Women's Basketball Hosts Columbia In Home Opener

Paris Baird, who had two blocks and scored two at Utah, and the Spartans host Columbia on Sunday.
Nov. 16, 2014

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San Jose, Calif. - After a crushing defeat at Utah to open the season, San Jose State is looking to change its fortunes beginning with the home portion of its schedule and a match up with an Ivy League opponent, the Columbia Lions on Sunday.

vs. Columbia (0-1)
Sunday, November 16, 3:30 p.m.
The Event Center, San Jose, Calif.
Streaming video is available on the Spartan Digital Network at www.sjsuspartans.com/video
Live stats available at www.sjsuspartans.com

Fans can view live stats of all San José State women's basketball games, home and away, 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 Spartan.

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

Fans across the nation can now listen to every Spartans' women's home game via Stretch Internet Radio. KSJS-FM (90.5 FM, San Jose) also originates 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. 

It's only one game, but at Utah the Spartans showed an inkling of what their pressure defense is capable of this year.  SJSU forced the Utes to turn the ball over 24 times and in those, made 14 steals.  San José State made those Utah miscues pay off to the tune of a 26-2 advantage in points off turnovers.  Why so few points off turnovers for Utah?  The Spartans turned the ball over just seven times.

Entering the 2014-15 season, Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Sr., G, Winchester, Calif.) stood at 1,495 career points.  With an 18 point performance at Utah (11/14), she became the fourth player in San José State women's basketball history to pass that milestone.  Cunnigan has scored 1,513 points in just 91 games.  Her next milestone comes at 1,666 points, when she reaches Elinor Banks (1978-81) for third place on the program's all-time scoring list.

All 11 Spartans who were available to play saw action at Utah.  Nine of them played double digit minutes as Coach Craighead kept a steady rotation of fresh players coming into the game to keep the intensity at a constantly high pace.  Every Spartan made a positive impact on the stat sheet, including four who scored in double figures, led by a career-high 30 points from Rebecca Woodberry (Sr., F, Phoenix, Ariz.).

Myzhanique Ladd (Fr., G, Seattle, Wash.) and Aniya Baker (So., PG, Perris, Calif.) were impressive in their Spartan debuts.  Ladd was 8-for-8 from the line and scored 15 points as well as played important minutes in crunch time at Utah (11/14).  Baker also scored 15 points, including three 3-pointers, she dished out a team-high three assists and contributed two steals all while taking care of the ball handling duties.

At Utah (11/14), Rebecca Woodberry (Sr., F, Phoenix, Ariz.) served notice that she is ready for the 2014-15 season.  She opened the campaign with a career-high 30 point outburst at Utah (11/14).  She led the team in scoring, rebounds (8) and steals (4).  The nation's 13th leading 3-point shooter in 2013-14 (3.10/g) drained five-of-seven treys and hit 9-of-11 free throws.

In home openers since the 1977-78 season the Spartans are just 17-19.  However, they have won their last two home openers, both against San Francisco State . Before this current streak, the last win in a home opener came in the 2005-06 season.

Ta'Rea Cunnigan (Sr., G, Winchester, Calif.) is one of five players to be named the Mountain West Preseason All-Conference team by a vote of the conference's head coaches.  This is the second straight year Cunnigan has received the honor.

Cunnigan, averaged 18.4 points per game last year and is the leading scorer among all returning players in the Mountain West Conference this year.  She led the team in scoring and steals and ranked second in blocks, assists, free throw percentage and 3-point percentage.

She was the second leading scorer in the Mountain West Conference last year and earned honorable mention All-Mountain West honors after the season.

The Lions, who play in the Ivy League, come into their match up with the San José State with a 0-1 record after a 70-65 loss at San Francisco on Friday night.  Columbia was 6-22 in 2013-14 under first-year head coach Stephanie Glance.

The Lions return three of their top four scorers from a year ago, including Tori Oliver, a sophomore forward, who led the team at 10.8 ppg, and Miwa Tachibana, a senior guard, who averaged 9.6 ppg.

Against the Dons, Columbia had four players in double figures led the Alexa Giuliano's 20 points and six rebounds.  They sank 10 3-pointers, but shoot just 32 percent from the floor.

This will be just the second meeting between these programs.  Previous time they faced each other came in the 1990-91 season.  The game was played in San Jose and the Spartans came away with a 70-64 victory.