Ruston, LA----The Spartans (2-23, 2-10 WAC) came within one point from evening the score with 6:35 remaining at 49-48, but fell behind late in the second half in a 62-53 loss at Louisiana Tech (20-5, 12-0 WAC) Saturday night.
"These kids played an amazing game and I couldn't be any prouder of them," said head coach Pam DeCosta. "They got down and we had problems scoring in the beginning, but they stayed with it and fought as a group."
San Jose State held Tech to a conference season-low 62 points. The Lady Techsters average 81 points in league action.
The Spartans finished shooting 42.6 percent (20-of-47) to the Lady Techsters' 40.5 percent (17-of-42). San Jose State also led in steals 16-8 and points in the paint 28-6.
After the Lady Techsters pushed the advantage by as many as 13 at 45-32 on a free throw by Shantale Bramble-Donaldson with 14:28 to play, San Jose State flipped the switch and took control.
Over the next eight minutes of play, the Spartans held Tech to one field goal and two free throws. When AJ Newton hit a three-pointer with 6:35 to play in the game, the Spartans had cut the deficit to a single point at 49-48.
On five of the Spartans next six possessions, LA Tech forced a turnover, that led to fast break layups. The Lady Techsters used an 8-0 run to push the advantage back out to 57-48 and the Spartans were unable to recover.
Adrienne Johnson led Tech with 14 points and eight rebounds while Whitney Jones added 13 points.
Sayja Sumler scored a game-high 25 points and snatched eight steals. Sara Plavljanin scored 14 points and Marnesha Hall grabbed six boards.
"I was excited for my numbers, but it would have been real big if we could have won against the number one team in the conference," said senior guard Sayja Sumler, who scored a career-high in points and steals. "It would have showed that we can compete with anybody and even though I had career-highs, the win would have been much sweeter."
In the first half the Spartans found themselves trailing by 20 points at 29-9 with 6:19 remaining on a LA Tech 9-0 run, which began at the 8:42 mark. Sumler's layup at 6:09 left, ended the near three minute run. The Spartans chipped away the deficit finishing the half on an 9-0 run that opened with a pair of free throws by Plavljanin at 3:56 remaining. The Spartans went into the locker room down by nine at 34-25.
"The effort was just unbelievable and it was a team effort tonight," added DeCosta. "Everybody that played and got minutes did well and played their role. We just got to build on this, and hopefully playing LA Tech as well as they did and tying them in the second half, will show these kids they can play with anybody when they want to."
San Jose State concludes its four-game road series at Hawai'i on Thursday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. PST. The Rainbow Wahine holds a one-game advantage over the Spartans in league standings, and a win against Hawai'i would give San Jose State its first season sweep over UH since 2004-05.
LOUISIANA TECH 62, SAN JOSE STATE 53
SAN JOSE STATE (2-23 (2-10 WAC)
Sumler, Sayja 10-15 5-7 25; Plavljanin, Sara 4-10 4-4 14; Johnson, Brittany
3-5 0-0 6; Newton, AJ 1-9 0-0 3; Hall, Marnesha 1-5 1-2 3; Williams, Marisa
1-2 0-0 2; Johnson, Liz 0-0 0-0 0; Broaden, Myesha 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-47
LOUISIANA TECH (20-5 (12-0 WAC)
Johnson, Adrienne 3-7 8-8 14; Jones, Whitney 4-9 3-5 13; Wysinger-Mackey,
Tar 3-7 2-2 8; Bramble-Donaldson, S 2-4 3-6 7; Young, Kiara 2-5 2-4 6;
Bendolph, Jasmine 1-3 3-4 5; Holloway, Martina 1-1 2-2 4; Vucinic, Jelena
1-4 0-0 3; Thomas, Brietta 0-2 2-2 2; Felton, Angie 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-42
San Jose State................ 25 28 - 53
Louisiana Tech................ 34 28 - 62
3-point goals--San Jose State 3-11 (Plavljanin, Sara 2-5; Newton, AJ 1-4;
Hall, Marnesha 0-2), Louisiana Tech 3-10 (Jones, Whitney 2-4; Vucinic,
Jelena 1-2; Bendolph, Jasmine 0-1; Thomas, Brietta 0-2; Wysinger-Mackey, Tar
0-1). Fouled out--San Jose State-None, Louisiana Tech-None. Rebounds--San
Jose State 24 (Hall, Marnesha 6), Louisiana Tech 35 (Young, Kiara 9).
Assists--San Jose State 10 (Sumler, Sayja 3), Louisiana Tech 12
(Wysinger-Mackey, Tar 4). Total fouls--San Jose State 25, Louisiana Tech 14.
Technical fouls--San Jose State-None, Louisiana Tech-None. A-3162