Spartans Fall In Opener, 88-77

San Jose, Calif. - Three Spartans scored in double figures and San Jose State forced 35 turnovers, but it wasn't enough to defeat the San Francisco Dons.  USF (1-1) beat San Jose State in the Spartans' season opener 88-77 on Sunday afternoon in the Event Center.

"I was pleased with our defensive pressure today," head coach Tim La Kose said.  "We won the turnover battle by 12.  Anytime you do that you should win, but we missed a lot of easy shots and that was the difference."

The 35 turnovers are the most for the Spartans since they forced the University of the Pacific into 34 on November 20, 2007.

Brittany Johnson and Sara Plavljanin each scored 18 points for the San Jose State.  Johnson ripped down 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season.  Plavljanin had five of the Spartans' 15 steals and grabbed seven boards.  Ta'Rea Cunnigan added 13 points and six rebounds.

In the first half, San Jose State jumped out to a 7-2 lead led by a Myesha Broaden 3-pointer and jumper and a bucket by Plavljanin.  The Dons stormed back to tie the game at 9-9 with 14:42 to go before the half.  The teams went back and forth until a Johnson layup made it 31-30 in favor of USF, with just under five and a half minutes to go.

Over the next two minutes, the Dons went on a 10-0 run to push their advantage to 11.  San Jose State cut the lead to 41-36 with 2:29 left in the half, but San Francisco finished the first 20 minutes with a 14-5 scoring streak and took a 55-41 lead to the dressing rooms.

For the half, USF shot 62 percent from both the field (16-for-26) and behind the 3-point stripe (8-for-13) and made 15-of-16 free throw attempts.  The Spartans shot 37 percent from the floor (17-for-45) and out rebounded San Francisco 11-to-2 on the offensive glass, but went to the line just four times, making all four.

San Jose State slowly chipped away at the Dons advantage in the second half.  With 9:50 to play, a Rachel Finnegan layup cut the lead to 67-62.  But San Francisco responded with a 12-3 run, pushed its advantage to 14 points and went on to an 88-77 victory.

USF shooting cooled off in the second half; hitting 38 percent from the field and making one of their seven 3-point attempts.  San Jose State couldn't take advantage of the Dons and made just 13-of-44 shots, 30 percent, from the floor including hitting on seven of 22 layups.

"We have to make our layups," La Kose said.  "It is as simple as that.  We could have scored 90 or more if we had made a decent percentage of those shots."

San Francisco was led by Rheina Ale's 23 points, nine assists and three steals.  Taj Winston had 16 points and seven rebounds.  Katy Keating and Mel Khlok added 14 and 13 points, respectively.

The Spartans return to action on Wednesday, November 16, when they travel to Davis, Calif., to take on the UC Davis Aggies.  Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Newspaper Box Score
San Francisco vs San Jose State
11/13/11 2:00 p.m. at San Jose, Calif., The Event Center
At San Jose, Calif., The Event Center
ALE,Rheina 8-15 4-4 23; WINSTON, Taj 4-9 8-10 16; KEATING,Katy 5-9 0-0 14;
KHLOK,Mel 3-7 7-8 13; GORDON,Aundrea 3-5 1-1 8; KATUNA,Jamie 2-2 1-1 6;
DANIELS, Whitney 2-4 1-2 5; SINGLETERRY,VANIA 0-3 2-2 2; SCAFIDI, Alicia 0-1
1-2 1; ERSKINE, Savannah 0-0 0-0 0; BARBOUR, Bailey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-55
25-30 88.
Johnson, Brittany 8-23 2-4 18; Plavljanin, Sara 7-13 2-2 18; Cunnigan,
Ta'rea 3-10 7-9 13; Atoe, Palagi 4-15 0-0 9; Broaden, Myesha 3-7 2-2 9;
Matthews, Brea 3-13 0-0 6; Finnegan, Rachel 2-8 0-1 4. Totals 30-89 13-18
San Francisco.................   55   33  -   88
San Jose State................   41   36  -   77
3-point goals--San Francisco 9-20 (KEATING,Katy 4-7; ALE,Rheina 3-4;
KATUNA,Jamie 1-1; GORDON,Aundrea 1-3; SINGLETERRY,VANIA 0-2; KHLOK,Mel 0-3),
San Jose State 4-11 (Plavljanin, Sara 2-4; Broaden, Myesha 1-3; Atoe, Palagi
1-3; Matthews, Brea 0-1). Fouled out--San Francisco-None, San Jose
State-None. Rebounds--San Francisco 45 (DANIELS, Whitney 9), San Jose State
45 (Johnson, Brittany 10). Assists--San Francisco 20 (ALE,Rheina 9), San
Jose State 12 (Atoe, Palagi 4). Total fouls--San Francisco 19, San Jose
State 21. Technical fouls--San Francisco-None, San Jose State-None. A-165