San Jose, Calif. - In their final home stand of the 2012-13 season, the San Jose State women's basketball team host UT Arlington and Louisiana Tech in a pair of games that will affect standings in the Western Athletic Conference as teams prepare for the upcoming WAC Tournament.
GAME 26 & 27
SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (9-16, 6-8 WAC)
vs. UT ARLINGTON (6-19, 3-11 WAC)
Thursday, February 28, 2013, 7:00 P.M.
The Event Center, San Jose, Calif.
Live Stats available at www.sjsuspartans.com
Steaming video available at www.sjsuspartans.com
vs. LOUISIANA TECH (12-13, 8-6 WAC)
Saturday, March 2, 2013, 7:00 P.M.
The Event Center, San Jose, Calif.
Live Stats available at www.sjsuspartans.com
Steaming video available at www.sjsuspartans.com
Fans can view live stats of all San Jose State games 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.
Keep up with all 16 San Jose State's team through social media sites Twitter and Facebook. For Twitter go to @sjsuathletics and on Facebook become friends with Sammy Spartan.
KSJS-FM (90.5 FM, San Jose) originates San Jose State women's basketball home broadcasts with additional simalcasts streamed on the Gold Zone.
THIS WEEK'S PROMOTIONS
Feb. 28 - FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT - Free key chains, soft drinks and post-game autograph session with players.
Mar. 2 - YOUTH BASKETBALL NIGHT - Fans 12-and-under get in free and post-game autograph session with players.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TICKETS
Tickets for San Jose State women's basketball home games are free for all SJSU students with a valid student ID. Adult tickets are $5.00 and $3.00 for youth (12 and under). A "Spartan 4-Pack", four tickets to any game and fans of any age for $15.00.
Groups of 20 or more can buy discounted tickets at $3.00 per person by 5:00 p.m. the business day before the game via the Spartan Ticket Office at (408) 924-SJTX (7589) or (877) SJSUTIX (757-8849).
The Event Center Box Office opens two hours prior to tip-off for any weekend, holiday game or doubleheader and is open regular business hours (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) for weekday games or doubleheaders.
Parking for all San Jose State women's basketball games is in the University's Seventh Street Parking Garage. The Seventh Street Garage, located on the Northwest corner of San Salvador Street and Seventh Street, can be accessed through Seventh Street. Parking is $5.00.
BYRD EYES PROGRAMS SINGLE-SEASON BLOCKS RECORD
With 56 blocks on the season, Riana Byrd (Fr., F, Richmond, Calif.) owns the San Jose State freshman single-season blocked shots record.
Now, Lamisha Augustine's program record for blocks in a season is in her sights. In 2005-06, Augustine swatted 58 shots. Byrd has a minimum of five games left in this season to catch her.
With 259 rebounds, Byrd holds the freshman record for San Jose State and is on the cusp of cracking the top-10 in single-season rebounds. She currently ranks 11th and is four rebounds behind ninth-place Elinor Banks and Pam Pember who are at 263.
CUNNIGAN CLIMBING SINGLE-SEASON LISTS
With four games to play in the 2012-13 regular season Ta'Rea Cunnigan (So., G, Winchester, Calif.) is in the top-10 of four San Jose State single-season statistical categories and climbing.
She ranks third in made free throws (150) behind Cricket Williams (152) and record-holder Brittany Johnson (158). Cunnigan is fifth in free throw attempts (200), 40 behind Cricket Williams' record of 240.
Her 498 points are seventh best for a season and are within striking distance of single-season leader Brittany Johnson, who scored 603 in 2011-12. Cunnigan cracked the steals list at 10th with 83. Wanda Thompson holds the record with 136 steals set in 1979-80.
CUNNIGAN NAMED CAPITAL ONE ACADEMIC ALL-DISRTICT VII
Ta'Rea Cunnigan (So., G, Winchester, Calif.) has earned Capital One Academic All-District VIII honors, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) membership. This is the first year Cunnigan has been eligible for the distinction.
The two-year starter from Chaparral High has a 3.61 cumulative grade-point average while majoring in kinesiology. As one of five Academic All-District VIII award winners, Cunnigan advances to a national ballot as one of 40 candidates eligible for 2013 Academic All-America honors in women's basketball.
To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be enrolled at his/her current institution for at least one year, maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.30 or higher on a 4.00 scale, be a starter or key reserve, and have a minimum of sophomore athletics standing at his/her institution.
Riana Byrd is the only player in the WAC averaging a double double (11.0 pts., 10.4 rebs.). Ta'Rea Cunnigan has gone to the free throw line more times (200) and made more free throws (150) than any player in the WAC. Emily Schill has increased her scoring by 2.3 ppg. and rebounding by 2.0 rpg. since the start of WAC play.
FABULOUS FRESHMAN CONTINUE TO SOAR
Riana Byrd (Fr., F, Richmond, Calif.) and Emily Schill (Fr., F, Tecoma, Australia) continue to impress more than two-thirds of the way through their first college campaigns.
Byrd tied The Event Center's rebound record with 19 against Cal State Northridge (12/1). It was the second of her 12 double-digit rebounding games this year, the most recent being 16 boards at NMSU (2/14). Overall she leads the conference in blocks, total rebounding and offensive rebounds, is second in defensive boards and 18th in scoring. Nationally she is 30th in rebounds and 27th in blocks. Against UTSA (12/31), she equalled another The Event Center record when she had eight steals.
Schill is the 17th leading scorer in the WAC and set the program's freshman scoring record with 36 points against Utah State (1/12). She is the 12th ranked rebounder in the conference and ripped down a season-best 18 boards against Utah State (1/12). Each has earned a WAC Player of the Week honor this season.
San Jose State is the only school to have two freshman rank in the top-20 in both scoring, offensive rebounds and total rebounding in the WAC. In the categories in which they appear in the top-10, in the WAC, they are the highest ranked freshman in rebounds, blocks, offensive and defensive rebounds.
HITTING THE BOOKS
The Spartans are getting it done in the classroom as well as on the court. In the Fall 2012 semester the team had a semester GPA of 3.201 and has a cumulative GPA of 3.402. Both numbers are the highest in program history.
Ta'Rea Cunnigan (So., G, Winchester, Calif.), a kinesiology major with a 3.616 cumulative grade point average, was recently honored as a 2013 Capital One Academic All-District VIII performer and Emily Schill (Fr., F, Tecoma, Australia) was recognized by the Athletics Department for having the team's highest GPA (3.930) for the Fall 2012 semester.
In the Spartans 103-80 win over Utah State (1/12), Emily Schill (Fr., F, Tecoma, Australia) and Ta'Rea Cunnigan (So., G, Winchester, Calif.) combined for 62 points (Schill - 36 & Cunnigan - 26). In a regulation game, it was the second highest output for teammates this season.
The top two-some are Diamond Ford and Ashley Ezeh of Texas State who scored 66 points (Ford - 40 & Ezeh - 26) on December 29th. The opponent....San Jose State.
SPARTANS THE YOUNGEST IN DIVISION I
In a list compiled by SIDs across America it has been determined that San Jose State is the youngest team in Division I. The list is based upon the total years played in college (Division I, II, II, NAIA or Junior College) by members of each school's team.
The Spartans return one player from last season, Ta'Rea Cunnigan (So., G, Winchester, Calif.) who has one year of college experience. Classye James (So., G, Palo Alto, Calif.) had one year of college experience (Oregon State) before transfering and sitting out last year and Chereese Thomas (Jr., G, Dublin, Calif.) was at Ohlone College for the past two seasons. That totals four years of experience on a roster of nine athletes (0.444 years of experience).
Temple and SIU-Carbondale tied for second on the list with 0.727 years of college experience (eight years season on rosters of 11 players).
LAST TIME OUT
The Spartans 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 83-68 at Denver.
San Jose State 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.
The Spartans 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 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 advantage 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 amidst six turnovers in the final nine minutes. Denver closed the game outscoring the Spartans 27-12 to take the win.
SCOUTING UT ARLINGTON
The Mavericks are 6-19 overall and 3-11 in conference play entering this week. In a non-conference game last week they defeated New Orleans 82-57. Since a coaching change two weeks ago they have posted a 2-1 record including picking up their first home win of the year. They perform better on the road posting a 2-5 record away from home compared to a 1-6 record in conference home matchups.
UT Arlington is the lowest scoring team in the WAC (58.6 ppg) while giving up 72.0 points per game. Their -13.4 scoring margin is the worst in the WAC and nearly double that of the nearest team (-7.5, SJSU). UTA has picked up its scoring in the last three games by nearly 10 points (59.5-to-68.8).
Junior guard Laila Suleiman leads the Mavericks attack at 9.0 points per game and 2.7 assists. Desherra Nwanguma, a junior forward, is at 8.2 ppg. The team's rebounding leader, junior forward, Aron Garcia is at 7.6 per game.
Karen Blair took over the Mavericks program as interim head coach on February 12. In three games she has a 2-1 record. She led UT Arlington to its first win in the College Park Center, 60-58 against Idaho.
This will be the second meeting between these two programs.
Previous Meeting This Season
(78-70 San Jose State win in Arlington, Texas - 1/26/13)
Ta'Rea Cunnigan equaled her career-high with 30 points and the Spartans earned their only road win of the year defeating the UT Arlington 78-70.
Cunnigan was one of three Spartans to scored in double figures. Emily Schill had 11 points and Riana Byrd added 10 and grabbed 15 rebounds. But San Jose State got quality play and scoring from every player on the night. The Spartans bench outscored the Mavericks reserves 18-to-16; the first time this season SJSU had that statistical advantage.
San Jose State won the turnover battle forcing UT Arlington into 30 turnovers, which they turned into 21 points.
After the teams traded the lead 12 times in the first 10 minutes, Alexis Hill drilled a 3-pointer at the 8:43 mark put the Spartans ahead by two. Just over a minute later, Schill hit a layup making the score 23-21 and the Spartans had a lead they would never relinquish.
The Mavericks opened the second half on a 5-0 run, trimming the San Jose State advantage to four points. Cunnigan then stole a Mavericks pass, was fouled, and sank one of two free throws to stop the bleeding barely a minute into the period.
The Spartans then put together an 18-to-6 run. Cunnigan contributed 12 points and the team opened a 17-point lead with 11:08 to play. They still had the 17-point margin a minute and a half later, but went cold from the floor. San Jose State
couldn't score on their next nine possessions and saw UT Arlington cut the lead to seven points with 5:43 to play.
Byrd canned a jumper in the paint to end the Mavericks scoring streak and the Spartans, who only shot 68 percent from the free throw line, made six of their final seven attempts and came away with the 78-70 win.
SCOUTING LOUISIANA TECH
The Lady Techsters are 12-13 overall and 8-6 in conference play. They have four road wins, all coming in conference play.
The Lady Techsters are being outscored by 4.6 points per game (62.5-to-67.1) and have scored the fourth fewest points of any team in the WAC (1,562).
At 13.8 points per game, the LA Tech offense is led by sophomore guard Kelia Shelton (9th WAC) and senior forward Brittany Lewis at 11.4 (15th WAC). Shelton also leads the team with 6.7 rebounds (14th WAC).
Teresa Weatherspoon is in her fifth season leading her alma mater's women's basketball program. She had a 73-33 record entering the 2012-13 season.
This will be the 24th meeting between these two programs. The Spartans have never beaten Louisiana Tech, though last season the combined margin of defeat was 11 point in two games.
Previous Meeting This Season
(94-80 Louisiana Tech win in Ruston, La. - 1/24/13)
The Spartans got in foul trouble early and played the final 1:15 with just four players on the court in a 94-80 loss to the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters in the Thomas Assembly Center.
Three times in the second half the Spartans got the Lady Techsters lead down to three points from a high of 21. At 6:02 to play, Riana Byrd hit a layup making the score 74-71. It would be the last field goal the Spartans would score as Louisiana Tech closed the final five minutes with a 20-to-9 run to earn the victory.
Playing in an arena in which they have never won, dropping their previous 11 games in Ruston, the Spartans missed their first seven shots and didn't score a field goal until a Chereese Thomas jumper with 14:41 left in the half made it 13-5 in favor of the Lady Techsters.
LA Tech twice built 20-point leads in the first, the last was 45-25 with 2:40 before intermission. San Jose State finished the half with a 12-to-6 run sparked by 3-pointers from Ta'Rea Cunnigan and Jayzul Tauala. The slow offensive start and 18 turnovers contributed the Spartans going to the locker room down 51-37.
The Spartans, dressing seven players, saw starters Classye James, Byrd and Emily Schill pick up three fouls each in the first 20 minutes.
Byrd and Schill got up their fourth fouls in the first seven minutes of the second half. James was whistled for her fourth with 11:36 to play and fouled out less than one minute later.
Byrd's fifth came with 4:53 to play and the Spartans down 80-75. That left San Jose State with no subs and no margin for error. Cunnigan, who finished with 21 points, picked up her fifth foul at the 1:15 mark leaving SJSU with four players on the floor to finish the game.
The teams combined for 55 turnovers, 56 fouls and 74 free throw attempts and each team had three players in double figures. For the Spartans, Cunnigan and James were joined by Schill who had a 14-points and 11 rebounds.
Louisiana Tech's offense was led by Whitney Frazier and Lulu Perry. Each scored 21 points. Brittany Lewis added 15.