Spartans Edged In Heartbreaker, 55-53 At Hawai?i

February 24, 2011

Honolulu, HI----The Rainbow Wahine (10-17, 4-10 WAC) trailed for most of the game, but held the Spartans scoreless in the final 3:50, while reeling off the final seven points to pull out a come-from-behind victory, 55-53 at the Stan Sheriff Center.

San Jose State (2-24, 2-11 WAC) led by five, 53-48 with 3:50 left, until UH made its final push. Keisha Kanekoa's layup with eight seconds left gave the Rainbow Wahine a 54-53 lead. UH drew a charge on San Jose State's last possession and Kanekoa nailed one of two free throws with three seconds left for the final score.

The Spartans shot 44.7 percent (21-of-47) from the floor to the Rainbow Wahine's 34.0 percent (17-of-50). San Jose State held the advantage in steals, 12-6; assists 13-11; and shooting behind the arc at 50 percent (7-of-14) to 29.6 percent (4-of-13).

The Rainbow Wahine started the second half on a 11-0 run and the Spartans found themselves trailing 37-33 with 15:11 remaining. San Jose State responded with a 13-4 run to go back up by six points with 9:40 remaining.

"We hit shots, the kids got open and stepped up," said head coach Pam DeCosta. "I'm proud of them for knocking down their shots."

UH's 41 rebounds, including 18 offensive boards, to San Jose State's 25 was a factor in the game. 

"We rely on our defense a lot, but as aggressive as we are defensively, we have to get rebounds," added DeCosta. "We gave Hawai'i 18 extra possessions and we can't do that."

The Spartans finished the game with just five players. Three starters, Newton, Marnesha Hall and Sara Plavljanin, and reserve center Myesha Broaden fouled out. Hawaii went to the free throw line 31 times to the San Jose State's six and had bonus free throw opportunities 24 of the game's 40 minutes.

Kanekoa scored 20 points, including the game winning basket to lift UH to victory.

Sayja Sumler recorded her first double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 boards.  AJ Newton scored 14 points, while Hall scored 11, respectively.  

The Spartans scored a season-high 33 points in the opening stanza and led most of the first half. The Rainbow Wahine's only lead in the first came after Kanekoa sunk one from downtown 24 seconds after the opening jump ball, but Hall evened the score 3-3 at 19:27 with a 3-pointer and the Spartans led 33-26 at the break.

At the half, Hall led all scorers with 11 points, going 4-of-5 including two treys. Newton made four steels and added nine points.

San Jose State returns home to host its final three games of the season, starting on Saturday, February 26 against Boise State (2-11, 11-16 WAC) at 8:30 p.m. in The Event Center. Saturday's game is Breast Cancer Awareness night and fans are encouraged to show their support by wearing pink. It will be the second game of a doubleheader with the men's basketball game against Louisiana Tech.


SAN JOSE STATE (2-24, 2-11 WAC)
Newton, AJ 6-16 0-0 14; Hall, Marnesha 4-7 0-0 11; Sumler, Sayja 3-8 4-4 10;
Plavljanin, Sara 3-5 0-2 8; Broaden, Myesha 3-4 0-0 6; Woods, Nanea 1-1 0-0
2; Williams, Marisa 1-1 0-0 2; Johnson, Brittany 0-4 0-0 0; Johnson, Liz 0-1
0-0 0. Totals 21-47 4-6 53.

HAWAI'I (10-17, 4-10, WAC)
Kanekoa, Keisha 6-14 6-7 20; Jackson, Kamilah 3-12 6-8 12; Tinnin, Megan
4-10 1-4 11; Haydel, Sydney 1-4 3-6 5; Ayabe, Mai 1-2 0-0 2; Gaddis,
Courtney 1-3 0-0 2; Arbuckle, Breanna 1-4 0-4 2; Patterson, Allie 0-0 1-2 1;
Bungaite, Julita 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-50 17-31 55.

San Jose State................ 33 20 - 53
Hawai'i....................... 26 29 - 55

3-point goals--San Jose State 7-14 (Hall, Marnesha 3-4; Plavljanin, Sara
2-2; Newton, AJ 2-7; Johnson, Liz 0-1), Hawai'i 4-13 (Kanekoa, Keisha 2-6;
Tinnin, Megan 2-6; Gaddis, Courtney 0-1). Fouled out--San Jose State-Hall,
Marnesha; Newton, AJ; Broaden, Myesha; Johnson, Brittany, Hawai'i-None.
Rebounds--San Jose State 25 (Sumler, Sayja 10), Hawai'i 41 (Arbuckle,
Breanna 13). Assists--San Jose State 13 (Sumler, Sayja 6), Hawai'i 11
(Kanekoa, Keisha 5). Total fouls--San Jose State 30, Hawai'i 11. Technical
fouls--San Jose State-Newton, AJ; Williams, Marisa, Hawai'i-Kanekoa, Keisha.