Women's Hoops At Aztecs With MW Tournament Seeding On The Line

Aniya Baker and the Spartans play at San Diego State on Saturday.
Feb. 19, 2015

San Jose State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

San Jose, Calif. - In a game that has seeding implications for the Mountain West Tournament, the San José State women's basketball will face San Diego State on Saturday afternoon with the Aztecs holding a half game advantage in the conference standings.

The Last Meeting
San Diego State77
San Jose State63
February 26, 2014
The Event Center
WBB Downed By San Diego State
The Spartans forced a season-high 27 turnovers, but couldn't take advantage and lost 77-63 to the San Diego State Aztecs in Mountain West action on Wednesday night.

GAME 25

  at San Diego State (9-16, 6-8 MW)

Saturday, February 21, 2:00 p.m.

Viejas Arena, San Diego, Calif.

Streaming video is available on the Spartan Digital Network at www.sjsuspartans.com/video

Live stats available at www.sjsuspartans.com

LIVE STATS

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.

VIDEO STREAMING

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.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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.

2,000 POINTS WITH IN RANGE

Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Sr., G, Winchester, Calif.), San José State's career-scoring leader, currently sits at 1,903 points.  She is 97 points from 2,000 for her career.  The Spartans have a minimum of six games left in the season and if Cunnigan continues to score at her current clip, 17.0 ppg, she will pass the 2,000-point plateau in the team's first game of the 2015 Reese's Mountain West Basketball Tournament.

SINGLE-SEASON SCORING MARK IS THREATENED

The 2013-14 edition of the Spartans were the most prolific scoring team in program history.  They surpassed the 2,300-point mark for the first time finishing the year with 2,308 points, an average 76.9 points per game. The 2014-15 Spartans are on pace to top last year's mark.  The team has scored 1,888 points through 24 games, an average of 78.7 per game.  At this pace, and with a minimum of six games left on the schedule, the team will break the program's single-season scoring record in the first game of the 2015 Reese's Mountain West Basketball Tournament.

NEED TO FINISH AS ROAD WARRIORS

With less than three weeks left in the regular season and then the Reese's Mountain West Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev., the Spartans have a minimum of six games left to play.  Of those six, five will be played away from The Event Center, where the team has enjoyed an 8-3 record.

To end the regular season, San José State plays at San Diego State (2/21), Boise State (3/3) and UNLV (3/6).  It then competes in the conference tournament.  The Spartans are just 3-10 away from home, but did pick up its first road conference win at Nevada (2/7).  SJSU's last two home games will be against Colorado State (2/25) and Nevada (2/28).

BYRD MOVES INTO 3RD PLACE ON CAREER BLOCKS LIST

With three blocks in the Spartans 56-51 win over Fresno State (2/4), Riana Byrd (Jr., F, Richmond, Calif.) moved into third place on the program's career shot blocks list.  Byrd has turned away 145 shots in 83 games.  Byrd is three blocks from tying Rhoda Chew's (1982-85) 148 blocks for second place and 11 from equaling the San José State's all-time leader Elinor Banks' (1978-81), who recorded 156 blocks in her Spartans career.

PUTTING UP POINTS

The 2014-15 Spartans are one of the highest scoring teams in the nation and have led the Mountain West from the opening week of the season.  The Spartans currently rank 10th (78.7 ppg) in the nation and have not been out of the top-10 yet this year.  For parts of four weeks, from December 6 through December 23, San José State was the top scoring team in the nation.

TIME TO MOVE PAST 11

For the fourth consecutive year, the Spartans have reached the 11-win mark.  However, in the past three years, they ended the season with that total.  The last time San José State won more than 11 games in a season came in 2005-06, when they went 13-15. The last time the team finished with a winning record was in 2004-05, when they ended the year 18-12.  Sitting at 11-13 going into its match up at San Diego State, San José State poised to reach the 2005-06 squad's total.

CUNNIGAN NAMED FIRST-TEAM CAPITAL ONE ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT 8

San José State basketball's career scoring leader, Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Sr., G, Winchester, Calif.), is a first-team Capital One Academic All-District 8 honoree, it was announced Wednesday by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

The 2014-15 Capital One Academic All-District Women's Basketball Teams, selected from eight geographic districts across the United States and Canada, recognize the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom.

Cunnigan is a psychology major with a kinesiology minor who maintains a 3.704 grade-point average.  In successive games in January, she passed Spartan women's basketball career-scoring leader Karen Mason (1,760 points) and then men's career-scoring leader Rickey Berry (1,767 points) to become the most prolific scorer in San José State basketball history.  Cunnigan currently has 1,886 career points.

In addition to the school's scoring record, Cunnigan ranks first for Spartans women's basketball in career free throws (498), second in free throw attempts (680), third in field goals (610) and field goal attempts (1,550), fourth in steals (239), fifth in free throw percentage (.732) and three-point attempts (411), sixth in three-pointers made (121) and ninth in assists (259).

Cunnigan, who earned Academic All-District 8 honors in the 2012-13 season, is one of 47 female basketball players who advance to the Capital One Academic All-America Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected later this month.

BYRD BOUNDS UP THE REBOUND LIST

With six rebounds versus Boise State (1/21) Riana Byrd (Jr., F, Richmond, Calif.) secured third place on the program's career rebounding list.  To date, Byrd has ripped down 763 rebounds in 83 games (9.2/g).  She began the season in ninth place with 603 career boards and has moved up six spots, but she has some work to do to reach Rhoda Chew (946 rebounds from 1982-85) in second place.

At her current pace, Byrd would finish her career as just the second Spartan to reach the 1,000-point/1,000-rebound plateau.  She would join Elinor Banks (1,672 points/1,062 rebounds - 1978-81) as the only players in program history to reach the milestone.

CUNNIGAN DROPS CAREER-HIGH 35 ON NEVADA

Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Sr., G, Winchester, Calif.), San José State's career-scoring leader (men & women) and the second leading scorer in the MW can "go off" at any time.  Against Nevada, in a 80-77 overtime win, she did.  Cunnigan dropped a career-high 35 points on the Wolf Pack.  

Cunnigan had 10 points in the first half, 17 in the second 20 minutes and scored eight of the team's 14 in the extra period to secure the Spartans first overtime win in four tries this year.  Not only was it her career high, the 35 points are the most any player in the Mountain West has scored this season.  Cunnigan also recorded a career-high nine steals in the game.

SPARTANS SNAP OVERTIME JINX

With its 80-77 overtime win at Nevada (2/7), the Spartans snapped a five-game losing streak in games which could not be decided in regulation.  Before the game in Reno, the last time San José State had won an overtime contest was in the 2004-05 season, when it defeated SMU 63-62 in overtime.

This season the Spartans have lost three times in overtime, at Utah (100-87), at Colorado (97-89) and vs. UNLV (72-68).  In the history of the program, which began in the 1974-75 season, the Spartans have played in 23 overtime contests and have an 11-12 record in those games.

CUNNIGAN SAN JOSÉ STATE HOOPS CAREER SCORING LEADER

With 25 points versus Boise State (1/21), Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Sr., G, Winchester, Calif.) moved past Ricky Berry (1,767 points from 1986-88) to assume ownership of the school's all-time scoring record.  Just a game before, at Colorado State (1/17), she passed Karen Mason (1,760 points from 1978-81) to become San José State women's basketball's all-time leading scorer.  Entering the game against Fresno State, Cunnigan has 1,886 points...and counting. 

Cunnigan drained a 3-pointer with 15:47 to play in the first half to pass Berry and assume the all-time scoring lead.  She became the 51st woman in Division I to top her school's career scoring list (men's and women's), according to records available from NCAA member institutions.  Among the 51, she is the fifth woman at a Mountain West school to lead her institution in career scoring.

PRESSURE...SPARTANS 10TH IN STEALS & 13TH IN THE NCAA IN TURNOVER MARGIN 

Through 24 games the Spartans have shown what their pressure defense is capable of doing.  SJSU has forced its opponents to turn the ball over 515 times and in those, made 281 steals.  San José State has made those opponent miscues pay off to the tune of a 480-289 advantage in points off turnovers.  Nationally, the team ranks 13 in turnover margin at 6.42 and 10th in steals per game nabbing 11.7 per game.   The team leads the Mountain West in both categories.

CUNNIGAN THE MOUNTAIN WEST'S SHARP SHOOTER

A two-guard, Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Sr., G, Winchester, Calif.) ranks as the Mountain West's top percentage shooter in conference games.  Cunnigan, the second leading scorer in Mountain West games at 18.0 points, is making 46.0 percent of her shots (92-of-200).

THINK PLAY 4KAY AND PINK ON SENIOR DAY

The Spartans will celebrate the careers of three seniors, Ta'Rea Cunnigan, Chereese Thomas and Rebecca Woodberry, in their last regular-season home game on Saturday, February 28.  It will also be team's annual Play 4Kay, pink game to benefit the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

The Kay Yow Cancer Fund, in partnership with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and The V Foundation, is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women's cancers through raising money for scientific research, assisting the under served and unifying people for a common cause.

Coach Kay Yow, former North Carolina State University head women's basketball coach, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987, and passed away on January 24, 2009, after facing her third bout with the disease. With the creation of the Fund, Coach Yow hoped to raise money to further cutting-edge research conducted by the nation's top doctors and medical experts to allow more and more cancer patients to have access to experimental drugs and clinical trials. Since the majority of these research projects are privately funded, these researchers desperately need our support in order for them to continue to make strides in finding a cure for cancer.

To date, the Fund has contributed over $3.9 million in support of women's cancer research.

FIRST OFF THE BENCH

Rachol West (So., F, Bakersfield, Calif.) has more than doubled her per game scoring average, from 3.3 to 6.8.  It took West just 12 games to surpass her 29-game point total from a year ago.  She ranks second on the team in 3-pointers (34) and is the leading shooter from distance (.366).  A 19-point outburst against Sacramento State (12/22) in which she drained 5-of-8 treys and grabbed five rebounds in just 19 minutes of work earned her first Mountain West Women's Basketball Player of the Week honor. 

CUNNIGAN AMONG ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS IN THE NCAA

Among Division I women's basketball players, Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Sr., G, Winchester, Calif.) ranks second free throws made (507) and free throws attempted (698).  She is 12th in steals (248).   Her 1,608 field goal attempts are 13th most among active women players and she ranked 17th in field goals (634).  Her 16.7/g career scoring average is the 16th highest among current players.  Finally, Cunnigan is the third leading scorer among active players with 1,903 career points.

MY OH MYZHANIQUE

Myzhanique Ladd (Fr., G, Seattle, Wash.), the 2013-14 Ms. Basketball in the state of Washington, leads the Spartan freshman with a 5.0 ppg average and has earned starts in nine of the team's 24 games this year.  On the team, MyMy ranks second in FT% (.764), fourth in assists (30), fifth in FTA (55) and sixth in steals (21).

34...IT'S A MAGIC NUMBER

Former San José State career scoring leader Ricky Berry, who amassed 1,767 points in his career, wore #34.  Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Sr., G, Winchester, Calif.), who passed Berry with a 25-point outburst against Boise State to take sole possession of the school's career scoring title, also wears jersey #34.

HARRIS PAYING DIVIDENDS

Nyre Harris (Jr., G, Stockton, Calif.) completed her year in residency at the conclusion of the fall term.  In the 15 games Spartans have played since she joined the active roster, 14 of which have been starts, Harris is averaging 23.1 minutes, 3.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.9 steals and 6.7 points.

She is already third on the team in assists (36) and is in the top-5 in points per game, steals (29) and rebounds per game. In MW games Harris ranks 7th in steals at 2.1/g.

SPARTANS RANK 22nd IN THE NATION IN 3-POINTERS

San José State is hitting an average of 8.0 shots from beyond the arc per game, which ranks 22nd in the nation and is second in the Mountain West, but taking and hitting threes are nothing new under head coach Jamie Craighead.

With 245 made 3-pointers and 793 attempts, the 2013-14 Spartans shattered the program's previous marks in each category.  The previous record of 146 3-pointers in the 27 games (1999-00) was equaled in just 20 games (at UNLV 1/29) last season.  In addition, they passed the previous record for attempts in a season (493 in 29 games in 2000-01) in that same game.  Both marks set Mountain West Conference records as well. 

SCOUTING SAN DIEGO STATE

The Aztecs have lost their last three games including their last at home to New Mexico (63-47 on 2/18).  The team enters its match-up against the Spartans with a 9-16 record, 6-8 in Mountain West games. 

San Diego State is under the direction of second-year head coach Stacie Terry.  In her first season as a Division I head coach she compiled a 13-17.  

Junior forward Erimma Amarikwa leads the Aztecs in points (10.9/g) and rebounds (6.9/g). McKynzie Fort, a freshman guard, is scoring 10.2 points and 1.7 assists. 

This will be the 23rd meeting between these programs in which the Aztecs hold a dominant 18-4 advantage.  In games played in San Diego its even worse.  San José State is 1-9 all-time on Montezuma Mesa with the only win for Sparta coming in the 2001-02 season, a tight 65-62 decision.  Last year San Jose State suffered an 88-65 loss in San Diego.