Women's Hoops At SDSU Looking For First MW Road Win

Riana Byrd had 16 points, 10 rebounds and six steals in the Spartans win over Wyoming on Saturday afternoon.

Jan. 21, 2014

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San Jose, Calif. - The San José State women's basketball team won both its Mountain West Conference home games last week.  On Wednesday night they look to keep the momentum going and capture their first conference road game when they play at the San Diego State Aztecs.


at San Diego State (5-10, 2-3 MW)

Wednesday, January 22, 6:00 p.m.

Viejas Arena, San Diego, Calif.

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

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.


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.


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.


KSJS-FM (90.5 FM, San Jose) originates San José State women's basketball home broadcasts and select road contests. 


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 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. 


With its game at San Diego State this week, San José State will attempt to string together three consecutive wins. Four times this year the Spartans have won back-to-back games, but in the previous three times, they have failed to string together the third win. 

The last time the Spartans won three consecutive games was 2012-13.  Since the start of the 2006-07 season, San José State has strung together at least three straight wins just twice - 2012-13 and four consecutive games in 2011-12 .


With wins over Air Force (1/15) and Wyoming (1/18), both on its home floor of Walt McPherson Court, the Spartans are looking for their first road win in Mountain West Conference action. 

San José State dropped its first two road contests in the MW, at Colorado State (1/8) and New Mexico (1/11), and things don't get any easier on Wednesday at San Diego State.  The Aztecs have defeated the Spartans in 16 of the 20 meetings between the two programs, including eight of nine in San Diego. The only win for San José State in San Diego was a 65-62 decision in the 2001-02 season.  It was also the last time the two teams met.


Averaging 79.3 points per game, the Spartans are the second leading scoring team in the Mountain West Conference and rank 30th 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-20 scorers in the league, the most of any team. Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Jr., G, Winchester, Calif.) ranks 2nd (18.8/g).  Rebecca Woodberry (Jr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) is 7th (13.6/g), Classye James (Jr., G, East Palo Alto, Calif.) is 16th (12.5/g) and Jasmine Smith (Fr., F, Burbank, Calif.) ranks 17th (12.3/g).


Riana Byrd (So., C, Richmond, Calif.), Jasmine Smith (Fr., F, Burbank, Calif.) at 8.6 rebounds and Rebecca Woodberry (Jr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) at 7.3 rebounds are a one-three-six punch when it comes to rebounding in the Mountain West. 

Byrd leads the MW (9.8/g) and ranks 46th in the nation, Smith is 102nd in the country.  The three have combined for 19 double-digit rebounding efforts led by Byrd's nine, also tops in the conference.


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 1,262 points put her in 6th place.  She is 79 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 381 free throws and 512 free throw attempts rank second on the program's career list.  She trails only Cricket Williams (2001-04) in both categories.  Cunnigan is 85 made free throws and 220 free throw attempts from tying Williams in each category. 

She ranks 5th in career free throw percentage (.744) and 8th in career steals (179). 

Cunnigan ranks 8th in 3-point attempts (248) and 10th in makes (77). She is 49 3-point attempts from tying Sara Plavljanin (2011-12) for 7th place and is three made 3-pointers from tying Kim Skaggs (1989-92) for eighth.

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.), who 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.  With 16 points against Wyoming (1/18), Byrd reached the 500-point scoring plateau for her career.


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 (3.0) and leads all Mountain West shooters.  Her 48 3-pointers are 12 more, and her 139 3-point attempts are nearly 40 more, than her next closest conference rival.

Her 48 threes are good for 10th place on the San José State women's basektball single-season 3-point list. Woodberry is three 3-pointers from tying Atari Parker (51 in 2001-02) 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 sixth overall in the MW in total rebounding at 7.3 per game. Her 5.6 defensive boards are third 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 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.


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 (3.8/g), third in total rebounds (8.6/g), ninth in field goal percentage (.470), tied for sixth in defensive rebounds (4.8/g), 14th in steals (1.4/g) & blocked shots (0.8/g) and oh by the way she is 17th in scoring (12.3/g).

She is the highest ranked freshman in four of those categories and is achieving these numbers while coming off the bench in 14 of the Spartans 17 games this year.


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 9.9 points and 9.8 rebounds, but is doing it in nearly six minutes less per game (28.5-to-23.1)


Britta Hall (Fr., G, Tualatin, Ore.) leads the Spartans and ranks second among all Mountain West freshmen in assists, averaging 3.3 per game.  In six of the team's 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.


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.


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 12.3 points, has reached double figure scoring in a total of 10 games, including seven of the last 10. 

Her shooting has improved to .363 (66-for-182) and in 17 games has already passed her scoring total from a year ago (213 points in 2013-14 vs. 206 in 27 games in 2012-13).


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 17 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. The second time there was a change in the starting line up was at Colorado State (1/8) when Smith started in place of Byrd. Smith's third start came against Wyoming (1/18) in place of Woodberry.


The Aztecs are 5-10 overall and 2-3 in Mountain West Conference action heading into the  match up with the Spartans on Wednesday evening

In two road games last week they lost 70-69 at Fresno State and 74-59 at UNLV.  In two conference home games they are 1-1, having lost to Colorado State (64-61 on 1/2) and defeating Air Force (72-39 on 1/11)

Cierra Warren, a senior center, leads the team in scoring (13.4/g) and rebounding (5.9/g).  Junior forward Khristina Hunter is scoring 9.0 points and pulling down 5.8 rebounds.  Freshman guard Ariel Bostick tops the team with 3.0 assists a game and scores 8.1 points. 

Head coach Stacie Terry is in her first season leading the San Diego State program.  The Aztecs are her first head coaching assignment.

This will be the 21st meeting between these programs. The Aztecs hold an overwhelming 16-4 advantage in the all-time series.  The series record was even worse before the Spartans won each of the last two meetings, in 2000-01 and 2001-02.