Women's Hoops travels to La Tech & New Mexico St.

San Jose, Calif - Off to its best conference start since the 2005-06 team opened with five wins in the first half of conference, the San Jose State women's basketball team plays at Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State this week.  

at Louisiana Tech (13-11, 6-3 Western Athletic)
Thursday, February 16, 2012, 6:00 p.m.
Thomas Assembly Center, Ruston, La.
Live stats available at www.sjsuspartans.com

at New Mexico State (5-19, 2-7 Western Athletic)
Saturday, February 18, 2012, 3:30 p.m.
Pan American Center, Las Cruces, N.M.
Live stats available at www.sjsuspartans.com

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.  Alex Scott calls 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 67-58 win at Hawai'i, San Jose State has now won more WAC road games than in any year since the 2005-06 season when that team won three conference road games.

In addition, the win at Hawai'i was the Spartans fifth overall road win of the year.  That is the most road wins since SJSU won eight games in the 2004-05 season.

With four wins in their first eight 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 four conference games was in 2005-06 when San Jose State went 8-8 in WAC play.

Senior Brittany Johnson's 23 consecutive double-digit scoring efforts to open the season is the most for a Spartan since the start of the 1999-00 season. Cricket Williams holds the single-season record for double-digit scoring games with 27 in 2002-03 and she holds the consecutive games streak in double-digits with 41 (25 in a row to end 2001-02 and 16 straight to open 2002-03). 

After five weeks of conference play, freshman guard Ta'Rea Cunnigan is the WAC's 10th-leading scorer.  Her 13.1 points per game makes her the only freshman in the top-10 and one of three freshman in the top-20.   Fresno State's Madison Parrish is 12th (11.8 ppg) and La Tech's Whitney Frazier is 16th (10.6 ppg).

In all games played, Cunnigan is the 13th-leading scorer in the WAC (11.5 ppg) and the leading scorer among freshman.  She leads Parrish who is 16th at 9.8 ppg and Idaho's Stacy Barr who is also at 9.8 ppg and is 17th in the conference.

Through nine games, the Spartans are among the top offensive teams in the WAC.  They rank third in scoring (69.0 ppg), rebounding offense (40.0) and field goal percentage (.424), fifth in 3-point percentage (.310) and lead the WAC in free throw percentage (.744).

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 16th nationally in scoring at 19.8 points per game.  She ranks third in the WAC in defensive rebounds (5.9), fourth in minutes per game (34.0), fifth in total rebounding (8.4) and offensive rebounds (2.6), seventh in free throw percentage (.706), eighth in steals (1.7) and ninth in blocks (0.8). She has recorded seven double-doubles and her 23-game double-digit scoring streak to open the season surpassed Cricket Williams' 16-game streak in 2002-03. 

In addition, she is the 99th-ranked rebounder in the nation.

With her next 3-point bucket, senior Sara Plavljanin will move into eighth place in the San Jose State single-season list for made 3-pointers.  Sherrie Yudt made 49 in 1992-93 and  Atari Parker who hit 50 and 51 trey's in the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons, respectively, are ahead of Plavljanin. 

In addition, Plavljanin is the fourth on the single-season list for 3-point percentage at .390.  Her career marks include: seventh in 3-pointers made (83) and 3-point attempts (241) and sixth in 3-point percentage (.344).

The Lady Techsters are 13-11 overall and enter this week in third place in the WAC at 6-3 and a game and a half in front of the Spartans. 

Last week they swept a conference road trip with an 82-76 win at Utah State and a 61-57 victory at Idaho.

The Lady Techsters are led by senior guard Jasmine Bendolph, who is averaging 11.6 points and 7.6 rebounds.  Jasmine Bendolph tops the team and the WAC with 6.0 assists per contest and scores 9.7 points per outing. 

As a team, Louisiana Tech is averaging 67.2 points per game on .414 shooting from the field and are 2-2 at home in WAC games.
Head coach Theresa Witherspoon is in her fourth season leading the Louisiana Tech.  Entering the season her record was 56-18.

HISTORY: Spartans vs. Lady Techsters
In 21 attempts the Spartans have never beaten Louisiana Tech.  In the 10 games contested in Ruston, the Spartans have lost by an average of 22 points.  The best result for San Jose State at Louisiana Tech was a nine-point loss, 62-53, last year.

When the teams met in late January, in The Event Center, the Spartans gave the Lady Techsters their closest game in the series.  The Spartans lost by six points, 70-64.  Brittany Johnson had an 18-point, 10-rebound double double and Ta'Rea Cunnigan hit a then career-high 17 points and led the Spartans with four steals.

"That was a game of runs." La Kose said.  "In the first half we opened with one and they came back.  In the second half they opened with one and we came back, but we just couldn't make the big stop.  They would make a big play or get a big rebound and that was the difference."

The Aggies enter this week in seventh place in the WAC at 2-7 and are 5-19 overall.  Last week they lost in overtime, 62-59, at Idaho and 85-67 at Utah State.  They host Hawai'i on Thursday before facing the Spartans on Saturday. 

The Aggies are led in scoring by senior forward Tabytha Wampler (13.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg), a pre-season second-team All-WAC selection and the conferences eighth-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder. Kaitlyn Soto, a senior guard who has started every game in which she has appreared this year, is averaging 9.0 ppg, and sophomore guard Jasmine Rutledge is at 6.1 ppg. and 4.5 rebounds per contest.

As a team, New Mexico State is averaging 54.1 points per game on .374 shooting from the field and are 2-3 in conference home games.
Head coach Mark Trakh is in his first season leading the Aggies women's program.  Entering the year, his 17th overall, he had a 289-187 record.

HISTORY: Spartans vs. Aggies
New Mexico State holds a 24-4 all-time lead. The series is marked by two double-digit winning streaks for the Aggies sandwiched around three wins in four games for the Spartans.

New Mexico State won the first 13 meetings and won had won 10 straight, prior to the Spartans 67-62 win in The Event Center last month. 

In Las Cruces, San Jose State is just 1-12, with the only win being a 54-43 final in the 2004-05 season.  The Aggies have defeated the Spartans by an average of 23 points per game in the Pan American Center.

In the previous meeting this season, San Jose Stae had four players in double figures led by Sara Plavljanin's 16 points.  In the final minute of the game, a 3-pointer by New Mexico State's Erica Sanchez, cut the Spartans lead to 63-62, but Brittany Johnson hit a layup and two free throws to give San Jose State a five-point win.