Jan. 27, 2014
San Jose, Calif. - The San José State women's basketball team returns to the road for a Mountain West matchup Wednesday evening at the UNLV Rebels. The Spartans are looking for their first conference road win, but it will be a tough task playing in a city where they are 0-14 all-time against the opponent.
at UNLV (9-8, 4-2 MW)
Wednesday, January 29, 7:00 p.m.
Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, Nev.
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.
CUNNIGAN SIXTH ON ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Jr., G, Winchester, Calif.) has scored 1,298 career points and is in 6th place on the Spartans career-scoring list. She is 43 points from moving ahead Kari Steele (1994-97, 1,340 pts.) and into the top five all-time scoring leaders in program history.
She became the 13th player to reach the 1,000 point plateau in a game against UC Riverside (11/15). She accomplished the feat in 63 games, the second fastest in program history.
WOODBERRY SEVENTH ON SPARTANS SINGLE SEASON 3-POINT LIST
Rebecca Woodberry's (Jr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) 54 3-pointers are good for 7th place on the San José State women's basektball single-season 3-point list. Woodberry is one 3-pointers from tying Natalie White (55 in 2007-08) of 6th place on the list. She leads the MW in 3-pointers (3.0/g) and ranks 13th in the nation.
BYRD TOPS CONFERENCE IN REBOUNDING
Riana Byrd (So., C, Richmond, Calif.) leads the MW (10.1/g) in rebounding and ranks 39th in the nation. Byrd ranks 1st in offensive (4.1) and 2nd in defensive (6.1) rebounds in the conference and her 11 double digit rebounding efforts lead the league.
TEAM SCORING CONTINUES TO GO UP - FOUR PLAYERS IN THE TOP-20
Averaging 78.0 points per game, the Spartans are the second leading scoring team in the Mountain West Conference and rank 36th in the nation. Just three years ago, the team was averaging less than 48 points, that's an increase of more than 30 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 (18.7/g). Rebecca Woodberry (Jr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) is 8th (13.6/g), Classye James (Jr., G, East Palo Alto, Calif.) is 16th (12.2/g) and Jasmine Smith (Fr., F, Burbank, Calif.) ranks 20th (11.6/g).
SPARTANS TOP MW TEAM ON THE GLASS
At 44.5 rebounds per game, the Spartans are the top rebounding team in the Mountain West and have three of the top-5 rebounders in the league.
Riana Byrd (So., C, Richmond, Calif.) leads the league at 10.1 boards. Jasmine Smith (Fr., F, Burbank, Calif.) is at 8.1 rebounds and Rebecca Woodberry (Jr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) checks in at 7.4 rebounds. The three are a one-three-five punch when it comes to rebounding in the Mountain West.
CUNNIGAN IN TOP-10 OF SIX MORE CAREER CATEGORIES
The sixth-leading scorer in program history, Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Jr., G, Winchester, Calif.) is also in the top-10 of six other San José State career categories.
She ranks 2nd in both free throws (393) and free throw attempts (528), trailing only Cricket Williams (2001-04) in both categories. Cunnigan is 73 free throws and 204 free throw attempts from tying Williams in each category.
She ranks 5th in career free throw percentage (.744) and 8th in career steals (182).
Cunnigan ranks 8th in 3-point attempts (259) and makes (81). She is 38 3-point attempts from and 15 3-pointers from tying Sara Plavljanin (2011-12) for 7th place on each list.
BYRD IN CAREER RECORD BOOK AS WELL
Riana Byrd (So., C, Richmond, Calif.), who blocked 64 shots in her freshman campaign and has 25 more this season, is already in fourth place in the program's career blocks list. She is 51 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.
WOODBERRY IS LOOKING LONG
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 54 3-pointers are 13 more, and her 156 3-point attempts are nearly 40 more, than her next closest conference rival.
Woodberry is currently ninth on the Spartans single-season list for 3-point attempts five behind Sara Plavljanin's 161 in 2011-12 for eighth place. The single-season record is 212 by Jessica Kellogg in 2002-02. Her 54 3-pointers, seventh on the program's single-season list, are one behind Natalie White's 55 in 2007-08 and three behind Danada Smith's 57, in 2000-01, for fifth place.
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 11 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-20 of six categories in the Mountain West Conference. She is third in offensive rebounds (3.5/g), third in total rebounds (8.1/g), eighth in field goal percentage (.466) and defensive rebounds (4.6/g), 14th in blocked shots (0.8/g) and ohh by the way she is 20th in scoring (11.6/g).
She is the highest ranked freshman in four of those categories (points, rebounds, FG% and offensive rebounds) and second in the other two (defensive rebounds and blocks). She is achieving these numbers while coming off the bench in 16 of the Spartans 19 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 9.7 points and 10.1 rebounds, but is doing it in nearly six minutes less per game (28.5-to-23.1) and she is the only player in the MW to be in double digits for rebounds.
HALL SERVING THEM UP
Britta Hall (Fr., G, Tualatin, Ore.) leads the Spartans and ranks second among all Mountain West freshmen in assists, averaging 3.4 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.
STILL ONE OF THE YOUNGEST TEAMS
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 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).
The Rebels are 8-11 overall and 5-2 in Mountain West Conference action heading into the match up with the Spartans on Wednesday afternoon.
UNLV split their two games last week. They defeated Utah State, 73-67, in Logan, Utah on Wednesday but fell at Fresno State, 70-52, on Saturday. Overall the Rebels are 5-7 in at home this season, but 2-1 in home conference games
Junior guard Danielle Miller leads the team in scoring (13.5/g) and ranks ninth in the MW. Ashley Rohde, a sophomore center, is the program's leading rebounder at 7.6/game and scores 7.2/g. Senior guard Mia Bell tops the Rebels at 3.7 assists and is at 11.6 points/game. Alana Cesarz, a junior forward, also scores in double figures at 13.1 points an outing.
Head coach Kathy Olivier is in his sixth season leading the UNLV program. She brought a 72-85 program and 304-293 overall record into this year.
This will be the 29th meeting between these programs. The Rebels hold a overwhelming 25-to-3 advantage in the all-time series. UNLV won the first 19 meetings, 10 of which were on their home court. The Spartans never won on the Rebels home court (0-14) including a 78-41 defeat in the 2011-12 season, the last time the programs met.