Women's Hoops Hosts Utah State & Idaho This Week

San Jose, Calif. - Off to its best conference start in years (3-2), the San Jose State women's basketball team closes its first of two times through the Western Athletic Conference by hosting Utah State and Idaho this week in The Event Center.

vs. Utah State (13-6, 4-1 Western Athletic)
Thursday, February 2, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
The Event Center, San Jose, Calif.
Steaming video and live stats available at
Play-by-Play simulcast available at 90.5 KSJS-FM

vs. Idaho (5-16, 0-5 Western Athletic)
Saturday, February 4, 2012, 8:30 p.m.
The Event Center, San Jose, Calif.
Steaming video and live stats available at
Play-by-Play simulcast available at 90.5 KSJS-FM

Fans can view live stats of all San Jose State home and road contests 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.

The Gold Zone is your passport to Spartan Athletics.  For live video/audio of San Jose State women's basketball home games, sign up to be a Gold Zone member at www.sjsuspartans.com

KSJS (90.5 FM, San Jose) originates the majority of San Jose State women's basketball home broadcasts.  Jeff Bowe and Alex Scott call the women's basketball play-by-play.

Tickets for all San Jose State home women's basketball games are free for all SJSU students with a valid student ID.  Adult tickets are $5.00, $3.00 for youth (12 and under).

Groups of 20 or more can buy discounted tickets at $3.00 per person.  The ticket office opens two hours prior  to tip-off at The Event Center or can be purchased by calling San Jose State Athletics Ticket Office at 408-924-SJTX (7589).

With its 86-79 win at Nevada last Saturday, San Jose State broke a 44-game conference road losing streak that dated back to the 2005-06 season.  The last time a Spartans team had won a WAC road game was on February 1, 2006 at Boise State.  San Jose State defeated the Broncos, now members of the Mountain West Conference, 69-64.

With three wins in their first five conference games, the Spartans have already equaled or surpassed their single-season WAC win total from any of the last five seasons.  The last time they won as many as three conference games was in 2006-07 when San Jose State went 3-13 in WAC play.

Through five WAC games San Jose State has a 3-2 record. That's the best conference start for the Spartans since they opened the 2005-06 season with a 4-1 conference mark.  The 2005-06 season is the last time San Jose State finished with a record of .500 or better in WAC play.  It is also the last time the Spartans finished the year out of the WAC cellar.

After three weeks of conference play, freshman guard Ta'Rea Cunnigan is the WAC's sixth-leading scorer.  Her 15.4 points per game makes her the only freshman in the top-10 and one of two freshman in the top-20.   Fresno State's Madison Parrish is 20th (10.2 ppg).

In all games played, Cunnigan is the 12th leading scorer in the WAC (11.9 ppg) and the leading scorer among freshman.  She leads Idaho's Stacy Barr who is at 10.2 ppg and is 15th on the scoring list and Parrish, at 9.2 ppg, is 18th. 

Cunnigan scored a season-best 21 points in the Spartans 86-79 win at Nevada (1/28).

Senior forward Brittany Johnson contines to exert her will on the WAC and is opening eyes across the country.

Johnson leads the WAC and ranks 20th nationally in scoring at 19.3 points per game.  She ranks third in the WAC in defensive rebounds (5.8), fourth in rebounding (8.5) and minutes played (33.9), sixth in offensive rebounds (2.7), seventh in steals (1.7) and ninth in blocks (0.8) and 10th in free throw percentage (.691). She has recorded six double-doubles and her 20-game double-digit scoring streak to open the season surpasses the program's previous best, Cricket Williams' 16-game streak in 2002-03. 

In addition, Johnson is the 96th ranked rebounder in the nation. She set a career-high with 32 points in the Spartans 86-79 win at Nevada (1/28).

In the team's five WAC contests, senior center Myesha Broaden is averaging a career-high 9.0 points on a team-leading .553 shooting percentage (3rd best in the WAC).  Broaden is averaging 7.4 rebounds and picke up her third double double of the year (10 pts., 13 reb.) at Nevada (1/28). She is the conference's fifth leading defensive rebounder (5.4) and sixth best shot blocker (1.0).

The Aggies are 13-6 overall and in second place in the WAC at 4-1.  Last week they played their travel partner Idaho and came away with a 78-70 win in the Kibbie Dome/Cowan Spectrum in Moscow, Idaho.      

Utah State finished last season 10-6 in conference play and 18-15 overall. They fell to Fresno State in the WAC final, but received a WNIT bid and went 1-1 in the tournament.

The Aggies have three players who are scoring in double figures led by Ashlee Brown, a senior forward and the WAC Preseason Player of the Year, who at 14.3 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per contest leads the team.  Devyn Christiansen, a junior guard, is averaging 12.6 points while shooting 47 percent from the field.  Brooke Jackson is scoring 11.1 points and grabbing 3.3 boards per contest

As a team, Utah State is averaging 71.7 points per game on .444 shooting from the field, tops in the conference.  They are 6-4 on the road this year, including a 3-0 in WAC road contests.
Head coach Raegan Pebley is in her ninth season leading the Aggies.  Entering the season her record was 89-145 in Logan.

HISTORY: Spartans vs. Aggies
In 13 games the Spartans trail in the all-time series 9-4. San Jose State won four of the team's five meetings, but since the 2007-08 season, Utah State has reeled off eight-straight wins.  In games contested on their home floor, the Spartans are 3-4 and have beaten the Aggies by an average of 16 points.

The Vandals are 0-5 in conference action, in last place,  and 5-16 overall.  Last week they hosted their travel partner Utah State and lost 78-70.  Idaho will play at Hawai'i on Thursday before coming to San Jose for their Saturday night matchup with the Spartans.      

Idaho finished last season 15-16 overall and in fifth place in the conference with a 7-9 mark. They reached the second round of the WAC Tournament and played in the first-round of the Women's Basketball Invitational.

Alyssa Charlston, a sophomore forward, leads the Vandals at 14.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.  Freshman guardStacy Barr is also scoring in double figures, at 10.2 points, and is grabbing 4.2 rebounds

As a team, Idaho is averaging 59.4 points per game on .375 shooting from the field.  They are 2-8 on the road this year, including a 0-2 in WAC road contests. The  Vandals are currently in an eight-game losing streak.
Head coach John Newlee is in his 13th season as a head coach and brought a 167-164 record into the 2011-12 season.  This is his fourth season leading Idaho.  He had a 39-51 mark after his first three years in Moscow.

HISTORY: Spartans vs. Vandals
Idaho holds a 12-10 lead in the all-time series. At home, the Spartans are 6-4 against the Vandals.  Except for a three-game stretch from 1994-95 to 1997-98 when the Spartans won each game, neither team has won more than two meetings in a row. The last five Spartans' home wins against Idaho have been by an average of six points.