Women's Hoops Goes Fourth Straight Home Win

San Jose, Calif. - Returning home after splitting a pair of Western Athletic Conference road games, the San Jose State women's basketball team looks to extend its three-game home winning streak against Seattle University and then Idaho.

GAMES 21 & 22

vs. SEATTLE U. (11-7, 8-1 WAC)
THURSDAY, JANUARY 31, 2013, 7:00 P.M.

vs. IDAHO (9-11, 6-3 WAC)
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2013, 2:00 P.M.

Live Stats and streaming video available at www.sjsuspartans.com

Fans can view live stats of all San Jose State games by accessing the "Live Stats" feature at www.sjsuspartans.com.  Click on the link at the top of the home page to follow the action.

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Keep up with all 16 San Jose State's team through social media sites Twitter and Facebook.  For Twitter go to @sjsuathletics and on Facebook become friends with Sammy Spartan.

KSJS (90.5 FM, San Jose) originates San Jose State women's basketball home broadcasts. 

Tickets for San Jose 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).  A "Spartan 4-Pack", four tickets to any game and fans of any age for $15.00.

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 doubleheaders.

Parking for all San Jose 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.

Jan. 31 - PACK THE HOUSE/GOLD OUT - Free gold t-shirts for the first 300 people in the building.
Feb. 2 - THINK PINK BREAST CANCER AWARENESS GAME - Pink "Spartans Making Strides" signs will be distributed.

Scoring has increased from 65.5 to 73.0 ppg.
Field goal percentage has risen from .364 to .380.
3-point FG percentage is up from .255 to .293 .
Free throw percentage is up from .715 to .761
Turnovers allowed are down by four per game.

The Spartans, who won their first road contest of the year last week, are happy to be back in The Event Center.  They are a solid 7-4 overall and 4-1 in WAC games when they play on Walt McPherson Court.  They score nearly five more points per game and shoot nearly 30 percentage points higher at home and defensively hold opponents to just shy of 11 points less per contest.

Riana Byrd (Fr., F, Richmond, Calif.) and Emily Schill (Fr., F, Tecoma, Australia) continue to impress two-thirds of the way through their first college campaigns.

Byrd tied The Event Center's rebound record with 19 against Cal State Northridge (12/1).  It was the second of her nine double-digit rebounding games this year.  Overall she leads the conference in blocks, ranks third in total rebounding, defensive and offensive rebounds, 10th in free throw percentage and 19th in scoring.  Nationally she is 51st in rebounds and 22nd in blocks.  Against UTSA (12/31), she equalled another The Event Center record when she had eight steals.

Schill is the 17th leading scorer in the WAC and set the program's freshman scoring record with 36 points against Utah State (1/12).  She is the 12th ranked rebounder in the conference and ripped down a season-best 18 boards in the Utah State game.  Each has earned a WAC Player of the Week honor this season.

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.

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.  Below are where they stand to date:

 1.    Brittany Johnson - 158 - 2011-12
 2.    Cricket Williams - 152 - 2002-03
 3.    Cricket Williams - 134 - 2001-02
 4.    Ta'Rea Cunnigan - 131 - 2012-13

 1.    Cricket Williams - 240 - 2002-03
 6.    Lora Alexander - 192 - 1989-90
 7.    Ta'Rea Cunnigan - 177 - 2011-12

 1.   Lamisha Augustine - 58 - 2005-06
 3.   Elinor Banks - **53 - 1978-79
 6.   Rhoda Chew - 49 - 1982-83     
 7.   Elinor Banks - 48 - 1980-81
 8.   Riana Byrd - 47 - 2012-13

** - San Jose State freshman record

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 program history.

Ta'Rea Cunnigan, a kinesiology major with a 3.616 cumulative grade point average, was recently nominated for Academic All-America honors and Emily Schill (Fr., F, Tecoma, Australia) was recognized by the Athletics Department for having the team's highest GPA (3.930) for the Fall 2012 semester.

In the Spartans 103-80 win over Utah State (1/12), 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 two-some 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.

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).
Ta'Rea Cunnigan equaled her career-high with 30 points and the Spartans earned their first road win of the year defeating the UT Arlington Mavericks 78-70.

Cunnigan was one of three Spartans to scored in double figures. Emily Schill had 11 points and Riana Byrd added 10 and grabbed 15 rebounds. San Jose State got quality play and scoring from every player on the night.  The Spartans bench outscored the Mavericks reserves 18-to-16; the first time this season the Spartans had that statistical advantage.

San Jose State won the turnover battle forcing UT Arlington into 30 turnovers, which they turned into 21 points.

The Redhawks are 11-7 overall, 8-1 in conference action and in first place in the WAC entering this week.  They split their two road games last week losing at UTSA 65-55 before a 70-58 win at Texas State.  Seattle U. is 4-4 on the road this year, but an impressive 4-1 in league road games.

The Redhawks are the best shooting team in the WAC hitting 42 percent of their shots this season.  They also lead the conference in rebounding margin (+4.7) and assists (15.89)

Junior center Kacie Sowell leads the Seattle U. attack.  She is fourth in the league in scoring (16.9), first in FG percentage (.598) and second in rebounding (9.7).  She also leads the league in defensive rebounds (6.56).  Sylvia Shephard, a junior guard, is averaging 14.4 points and 4.72 assists per game.

Joan Bonvicini is in her fourth season leading the Redhawks women's basketball program.  Entering 2012-13 she had an overall record of 646-352 overall and a 34-58 mark at Seattle U.

This will be the third meeting between these two programs.  Seattle took the first matchup 94-62 in The Event Center in the 2008-09 season and defeated the Spartans 72-60 on January 5 in Seattle, Wash.

Previous Meeting This Season
(72-60 Seattle U. win in Seattle, Wash. - 1/5/13)

Seattle U. shot 48 percent (15-for-31) in the second half to pull away and defeat San Jose State 72-60 in a Western Athletic Conference matchup in the Connolly Center on January 5.

The teams played nearly even through the first 20 minutes and went to the locker rooms with the Redhawks clinging to a 35-32 advantage.

After an Ashley Ward 3-pointer gave Seattle a 33-18 lead with 3:56 to go before the break, the Spartans closed the half on a 15-to-3 spurt.  Ta'Rea Cunnigan, who finished with a game-high 23 points, and Jayzyl Tauala keyed the run each scoring a 3-pointer and two free throws.

Opening the second half, Riana Byrd picked up three fouls in less than three minutes and had to go to the bench.  Seattle took advantage of the situation working the ball inside to Kacie Sowell, who led her team with 19 points.  She made 9-of-12 shots and grabbed 10 rebounds.

The game was still in reach with nine and a half minutes to play 54-42, but Classye James, Emily Schill and Byrd each picked up their fourth fouls within a minute of each other and Seattle pushed the lead to 62-42 with 6:42 to play.

Over the next three minutes the Spartans cut the advantage to 64-54, but Byrd, who had 15 points and 10 rebounds in the game, and Schill fouled out.  Seattle used its inside size to close out the game 72-60.  Fourteen of the Redhawks 15 buckets in the second half came in the paint and they had a slight advantage on the boards 51-to-45.

In addition to Sowell, Seatttle had two other players in double figures.  Ashley Ward had 14 points and Brenda Adhiambo finished with 13. 

The Vandals are 9-11 overall and in third place in the WAC with 6-3 league record.  Last week they swept a pair of road games, winning 72-60 and 64-45 at Texas State and UTSA, respectively.

Idaho is being outscored by 1.8 points per game (67.2-to-65.4) so far this year.  They love to shoot from long range having hoisted 489 3-point shots and making 169, both league highs.  They lead the conference in 3-pointers made per game at 8.45 and 3-point field goal percentage at .346.

At 14.3 points, the Vandals are led by the WAC's seventh ranked scorer Alyssa Charlston, a junior forward.  Charlston is also the No. 5 rebounder in the conference at 8.3 per game.
Christina Salvatore, a freshman forward, is also in double digits at 11.5 points per game.

Jon Newlee is in his fifth season leading the Idaho women's basketball program.  Entering 2012-13 he had a 151-71 record in Moscow and a 179-184 record in 13 seasons as a head coach.

This will be the 27th meeting between these two programs.  Idaho holds a 16-10 advantage and have won the last five matchups including three times last year.  In games contested in San Jose, the Spartans have a slim 6-5 advantage.

Previous Meeting This Season
(82-65 Idaho win in Moscow, Idaho. - 1/3/13)

A 16-0 run in the first half propelled the Idaho Vandals to a 82-65 win over San Jose State in each team's opening game in Western Athletic Conference play.

With the game tied 15-15 and 10:44 to play in the first, Idaho made six unanswered buckets and a pair of free throws over a span of 6:43 to take a 31-15 lead on the Spartans.  Stacy Barr, who finished with 10 points and 10 boards, keyed the spurt.

Barr was one of five Vandals reached double digits in scoring and one of three who grabbed double digits rebounds.  Alyssa Charlston also had a double double for Idaho with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Idaho was clicking from outside and inside.  They hit an impressive 11 3-pointers in 22 attempts.  It was the fourth game this season in which the Spartans have seen their opponent make 10 or more shots from long distance.

San Jose State was dominated on the boards with the Vandals holding a 60-to-39 advantage including 23-to-14 on the offensive glass, which they used for a 10-point disparity in second chance points (22-12).

Once the lead was established, Idaho built as much as a 28-point advantage in the second half, they never allowed the Spartans to cut it to single digits.  A three-point play by Alexis Hill trimmed the deficit to 13 with 2:51 to play but the Vandals had the score and time on their side and took the win 82-65.

San Jose State was led by the nation's 18th leading scorer, Ta'Rea Cunnigan, who finished with a game-high 20 points.  Jayzyl Tauala had 12 points and Riana Byrd grabbed 12 rebounds.