Spartans Wrap Regular Season At Idaho & Utah State

San Jose, Calif. - Looking to secure the fourth seed in the Western Athletic Conference with a win, the San Jose State women's basketball team wraps up the regular season with a pair of road games.
 
at Idaho (9-19, 4-8 Western Athletic)
Thursday, March 1, 2012, 6:00 p.m.
The Cowan Spectrum, Moscow, Idaho
Live stats available at
www.sjsuspartans.com

at Utah State (18-8, 9-3 Western Athletic)­­
Saturday, March 3, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, Logan, Utah
Live stats available at
www.sjsuspartans.com

LIVE STATS
Fans can view live stats of all San Jose State home and road contests 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.

VIDEO STREAMING
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

RADIO COVERAGE
KSJS (90.5 FM, San Jose) originates the majority of San Jose State women's basketball home broadcasts.  Jeff Bowe and Alex Scott call the women's basketball play-by-play.


WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TICKETS
Tickets for all San Jose State home women's basketball games are free for all SJSU students with a valid student ID.  Adult tickets are $5.00, $3.00 for youth (12 and under).

Groups of 20 or more can buy discounted tickets at $3.00 per person.  The ticket office opens two hours prior  to tip-off at The Event Center or can be purchased by calling San Jose State Athletics Ticket Office at 408-924-SJTX (7589).

JOHNSON NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior forward Brittany Johnson was named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Feb. 20-26. It's the third WAC Player of the Week honor of the season and career for Johnson.

The Tulsa, Okla., native led the Spartans to wins over Nevada and Fresno State, snapping the Bulldogs' 19-game WAC winning streak. She opened the week with a game-high 23 points to go with six rebounds and three assists against the Wolf Pack. Against Fresno State, Johnson tied the program single-season record for double-figure scoring games with 27 when she posted her eighth double-double of the season with game highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds. Her 17th point, on a free throw with three seconds left, was the game winner. It was San Jose State's first two-game, regular-season sweep of Nevada since 2005-06 and its first win over Fresno State in 20 tries, dating back to the 2002-03 season.

She was also named the College Sports Madness WAC Player of the Week on Monday.

ONE WIN FROM .500 WAC RECORD
With one win in their two remaing games, San Jose State can secure its first non-losing record in Western Athletic Conference play in five years.  The Spartans last non-losing conference record was 8-8 in the 2005-06 season.

DOUBLE DIGIT SCORING ELITE
Senior Brittany Johnson's 27 consecutive double-digit scoring efforts to open the season is the most for a Spartan since the start of the 1999-00 season and ties Cricket Williams for the single-season record for double-digit scoring games. Williams got her 27 double digit scoring games in 2002-03.  Williams also holds the consecutive games streak in double-digits with 41 (25 in a row to end 2001-02 and 16 straight to open 2002-03). 

CUNNIGAN TOPS FRESHMAN SCORING AND MORE
After seven weeks of conference play, freshman guard Ta'Rea Cunnigan is the WAC's eighth-leading scorer.  Her 13.7 points per game makes her the only freshman in the top-10 and one of three freshman in the top-20.   Louisiana Tech's Whitney Frazier and Fresno State's Madison Parrish are tied for 19th place at 10.1 ppg.
In all games played, Cunnigan is the 12th-leading scorer in the WAC (12.0 ppg) and the leading scorer among freshman.  She leads Idaho's Stacy Barr who is at 9.6 ppg and is 18th in the conference and Parrish, who is 20th, is at 9.4 ppg.

In addition, Cunnigan ranks sixth in steals (2.0) and ninth in free throw percentage (.695).  In WAC contests only, she is sixth in free throw percentage (.750) and ninth in steals (1.6).

BRITTANY, BRITTANY BRITTANY
Senior forward Brittany Johnson contines to exert her will on the WAC and is opening eyes across the country.

Johnson leads the WAC and ranks 18th nationally in scoring at 19.7 points per game.  Entering the week she ranked third in the WAC in defensive rebounds (6.0), fourth in minutes per game (34.1), Sixth in total rebounding (8.3), seventh in offensive rebounds (2.3), eighth in steals (1.6) and ninth in blocks (0.8). She has recorded eight double-doubles and her 27-game double-digit scoring streak to open the season surpassed Cricket Williams' 16-game streak in 2002-03 and equals Williams' single-season mark on 27, also set in 2002-03.

JOHNSON CLIMBS SJSU RECORDS LIST
Senior Brittany Johnson continues to climb up the Spartans single-season record book list.

In third place on the single-season scoring list with 531 points this year, she is 40 behind leader Cricket Williams who poured in 571 in the 2002-03 season.

She is seven free throws (145) behind Williams who holds the single-season record for makes with 152 in the 2002-03 season.

With 208 free throw attempts, Johnson ranks third and trails Williams who holds the record with 204 free throw attempts in the 2002-03 season.

PLAVLJANIN PLACING HER NAME IN THE RECORD BOOK
Senior Sara Plavljanin has put her name in the San Jose State  single-season and career record book.

On the single-season lists she ranks fourth in 3-point percentage (.387) and fifth in 3-pointers (55).

Her career record places are sixth in 3-point percentage (.346), and seventh in 3-point attempts (260) and 3-point field goals (90).

SCOUTING IDAHO
The Vandals are 4-8 in conference action, in sixth place,  and 9-19 overall.  Last week they traveled to their partner Utah State and lost 85-63.        

Idaho finished last season 15-16 overall and in fifth place in the conference with a 7-9 mark. They reached the second round of the WAC Tournament and played in the first-round of the Women's Basketball Invitational.

Alyssa Charlston, a sophomore forward, leads the Vandals at 14.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  Freshman guardStacy Barr is scoring 9.6 points, and is grabbing 3.9 rebounds

As a team, Idaho is averaging 61.5 points per game on .391 shooting from the field.  They are 4-8 at home this year, including a 1-5 in WAC home contests. 
 
Head coach John Newlee is in his 13th season as a head coach and brought a 167-164 record into the 2011-12 season.  This is his fourth season leading Idaho.  He had a 39-51 mark after his first three years.

HISTORY: Spartans vs. Vandals
Idaho holds a 13-10 lead in the all-time series. In Moscow, the Spartans are 2-8 against the Vandals.  Except for wins in their first two matchups at Idaho, San Jose State has dropped its last eight games in the Cowan Spectrum by an average of 15 points per game. 

In the meeting earlier this season at The Event Center, the Spartans had a lead in the last minute against the Idaho, only to see it slip away on a 3-pointer with 54 seconds to play sending the Spartans to a 67-63 loss. 

Holding a 63-60 lead with 1:53 to play, the Spartans saw Idaho's Alyssa Charlton, who finished with a 14 point, 16 rebounds double double, hit a jumper to cut the San Jose State lead to one point.  Then with 54 seconds to go, Tayler Weiks canned a 3-pointer to give the Vandals a two-point advantage.

The Spartans missed a 3-pointer of their own with 39 seconds to play and then the front end of a one-and-own with five seconds to go, which could have tied the game.  The Vandals closed out the game with a pair of free throws with four seconds left to seal the 67-63 win.

The Spartans  got 15 points and nine rebounds from Brittany Johnson and 14 points from Palagi Atoe.

SCOUTING UTAH STATE
The Aggies are 18-8 overall and in second place in the WAC at 9-3.  Last week they hosted their travel partner Idaho and came away with a 85-63 win.  Utah State hosts Hawai'i on Thursday prior to their matchup with the Spartans on Saturday.      

Utah State finished last season 10-6 in conference play and 18-15 overall. They fell to Fresno State in the WAC final, but received a WNIT bid and went 1-1 in the tournament.

The Aggies have four players who are scoring in double figures led by junior guard Devyn Christensen at 14.9 pts.,  Ashlee Brown, a senior forward and the WAC Preseason Player of the Year, who at 14.4 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per contest leads the team.  Seniors  Brooke Jackson and Maddy Plunkett are scoring 11.2 and 10.2 points per game, respectively.

As a team, Utah State is averaging 72.0 points per game on .439 shooting from the field, tops in the conference.  They are 9-3 at home this year, including a 3-2 in WAC home contests.
 
Head coach Raegan Pebley is in her ninth season leading the Aggies.  Entering the season her record was 89-145 in Logan.

HISTORY: Spartans vs. Aggies
In 14 games the Spartans trail in the all-time series 10-4. San Jose State won four of the team's first five meetings, but since the 2007-08 season, Utah State has reeled off nine-straight wins.  In games contested on their home floor, the Aggies are 5-1 and have beaten the Spartans by an average of 11 points.

In the matchup earlier this month in The Event Center, clinging to a 71-69 lead with 1:41 to play, the San Jose State couldn't close the deal and lost to Utah State 78-73.

The Spartans committed three of their 30 turnovers in the final minute and a half and saw the Aggies make six of ten free throws down the stretch.  Utah State's Ashlee Brown hit five of her game-high 30 points from the line in the final 24 seconds to secure the win.
San Jose State hit 51.9 percent of their shots (28-of-54) to the Aggies 36.9 percent (24-of-65), but Utah State went to the line 37 times to the Spartans 14 and connected on 23 of those attempts to San Jose State's 11. 

The Spartans also outrebounded Utah State 42-to-33, but on the offensive glass were topped 20-to-11 led by Brown, who had 10 of her game high 14 boards on the offensive end.