Women's Hoops Starts Three-Game Week At Santa Clara

Jasmine Smith recorded a double double (25 points, 11 rebounds) in her first game as a Spartan.

Nov. 11, 2013

San Jose, Calif. - After decisively winning its season and home opener, 100-78 against the San Francisco State Gators, the San José State women's basketball team sets its sights on its first road contest.  On Tuesday, the Spartans take a short trip to Bay Area rival Santa Clara for the first of three games this week.

GAMES 2, 3 & 4


at Santa Clara
Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 5:30 P.M.
The Leavey Center, Santa Clara, Calif.

Live Stats and Streaming Video available at www.santaclarabroncos.com

vs. UC Riverside
Friday, November 15, 7:00 p.m.
The Event Center, San Jose, Calif.

vs. Evansville
Sunday, November 17, 2:00 p.m.
The Event Center, San Jose, Calif.

Radio broadcast for all three games on 90.5 KSJS-FM and at www.ksjs.org

Fans can view live stats of all San José State women's basketball games by accessing the "Gametracker" feature at www.sjsuspartans.com.  Click on the link on the women's basketball schedule page to follow the action.

Spartan Digital is your all-access passport to Spartan Athletics.  For live and recorded video/audio of San José State women's basketball home, Mountain West (road and home) and select road contests, Spartan Digital is your home.  Go to Spartan Digital at top of the Spartans Athletics home page or go to www.sjsuspartans.com/video.

Keep up with all 16 of San José State's team through social media sites Twitter and Facebook.  For Twitter go to @sjsuathletics and on Facebook become friends with Sammy Spartans.

The women's basketball Twitter handle is @sanjosestatewbb and our Facebook page is /SanJoseStateWBB.

KSJS (90.5 FM, San Jose) originates San José State women's basketball home broadcasts and select road contests.  

Tickets for San José 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).  

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 weekday doubleheaders.

Parking for all San José 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.

With its 100-78 win over San Francisco State (11/8), the Spartans now sport a 20-19 record in its 39 -year history of women's basketball.  The win was just the second time in the last nine season's that San José State has won its season opener.

The Spartans have six new faces on the court this season, five freshmen and a transfer, and after one game they all look very comfortable in new head coach Jamie Craighead's up-tempo style.  Three players in particular, Jasmine Smith (Fr., F, Burbank, Calif.), Rebecca Woodberry (Jr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) and Britta Hall (Fr., G, Tualatin, Ore.), are VERY comfortable.

The threesome each hit double digit scoring in the season opening 100-78 victory. Smith had a 25 points (10-of-14), 11 rebounds (7 offensive), four steals and one assists.  It was the second-best season opener in the last 15 years, behind only Amber Jackson's 26 points and 12 rebounds in a 69-61 victory over Gonzaga to open the 2005-06 campaign and the best start by any freshman in the same time period.

Woodberry had a 13 point, 10 rebound, six assist, two steal and one block debut for the Spartans.  Her game was the most statistically well rounded, hitting seven shots from the floor, including three from behind the arc and a pair of free throws.  Eight of her 10 boards were defensive and helped started the fast break.

Hall was a terror from beyond the 3-point arc, she hit four-of-five attempts for 12 points and ran the Spartans offense with precision.  When she wasn't reigning treys on the Gators she was handing out a game high seven assists.  In addition, she grabbed two rebounds and a steal in her college debut.

Classye James (Jr., G, East Palo Alto, Calif.) sees the San Francisco State Gators on the schedule and licks her chops.  With 20 points and six rebound last Friday night, James is averaging 20.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.0 assists for her career against SFSU.  She shot .500 (11-for-22 and 3-for-6) from the field and 3-point range, respectively, and went 16-for-19 (.842) from the line in games to start last and this season.

After just two seasons, Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Jr., G, Winchester, Calif.) is already in the top-10 of two San José State career categories.  Her 288 free throws and 395 free throw attempts rank third and sixth, respectively.  In addition, her .729 free throw shooting percentage is sixth all-time and .328 3-point shooting percentage is the 10th best in program history.

There are four categories, among the Spartans' career records, that Cunnigan should enter into the top-10 during this season.  She is 41 points from becoming the 13th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. In addition, she is 13 3-pointers, 28 3-point attempts and nine steals from the top-10 in each category.

Riana Byrd (So., C, Richmond, Calif.), who had 64 blocked shots in her freshman campaign and three more this season, is already in seventh place in the program's career blocks list.

With the Spartans 100-78 victory against San Francisco State, head coach Jamie Craighead won the first season opener of her head coaching career, after four tries while at Sacramento  State.  

She also becomes the third women's basketball head coach to find victory in her Spartans debut, joining Hall of Fame coach Sharon Chatman and Tina Krah in winning her first game on the San José State bench.

On September 16, Jamie Craighead, who coaches an up-tempo offense and stifling defense, was named San José State University's head women's basketball coach.  She is the eighth head coach in the programs 38-year history.  

Craighead comes to San José State after spending the past four seasons at Sacramento State, where she was the winningest women's head basketball coach in the last 20 years and the only coach to post a winning conference record since they entered the Big Sky Conference in the 1996-97 season.

Under her guidance the Hornets reached the conference tournament for just the fifth (2012) and sixth (2013) times in program history. In those appearances, Sacramento State earned its first tournament wins and reached the semi-final round both years.

The youngest head coach in Division I when she took over Sacramento State., in 2009, Craighead's teams led the Big Sky in scoring in each of her four seasons.

Craighead started her coaching career in 2002, under two-time NCAA Division II Coach of the Year Gordy Presnell, at Seattle Pacific University. In her three years at SPU, the team posted an 89-5 record, won three PacWest Conference titles, qualified for the NCAA Division II Tournament each year and reached the championship game in 2005. After her success in Seattle, she spent two seasons as an assistant at Portland State University before taking a position at Sacramento State.

As a collegiate player at the University of Oregon, Craighead led the Ducks to the 2002 WNIT championship after three appearances in the NCAA Tournament. When she finished her career, her 182 3-point field goals made ranked second all-time in Ducks history.

Craighead earned honorable mention Academic All-Pac-10 honors as a senior and graduated from Oregon with a bachelor's degree in educational studies in 2002.

The Broncos are members of the West Coast Conference (WCC).  They posted a 14-16 record last year, 6-10 in the WCC.  They made the conference tournament, but lost in the opening round to end the 2012-13 season.   The 14 overall and six conference wins were both highs under head coach Jennifer Mountain. In a preseason poll of the conference coaches SCU was picked to finish in 7th place among 10 teams.

Santa Clara opened its season with a 77-70 loss at UNLV (11/8).  Two players reached double figures in the scoring column for the Broncos.  Nici Gilday scored 22 points and Ruta Zurauskyte added 10.  

This will be the 45th times the cross-town rivals have faced off, with the Broncos holding a 24-to-20 advantage in the all-time series.  In last year's match up, in The Event Center, Santa Clara defeated the San José State 62-47.  In the last meeting in the Broncos Leavey Center, in the 2011-12 season, the Spartans cruised to a 74-53 win.  In games contested at Santa Clara, San José State trails 9-to-10, but have won the last two on the Broncos home court.

SCU lost its leading scorer from last season, Meagan Fulps  (11.2 pts), but return senor guard Ricki Radanovich (10.5 pts/gm) and Ruta Zurauskyte, a senior center, (10.5 pts, 7.2 rebs).

Head coach Jeniffer Mountain is in her sixth season leading the Santa Clara program.  She brought a 46-107 record into the 2013-14 season.