Byrd Sets Blocked Shots Record In 71-49 Win

San Jose, Calif. - Riana Byrd blocked four shots and set the San Jose State women's basketball single-season blocked shots record in a 71-49 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) win over the UT Arlington Mavericks in The Event Center. 

Byrd, who came in to the game two blocks behind Lamisha Augustine's 2005-06 single-season mark of 58, equaled the record in the first half.  Then inside four minutes to play, swatted back-to-back Mavericks' shots.  The second brought the fans out of their seats as Byrd rejected the ball with authority sending a layup attempt back to mid court. 

"It was special setting this record at home, especially since today is my birthday," said Byrd who finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds.   With 15 boards she jumps into seventh place on the program's single-season rebounds list at 274.

Through the first 14 minutes, the teams traded the lead five times and were tied twice, including 19-19 with 6:09 to go before the half.  A Ta'Rea Cunnigan layup with 5:20 to play sparked an 11-to-2 run to close the half and San Jose State (10-16, 7-8 WAC) took a 30-21 lead in the to locker rooms. 

The Spartans opened the second half the way they ended the first.  In eight minutes they out scored UT Arlington (6-20, 3-12 WAC) 16-to-4, and after a Jayzyl Tauala 3-pointer, had a 46-25 lead with just over 12 minutes to play.

"Our defensive pressure really keyed our offense, particularly to close the first half and starting the second," said head coach Tim La Kose

The Spartans enjoyed their season's best half of shooting in the last 20 minutes.  They hit 57 percent (16-of-28) from the field and 56 percent (5-of-9) from behind the arc.

Every member of the team were accounted for in the scoring column led by Ta'Rea Cunnigan with 28 points.  She hit 10-of-19 shots, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range.  Chereese Thomas, in the rare roll of as a reserve, had 10 points, 10 assists and four steals.  Emily Schill added nine points and 11 rebounds. 

The Mavericks, who trailed by as many as 23 in the second half, got as close as 12 points at the 6:08 mark, before falling by 22.  They had two players in double figures led by Jordan Holub's 13 points.  Laila Suleiman, UTA's leading scorer, was held with out a point and was in foul trouble from an early point in the game.

San Jose State wraps up its home schedule on Saturday against the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters.  Tipoff on Walt McPherson Court is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. 

UT Arlington vs San Jose State 02/28/13 7:00 p.m. at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center) At San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center) SAN JOSE STATE 71, UT ARLINGTON 49
UT ARLINGTON (6-20, 3-12 WAC) Holub, Jordan 6-13 0-0 13; Green, Malaika 4-11 1-3 10; Nwanguma, Desherra 4-7 0-0 8; Thorpe, Rosalyn 3-7 0-0 6; Garcia, Aron 3-7 0-0 6; Parker, Kiara 0-8 3-4 3; Williams, Chauntandr 0-4 2-2 2; Willson, Kelsey 0-3 1-1 1; Watkins, Eboni 0-0 0-0 0; Suleiman, Laila 0-8 0-0 0. Totals 20-68 7-10 49.
SAN JOSE STATE (10-16, 7-8 WAC) Cunnigan, Ta'Rea 10-19 4-4 28; Byrd, Riana 7-14 0-0 14; Thomas, Chereese 4-9 2-2 10; Schill, Emily 3-7 3-6 9; Hill, Alexis 2-4 0-0 5; Tauala, Jayzyl 1-6 0-0 3; James, Classye 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 28-63 9-12 71.
UT Arlington..................   21   28  -   49 San Jose State................   30   41  -   71
3-point goals--UT Arlington 2-14 (Holub, Jordan 1-1; Green, Malaika 1-6; Parker, Kiara 0-1; Williams, Chauntandr 0-1; Willson, Kelsey 0-2; Suleiman, Laila 0-3), San Jose State 6-16 (Cunnigan, Ta'Rea 4-7; Hill, Alexis 1-2; Tauala, Jayzyl 1-3; James, Classye 0-2; Thomas, Chereese 0-2). Fouled out--UT Arlington-None, San Jose State-James, Classye. Rebounds--UT Arlington 39 (Parker, Kiara 10), San Jose State 47 (Byrd, Riana 15). Assists--UT Arlington 9 (Parker, Kiara 2; Suleiman, Laila 2; Green, Malaika 2), San Jose State 17 (Thomas, Chereese 10). Total fouls--UT Arlington 18, San Jose State 15. Technical fouls--UT Arlington-None, San Jose State-None. A-534