Women's Hoops Wins Thriller Against Denver

San Jose, Calif. – The San Jose State women’s basketball team survived two missed shots in the last three seconds to defeat the Denver Pioneers 68-67 in Western Athletic Conference action on The Event Center’s Walt McPherson Court. 


Coming out of a timeout with five seconds to play, Denver’s Maiya Michel launched an unsuccessful 3-pointer.  Pioneer Jordan Johnston grabbed the rebound, on of DU’s 25 offensive rebound of the night, but missed the follow-up layup as time expired giving the Spartans (6-11, 3-3 WAC) a one-point victory.


“That was a crazy finish,” said head coach Tim LaKose.  “We were fortunate to come out with the victory.  I was happy we put ourselves in a position to win, but that was a bit to close for comfort.”


In the second half, San Jose State built a game-high seven-point lead, 64-57, on a pair of Alexis Hill free throws with 5:29 to play.  An Emiko Smith three-point play cut the lead to four at the 4:54 mark.  Smith, who finished with 11 points, and Morgan Van Riper-Rose, who led the Pioneers with 19 points, scored the final seven points for DU.


The Pioneers missed their final six free-throw attempts while San Jose State made two of its four chances from the line and a Riana Byrd layup, two of her 11 points, set the stage for the final second excitement.


The Spartans offense was paced by Ta’Rea Cunnigan’s 28 points, which tied her career high.  She drove to the basket again and again, sinking 9-of-18 shots and made 8-of-10 from the line.


Denver had a big advantage on the boards, 56-to-35 overall, as well as a 25-to-9 on the offensive glass.  Despite the rebounding advantage and a 19-to-6 lead in second chance points, the Pioneers only hit 33 percent from the floor including 25 percent in the second half.


San Jose State hosts New Mexico State on Saturday afternoon in The Event Center.  Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Walt McPherson Court.

Denver vs San Jose State 01/17/13 7:00 p.m. at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center) At San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center) SAN JOSE STATE 68, DENVER 67
DENVER (8-10, 3-4 WAC) Van Riper-Rose, Morg 7-20 0-0 19; Johnston, Jordan 5-12 0-0 11; Smith, Emiko2-7 7-7 11; Janecek, Alison 3-6 3-4 9; Wirth, Theresa 3-6 0-2 6; Michel, Maiya 1-5 3-5 5; Hunter, Desiree 2-4 0-0 4; Edwards, Kailey 1-7 0-2 2;Bradley, Paige 0-5 0-0 0. Totals 24-72 13-20 67.
SAN JOSE STATE (6-11, 3-3 WAC) Cunnigan, Ta'Rea 9-18 8-10 28; Byrd, Riana 5-12 1-1 11; Thomas, Chereese 4-11 0-0 9; Schill, Emily 3-10 2-2 8; Hill, Alexis 2-6 2-2 7; James, Classye 2-3 1-2 5; Tauala, Jayzyl 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 25-64 14-17 68.
Denver........................   32   35  -   67 San Jose State................   33   35  -   68
3-point goals--Denver 6-28 (Van Riper-Rose, Morg 5-16; Johnston, Jordan 1-5; Michel, Maiya 0-1; Edwards, Kailey 0-2; Bradley, Paige 0-2; Smith, Emiko 0-2), San Jose State 4-14 (Cunnigan, Ta'Rea 2-7; Hill, Alexis 1-1; Thomas, Chereese 1-3; Tauala, Jayzyl 0-3). Fouled out--Denver-None, San Jose State-Byrd, Riana; James, Classye. Rebounds--Denver 56 (Michel, Maiya 10), San Jose State 35 (Schill, Emily 6; Thomas, Chereese 6; Byrd, Riana 6). Assists--Denver 11 (Smith, Emiko 10), San Jose State 7 (Thomas, Chereese 3). Total fouls--Denver 18, San Jose State 20. Technical fouls--Denver-None, San Jose State-None. A-202