San Jose, Calif. - Having finished a three-game home sweep of Western Athletic Conference competition, the San Jose State women's basketball team hits the road this week. With stops in Ruston, La., and Arlington, Texas, the Spartans look to extend their season-long winning streak and pick up their first road win of the year.
GAME 19 & 20
SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (7-11, 4-3 WAC)
at LOUISIANA TECH (8-9, 4-3 WAC)
THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2013, 7:00 P.M.
THOMAS ASSEMBLY CENTER, RUSTON, LA.
at UT ARLINGTON (3-14, 1-6 WAC)
SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2013, 6:00 P.M.
COLLEGE PARK CENTER, ARLINGTON, TEXAS
Live Stats for both games available at www.sjsuspartans.com
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In the Spartans 103-80 win over Utah State, Emily Schill (Fr., F, Tecoma, Australia) and Ta'Rea Cunnigan (So., G, Winchester, Calif.) combined for 62 points (Schill - 36 & Cunnigan - 26). In a regulation game, it was the second highest output for teammates this season.
The top twosome are Diamond Ford and Ashley Ezeh of Texas State who scored 66 points (Ford - 40 & Ezeh - 26) on December 29th. The opponent....San Jose State.
QUICK HITS SINCE THE START OF WAC PLAY....
Scoring has gone from 65.5 to 71.3 ppg.
Field goal percentage has risen from .364 to .382.
3-point FG percentage is up to .264 from .255.
Blocked shots are up nearly two per game.
Turnovers allowed are down by six per game.
BREAKING THE LATECH CURSE
In their 11 years as WAC opponents, San Jose State has never defeated Louisiana Tech in 22 tries. This is the last year the programs are scheduled conference rivals, so time is running out to break the LaTech curse.
In the series the Lady Techsters have an average winning margin of 21 points (75.7-to-54.6), but in head coach Tim LaKose's two match-ups that margin has been reduced to just over five points (71.5-to-66.0).
Riana Byrd (Fr., F, Richmond, Calif.) and Emily Schill (Fr., F, Tecoma, Australia) continue to impress.
Byrd tied The Event Center's rebound record with 19 against Cal State Northridge (12/1). It was the second of her eight double digit rebounding games this year. Overall she leads the conference in blocks, ranks third in total rebounding and defensive rebounds, fifth in offensive rebounds, ninth in free throw percentage and 18th in scoring. Nationally she is 56th in rebounds and 18th in blocks. Against UTSA (12/31), she equalled another The Event Center record when she had eight steals.
Schill is the 15th leading scorer in the WAC. She is the seventh ranked rebounder giving the Spartans two rebounders in the top-10.
San Jose State is the only school to have two freshman rank in the top-20 in both scoring and rebounding in the WAC. In the categories in which they appear in the top-10, in the WAC, they are the highest ranked freshman in rebounds, FG%, steals, FT%, blocks, offensive and defensive rebounds.
CLIMBING SINGLE-SEASON LISTS
Ta'Rea Cunnigan (So., G, Winchester, Calif.) and Riana Byrd (Fr., F, Richmond, Calif.) are climbing up the San Jose State single season lists for free throws attempted, made and blocks.
Cunnigan currently stands in seventh place on the free throws made list with 114 (Brittany Johnson holds the record with 158, 2012-13), and eighth in free throw attempts with 155 (Cricket Williams holds the record with 240 (2002-03). Byrd has 46 blocked shots and Lamisha Augustine holds the program record with 58 in 2005-06.
HITTING THE BOOKS
The Spartans are getting it done in the classroom as well as on the court. In the Fall 2012 semester, the team had a semester GPA of 3.201 and has a cumulative GPA of 3.402. Both numbers are the highest in years.
Ta'Rea Cunnigan, a kinesiology major with a 3.616 cumulative grade point average, was recently nominated for Academic All-America honors.
SPARTANS THE YOUNGEST IN DIVISION I
In a list compiled by SIDs across America it has been determined that San Jose State is the youngest team in Division I. The list is based upon the total years played in college (Division I, II, II, NAIA or Junior College) by members of each school's team.
The Spartans return one player from last season, Ta'Rea Cunnigan (So., G, Winchester, Calif.) who has one year of college experience. Classye James (So., G, Palo Alto, Calif.) had one year of college experience (Oregon State) before transfering and sitting out last year and Chereese Thomas (Jr., G, Dublin, Calif.) was at Ohlone College for the past two seasons. That totals four years of experience on a roster of nine athletes (0.444 years of experience).
Temple and SIU-Carbondale tied for second on the list with 0.727 years of college experience (eight years season on rosters of 11 players).
LAST TIME OUT
Despite one of their poorest shooting games of the year, the Spartans swept their three-game home stand finishing with a 51-50 over the New Mexico State Aggies on Walt McPherson Court on Saturday.
The Spartans hit just 21-of-72 field goal attempts (29.2 percent) and 7-of-14 from the free throw line (50 percent). It was the third worst shooting percentage game this season and the first time the team has won a game without hitting at least 70 percent of their attempts from the line. Fortunately, the Aggies were even worse from the field, hitting just 26 percent (18-for-68) and were 4-of-23 (17 percent) from behind the 3-point line.
San Jose State had a seven-point lead, 50-43, with five minutes to play. After the Aggies' Shay Young hit a pair of free throws, San Jose State's Riana Byrd, who finished with 11 points and nine boards, made one-of-two from the line. The Spartans had a 51-45 lead at the 3:42 mark, but would not score again.
Sasha Weber made one-of two-free throws with one minute to play to cut the SJSU lead to 51-48. Then with 42 seconds left a Danesia Williamson bucket got NMSU to within one at 51-50.
New Mexico State had two chances in the last eight seconds to get the go-ahead bucket. The first was swatted away by Byrd and the second came off the iron into the lane where Ta'Rea Cunnigan grabbed it and was fouled with 1.7 seconds remaining. She missed her free throw attempt and time expired.
SCOUTING LOUISIANA TECH
The Lady Techsters are 8-9 overall and 4-3 in conference play, after splitting a pair of road games last week. They defeated Idaho 67-58 (1/17) before falling at Seattle 64-47 (1/19). At home, LaTech is 6-2 overall, 2-1 in conference matchups.
The Lady Techsters are being outscored by 6.6 points per game (57.8-to-64.4) and have scored the second fewest points of any team in the WAC (983).
At 13.0 points per game, the LaTech offense is led by sophomore guard Kelia Shelton (13th WAC) and senior forward Brittany Lewis at 10.8 (16th WAC). Shelton also leads the team with 6.4 rebounds (15th WAC).
Teresa Weatherspoon is in her fifth season leading her alma mater's women's basketball program. She had a 73-33 record entering the 2012-13 season.
This will be the 23rd meeting between these two programs. The Spartans have never beaten Louisiana Tech, though last season the combined margin of defeat was 11 point in two games.
SCOUTING UT ARLINGTON
The Mavericks are 3-14 overall and 1-6 in conference play entering this week and host Utah State on Thursday before the Spartans arrive on Saturday. In two road games last week, they lost at Seattle 69-53 (1/17) before a 70-52 defeat at Idaho (1/19). UT Arlington has yet to win a home game this year. They are 0-6 overall, 0-2 in WAC games in College Park Center.
UT Arlington is the lowest scoring team in the WAC (54.4 ppg) while giving up 71.4 points per game. Their -16.9 scoring margin is the worst in the WAC and more than double the nearest team (-6.6, LaTech). UTA has not scored more than 60 points just once in the last 12 games and just three times this year. They have won two of those three games.
Junior guard Laila Suleiman leads the Mavericks attack at 8.7 points per game and 2.3 assists. Malaika Green, a junior guard, is at 8.1 ppg. and the team rebounding leader, junior forward, Aron Garcia is at 7.6 per game.
Samantha Morrow is in her sixth season leading the UT Arlington women's basketball program. Entering this season she had a 71-78 record.
This will be the first meeting between these two programs.