Johnson's 31 Not Enough To Open WAC Tournament

Las Vegas, Nev.-----Brittany Johnson scored a game-high 31 points for San Jose State, but Idaho matched a season-high with 11 three-point baskets and made all 12 of its free throws for a 67-63 win over the Spartans in a Western Athletic Conference women's tournament quarterfinal round game.

Idaho (12-19) came into the game shooting 31.0 percent from 3-point range, but made nine of their first 16 three-pointers in the first half to build a 41-24 halftime lead. The Vandals, who led the entire game, cooled off in the second half and were 11-of-28 from three-point territory for the game.

Johnson was almost unstoppable on offense. She was 4-of-6 from three-point range and 11-of-21 overall from the field. The senior forward pumped in 19 points in the final 20 minutes of her second 30-plus point performance of the season.

"What a player. We were double-teaming her and she's still getting down shots and getting open. It was a great performance by her tonight for sure," said Idaho coach Jon Newlee about Johnson's final game for San Jose State.

Sara Plavljanin also came alive offensively in the second half with 12 of her 19 points.

The Spartans (11-19) had their problems offensively in the first half making just 28.1 percent of their field goal tries. In the second half, San Jose State rallied twice from double-digit deficits. Trailing 57-43, the Spartans began taking the ball to the basket and made 9-of-10 free throws over a 3:45 span to trail 57-52 with 4:39 to go.

"In the second half, we did what we do best and was get to the basket and get to the foul line," said San Jose State coach Tim La Kose. The Spartans made 13 of their 16 free throw tries.

Johnson pounded home four more baskets including her final three-pointer of the night and Plavljanin added two more leaving San Jose State behind, 65-63 with 7.8 seconds remaining.

"...we regouped in the second half. I feel we capitalized on their mistakes. They weren't hitting as many shots in the first half. So, we made a run for it," Johnson said.

Together, Johnson and Plavljanin accounted for all but 13 of San Jose State's points. Ta'Rea Cunnigan, who averaged 11.9 points a game in the regular season, was in foul trouble most of the night and finished with just 5 points. She was 2-of-9 from the field.

Krissy Karr ensured the win for Idaho making two free throws with 3.9 seconds left in the game on Johnson's fifth foul and finished with a team-high 17 points. It was the second time this season Idaho made all its free throws in a game against San Jose State. Karr was one of five Vandals to make a 3-point basket against the Spartans' 2-3 and 1-3-1 zone defenses.

San Jose State was outrebounded, 46-33. Idaho center Alyssa Charlston pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds to go along with 16 points.

The Vandal win was their third this season over the Spartans. All three games were decided by five points or less.