San Jose, Calif. - The San Jose State women's basketball team had faced the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters 23 times, but never came away with a victory until its 60-58 Western Athletic Conference win Saturday night on Walt McPherson Court.The game closes the home portion of the Spartans 2012-13 schedule and with the win moves them into a four-way tie for fourth place in the conference with one week to go in the regular season.
DOWN TO THE WIRE
There were 12 lead changes and the score was tied nine times: the last coming at 55-55 with 3:18 to play. Chereese Thomas made the first of two free throws to tie it and then hit the second for a one-point Spartans' lead. A Riana Byrd layup and a Ta'Rea Cunnigan free throw increased the San Jose State advantage to 59-55 with 1:05 left.
A turnover and foul by the Spartans (11-16, 8-8 WAC) led to three Lady Techster points before a Cunnigan free throw made it a 60-58 lead for SJSU.
LA Tech had the ball with seven seconds to play and a chance to tie it or get the go ahead bucket with a three. Jelena Vucinic, who finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds, got the ball at the top of the arc, but hesitated to shoot. As the seconds ticked away, she fired a pass into the right corner to Whitney Frazier. Frazier, who led Louisiana Tech with 19 points, got a shot off with one second to go which drew iron, but came up short.
TOUGH SHOOTING FOR BOTH TEAMS
The Spartans and Lady Techsters struggled from the floor and the free throw line. LA Tech (12-15, 8-8 WAC) hoisted 77 shots making just 22 (28 percent), including 1-for-16 from 3-point range. San Jose State was not much more impressive shooting 31 percent (19-for-61) and 5-for-15 from behind the arc.
The teams didn't do much better from the line. The Spartans, making 72 percent of their charity strip attempts on the season, were just 17-for-28 (60 percent). Louisiana Tech, the worst free throw shooting team in the WAC, hit 13-for-23 (56 percent).
San Jose State built the largest lead of the game, 26-20 with 5:08 to go in the half, but failed to score again before the buzzer. LA Tech failed to take advantage of the Spartans drought making just 1-of-10 shots down the stretch and converting 2-of-3 free throws.
DOUBLE DOUBLE DOUBLES
Thomas and Byrd had double doubles for the second time in as many games. Both did the deed against UT Arlington on Thursday and against LA Tech, did it again. Thomas had 11 points, including 5-of-6 from the line, and 10 rebounds. Byrd went 7-of-11 from the floor and 2-of-4 from the free throw line for 16 points and 14 rebounds in the win.
CUNNIGAN SETS FREE THROW RECORD
With her free throw at the 1:05 mark, Ta'Rea Cunnigan had made 157 on the season and set the program's single-season record. She passed Brittany Johnson who made 156 in the 2011-12 season. Cunnigan made one more free throw and now stands at 158 on the year.
Her 10 free throw attempts moved her to within 26 of the single season record of 240 set by Cricket Williams.
The Spartans head out on the road for their final two regular-season games. They play at UTSA on Thursday, March 7. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (CT).
Louisiana Tech vs San Jose State 03/02/13 7:00 p.m. at San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center) At San Jose, Calif. (The Event Center) SAN JOSE STATE 60, LOUISIANA TECH 58
LOUISIANA TECH (12-15, 8-8 WAC) Frazier, Whitney 7-17 5-6 19; Vucinic, Jelena 7-17 2-6 17; Lewis, Brittany 2-8 2-4 6; Borum, Janay 3-8 0-0 6; Jefferson, Brittney 2-9 1-2 5; Langston, Savanna 1-4 0-0 2; Hayes, Courtney 0-6 2-2 2; Anderson, Tavasha 0-2 1-2 1; Hall, Veanca 0-1 0-0 0; Perry, Lulu 0-5 0-1 0. Totals 22-77 13-23 58.
SAN JOSE STATE (11-16, 8-8 WAC) Cunnigan, Ta'Rea 6-21 6-10 20; Byrd, Riana 7-11 2-4 16; Thomas, Chereese 2-8 5-6 11; James, Classye 1-8 2-6 5; Schill, Emily 2-8 0-0 4; Hill, Alexis 1-5 2-2 4. Totals 19-61 17-28 60.
Louisiana Tech................ 24 34 - 58 San Jose State................ 26 34 - 60
3-point goals--Louisiana Tech 1-16 (Vucinic, Jelena 1-7; Borum, Janay 0-2; Jefferson, Brittney 0-2; Langston, Savanna 0-1; Perry, Lulu 0-1; Frazier, Whitney 0-3), San Jose State 5-15 (Cunnigan, Ta'Rea 2-7; Thomas, Chereese 2-4; James, Classye 1-3; Hill, Alexis 0-1). Fouled out--Louisiana Tech-None, San Jose State-None. Rebounds--Louisiana Tech 48 (Vucinic, Jelena 13), San Jose State 53 (Byrd, Riana 14). Assists--Louisiana Tech 11 (Borum, Janay 3; Frazier, Whitney 3), San Jose State 14 (James, Classye 5). Total fouls--Louisiana Tech 22, San Jose State 17. Technical fouls--Louisiana Tech-Jefferson, Brittney, San Jose State-TEAM. A-768