San Jose, Calif. - With 3:04 to play and the game tied 59-59, the San Jose State women's basketball team outscored the New Mexico State Aggies 8-to-3 to finish the game and won its second straight Western Athletic Conference game, 67-62 on Thursday night in The Event Center.
The Spartans have won six of their last eight, including their last four in a row. The four-game winning streak is the longest for a Spartans team since they strung together six consecutive in the 2005-06 season.
"The team is playing with a lot of confidence," head coach Tim La Kose said. "We are playing well together and we are getting more production from more players which makes us a better team overall."
In the final three minutes the Spartans (7-10, 2-0 WAC) got a layup from Ta'Rea Cunnigan to take a two-point lead with 2:46 to play. Then with 1:36 to go, Marisa Williams hit two free throws to push the advantage to four. They were her fifth and sixth points of the night and set a career-high.
"I have been working on my shot over the break," Williams said. "I have always had a lot of confidence in it and the coaches have been stressing that we need more than just Brittany (Johnson) and Sara (Plavljanin) to score for us. When the opportunities came tonight I took them and that forces teams to have to cover all of us, which in turn will get other players good looks. When we all contribute it makes everyone better."
A 3-pointer by New Mexico State's Erica Sanchez, who hit 6-of-13 behind the arc and scored 20 points on the night, cut the lead to 63-62, but Brittany Johnson hit a layup and two free throws to give San Jose State a five-point win.
Johnson finished the night with 14 points and nine rebounds, just shy of her sixth double-double of the season, but did extend her double-digit scoring streak to 18 games overall including all 17 this season.
Three other Spartans also reached double digit scoring, led by Sara Palvljanin's 16 points. Ta'Rea Cunnigan had 13 and Myesha Broaden added 12.
Broaden was charged with stopping the Aggies leading scorer Tabytha Wampler who came into the game averaging 13 points per contest. With tough defense she limited Wampler to seven points on 3-of -11 shooting and forced other players to step up. Kaitlyn Soto was the only other New Mexico State player to reach double figures. She scored 23 points.
San Jose State's seven wins are more than they have gotten in any of the past five seasons and this is the first time since the 2005-06 season that the Spartans have started WAC play with two wins.
The Spartans return to WAC play on Saturday night, January 21, when they host the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters. Tipoff in The Event Center is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.