski is in his 11th season leading the Wyoming program.  He brought a 207-118 career-record with the Cowgirls into the 2013-14 season.

This will be the third meeting between these programs, with Wyoming holding a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series.  Both previous meetings came in the 1996-97 season, when the teams were both in the WAC. It was a home-and-home series and the Cowgirls defeated San José State 74-51 on the Spartans home court.

LAST TIME OUT

San Jose, Calif. - The San Jose State women's basketball team got 28 points from Ta'Rea Cunnigan and defeated the Air Force Academy Falcons 79-70 on Wednesday night to earn their first win in Mountain West play.

Cunnigan, the third leading scorer in the conference, hit 9-of-22 shots from the field and 8-of-13 from the line.  She also had three steals and three blocks.  She moved from ninth place on the program's career scoring to sixth passing Lamisha Augustine (2002-06), Natalie White (2006-09) and Shelia Brown (1981-84).  Cunnigan has 1,230 career points and is 105 points from tying Kari Steele for fifth place on the all-time list

Rebecca Woodberry hit four 3-pointers in the first half on her way to 18 points.  She has  48 treys on the year and moved into 10th place on the program's single season list.  Woodberry also pulled down eight rebounds and nabbed a career-best three steals.

Riana Byrd grabbed 16 rebounds and scored nine points.  Jasmine Smith added 10 points.

In the first 20 minutes, the Spartans (7-9, 1-4 MW) hitting 18-of-38 shots (47.4%).  It was the best shooting half since they made 21-of-35 in the opening half against Sacramento State on December 7.

A Woodberry 3-pointer with 16:46 to go in the first period gave the Spartans an early 10-5 lead and after she hit a pair of free throws, with 1:22 to go before intermission, San José State had its largest advantage, 47-38.  The Falcons (1-14, 0-5 MW) closed the half with a 4-to-0 spurt to send the teams to the locker room with the score 47-42.

A 10-to-4 Air Force run to open the second half had the teams tied 52-52 at the first media timeout, with 15:49 left.  The Falcons continued their good play and opened a 58-53 lead with 13:33 left.

A foul by Jimi Blagowsky with 12:45 to play put the Spartans into the bonus for the remainder of the game.  Cunnigan's 3-pointer with 10:50 to go gave the Spartans a 61-58 lead, which they never surrendered for the rest of the game.

San José State hit 11-of-15 free throws, including nine of their last 10 attempts, in the final 12 minutes and secured the nine-point win.

The Spartans used their height advantage to win the battle of the boards 49-to-41.  They pulled down 17 offensive rebounds; scored 11 second chance points and had a 30-to-22 point advantage in points in the paint

Both teams hit 26 buckets and six 3-pointers.  The difference in the game was a 21-to-12 advantage in made free throws.

Camille Thompson's 22 points led Air Force.  Missy Byrd had 12 points and 10 rebounds.  Blagowsky and Cherea Medina had 11 and 10 points, respectively.