Comeback Falls Short At Denver

Denver, Colo. - The San Jose State women's basketball team were down by as many as 23 points in the first half, battled back to tie the game inside 11 minutes to play, but could not get over the hump and lost a Western Athletic Conference (WAC) game 83-68 to the Denver Pioneers in Magness Arena.

"(Denver) played well in the first half and built a nice lead," said head coach Tim La Kose.  "We played better in the second.  I just wish we had done it in the first half."

San Jose State (9-16, 6-8 WAC) shot 31 percent in the first half to Denver's 50 percent.  Among the Pioneers 16 made buckets were six 3-pointers.  Morgan Van Riper-Rose had four trey's in the first 20 minutes and led her team in scoring with 18 points on the night. Emiko Smith, the WAC leader in assists had nine and zero turnovers in the first 20 minutes and finished the night with 12 assists and eight points.

The Spartans came out with a lot of energy and trailed 9-8 through the first four minutes and were down by just five 19-14 with 10 minutes left in the first, but a 17-2 run left the score 36-16 with less than 5 minutes to play. Denver (12-14, 7-8 WAC) built their biggest lead of the half, 43-20 with 2:22 to play before intermission.  The Spartans closed the period on a 7-2 spurt to send the teams to the locker room with Denver up 45-27. 

Ta'Rea Cunnigan, who led all scorers with 26 points, opened the second half with a 3-pointer, nailed two more and along with five points from Emily Schill, cut the Pioneers' 18-point lead to eight, 49-41 in just over four minutes.

Over the next four minutes, Jayzyl Tauala hit a pair of jumpers and a layup, Cunnigan had five points and Chereese Thomas added a bucket to tie the score 54-54 with 11:26 to play. 

A Cunnigan layup at 10:03 tied it again at 56-56, but three straight Denver buckets gave them a lead they would preserve and build on.  San Jose State's chances to get a lead evaporated among six turnovers in the final nine minutes.  Denver closed the game outscoring the Spartans 27-12 to take the win.

"We tied it up and had a couple of chances to get the lead, but turnovers down the stretch were the difference," said La Kose.  "We made them and they scored off them.  It's a pattern we have to break." 

For the second game in a row the Spartans outscored their opponent down low, tonight 40-32, but it was the missed shots that killed San Jose State.  They made just 14-of-29 layups and 4-of-7 from inside the paint.

San Jose State vs Denver

02-16-13 4 p.m. at Denver, Colo. (Magness Arena)

DENVER 83, SAN JOSE STATE 68

SAN JOSE STATE (9-16, 6-8 WAC)

Cunnigan, Ta'Rea 9-16 5-5 26; Schill, Emily 8-12 1-1 17; Tauala, Jayzyl 5-10 0-0 11; Thomas, Chereese 3-10 1-2 7; James, Classye 0-7 5-6 5; Byrd, Riana 1-4 0-0 2; Hill, Alexis 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 26-62 12-14 68.

DENVER (12-14, 7-8 WAC)

Van Riper-Rose, Morg 7-15 0-0 18; Edwards, Kailey 7-8 0-0 16; Janecek, Alison 4-5 2-2 11; Michel, Maiya 3-6 3-4 9; Smith, Emiko 4-10 0-0 8; Bradley, Paige 4-6 0-2 8; Hunter, Desiree 3-4 0-0 6; Wirth, Theresa 2-5 1-1 5; Neuhaus, Michaela 0-5 2-2 2; Johnston, Jordan 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 34-65 8-11 83.

San Jose State................   27   41  -   68

Denver........................   45   38  -   83

3-point goals--San Jose State 4-18 (Cunnigan, Ta'Rea 3-5; Tauala, Jayzyl 1-5; Thomas, Chereese 0-5; James, Classye 0-2; Hill, Alexis 0-1), Denver 7-16 (Van Riper-Rose, Morg 4-7; Edwards, Kailey 2-3; Janecek, Alison 1-1; Neuhaus, Michaela 0-4; Johnston, Jordan 0-1). Fouled out--San Jose State-None, Denver-None. Rebounds--San Jose State 34 (Schill, Emily 7), Denver 35 (Michel, Maiya 11). Assists--San Jose State 17 (James, Classye 7; Thomas, Chereese 7), Denver 22 (Smith, Emiko 12). Total fouls--San Jose State 13, Denver 17. Technical fouls--San Jose State-None, Denver-None.

A-365