San Jose, Calif. - In game two of a four-game road odyssey which will keep the Spartans away from their home court until early December, the San José State women’s basketball team plays at CSU Bakersfield on Sunday, in just the fourth meeting between these geographically convenient programs.
San José State Spartans (1-1)
CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners (0-1)
Sunday, November 22, 1:00 p.m.
Icardo Center, Bakersfield, Calif.
Live streaming video is available on the women’s basketball schedule page at www.sjsuspartans.com
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.
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Fans across the nation and internationally can listen to every Spartans’ women’s home game and select road games via Stretch Internet Radio. Jess Knaster and Ta’Rea Cunnigan, the leading scorer in San José State basketball history, bring you all the action. You can access the broadcast through the women’s basketball schedule page at www.sjsuspartans.com.
RAMOS NAMED PRESEASON MOUNTAIN WEST NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Dezz Ramos (Jr., PG, West Valley, Utah), who averaged 10.4 points, 3.5 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals in two seasons at Weber State and sat out 2014-15 due to NCAA transfer rules, earned MW Preseason Newcomer of the Year honors, by a vote of the conference coaches and media representatives last month. Ramos is the first Spartan to earn the honor in the now three years the team has competed in the conference.
TOUGH PRESEASON SLATE
The old adage goes that a tough preseason schedule gets you ready for the conference slate. If that is true then San José State will be prepared when Mountain West action starts. Of the Spartans 11 non-conference opponents, nine participated in the postseason in 2014-15.
One was in the NCAA Tournament (New Mexico State), seven played in the WNIT (Saint Mary’s, CSU Bakersfield, Washington State, San Francisco, South Dakota, Pacific, and Hawai’i) and Southern Oregon competed in the NAIA Division II National Tournament.
Riana Byrd (Sr., C, Richmond, Calif.) is a good season away from becoming just the second player in San José State women’s basketball history to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds in a career. Averaging both 9.0 points and rebounds per game over her three years at SJSU, Byrd currently has with 836 points and 833 rebounds. At her current pace she could reach both milestones and join the 1,000/1,000 club against UNLV on February 10, 2016.
WE’VE GOT OFFENSE
San José State averaged 78.5 points a game last year to lead the Mountain West and finish the season 11th in the nation. In two games, the 2015-16 edition of the Spartans appear to be just as potent. They are averaging 86.5 points, 5.5 points per game more than the second ranked team in the conference. The team currently ranks 33rd in scoring in the nation.
BAKER IS COOKING
Aniya Baker (Jr., G, Perris, Calif.) averaged 7.9 ppg last season, but in the four games of the year up that number to a 13.3 per game clip. So far this year, she even hotter. Baker is averaging 17.0 ppg, second in the Mountain West and at Saint Mary’s (11/15) she had a team-leading and career-high 21 points.
IMPRESSIVE DEBUT FOR RAMOS
Dezz Ramos (Jr., PG, West Valley, Utah) made her Spartans debut at Saint Mary’s and for the first time in a long time have a slick ball handler who will push the pace and look to score and distribute. Ramos finished the Saint Mary’s game with 15 points, three assists and a pair of rebounds in 28 minutes. Perhaps most importantly...she had zero turnovers. In a vote of the conference’s coaches and media members, Ramos was named Preseason Mountain West Newcomer of the Year.
THE SUN IS RISING FOR THE SPARTANS WEST
Rachol West (Jr. G, Bakersfield, Calif.) doubled her offensive output from her freshman to sophomore year and with five three-pointers against Saint Mary’s (11/15), it looks like that trend is continuing. She is the second leading scorer on the team (10.5 ppg) and ranks fourth in the MW with 3.0 made threes a game. The five treys against the Gaels equaled a single-game career-best.
GETTING IT DONE ON BOTH ENDS
Jasmine Smith (Jr., F, Burbank, Calif.) is just shy of averaging a double double this year. She is at 10.5 points per game and 9.5 rebounds. Her scoring average in second highest on the team and she is shooting a team-best .588, which ranks fifth in the league.
Smith had a 10 point, 11 rebound effort against Southern Oregon (11/13) and backed that up with a 11 points and eight rebounds at Saint Mary’s (11/15).
She is the conference’s top rebounder on the offensive glass (5.5/g) and is in the top-15 in defensive boards (4.0).
HARRIS DOING EVERYTHING
Nyre Harris (Sr., G, Stockton, Calif.) is a team captain and is leading by example. Harris tops the team, the conference and ranks ninth in the nation with 5.0 steals per game. In addition, she is second in assists (7) and minutes (26.5/g), third in rebounds (6.0/g) and offensive rebounds. She has the highest free throw percentage (.857) among Spartans who have gone to the line more than two times and ranks sixth on the team at 8.5point per game. In the opener, against Southern Oregon (11/13), Harris picked up the first double double of her college career scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
MORE BYRD WATCHING
Senior Riana Byrd (Sr., C, Richmond, Calif.) began 2015-16, 182 points from becoming the 14th member of the program’s 1,000-point club and entering the game at CSU Bakersfield sits 164 point from becoming the 14th player to reach the milestone.
Byrd, who has averaged 9.0 rebounds a game her career, is 167 rebounds from reaching 1,000. She is 114 boards from passing Rhoda Chew (946 from 1982-85) for second place on the program’s career list and 230 from passing Banks (1,062) for the all-time record.
In addition, Byrd holds the career record for blocked shots (163).
EVERYONE HAS A GREEN LIGHT FROM DISTANCE
In 2014-15, the Spartans led the Mountain West in three-point attempts (872) and makes (271). That’s an average of 27.3 attempts and 8.5 makes per game and 2015-16 looks to be even higher. In two games the team had hoisted 77 threes (38.5/g) and has drained 24 (12.0/g). Both numbers lead the conference and the 12.0 makes is sixth best in the nation.
TURN’EM OVER AND STEAL’EM
San José State’s pressure defense can produce a lot of turnovers and a lot of steals, 645 and 347, respectively last season, for an average of 20.2 forced turnovers and 10.8 steals per game.
In 18 games, in 2014-15, the Spartans forced at least 20 turnovers and posted a 14-4 record. They forced 33 turnovers against Southern Oregon and won 92-78.
In games in which the team had at least 11 steals, the Spartans were 10-5. They picked the pocket of Southern Oregon players 20 times in the season opening win.
So far in 2015-16, the Spartans have forced 56 turnovers (28.0/g) and have gotten 27 steals (13.5/g). SJSU’s 13.5 steals a game ranks 32nd in the nation and its turnover margin of +11.0 is the 18th highest in the NCAA.
SINGLE-SEASON MARKS FELL IN 2014-15
The 2014-15 San José State women’s basketball team set the program’s single-season scoring record for the second straight year. The Spartans scored 2,511 points last year, smashing the previous record of 2,308, which was set in 2013-14.
SJSU also set new team records for assists (501), three-pointers (271) and three-point attempts (872), as well as field goal attempts (2,262).
BALANCED SCORING LEADS TO WINS
San José State scored 92 points in its season opening win and got double figure scoring from six players. In the last season, when at least four Spartans reach double digits in the scoring column, SJSU is 7-2. The two losses came in overtime games.
NICE FIRST LOOKS
In the Spartans opening win, Ellie Stevens (Sr., F, Ocean Grove, Victoria, Australia) and Andrea Kohlhaas (Fr., G, Besigheim, Germany) each made their San José State debut. Stevens was 3-for-5 from the field, including 2-for-2 from distance. She hit both her free throws and scored 10 points in 19 minutes of action. Kohlhaas hoisted all her shots from beyond the arc. She went 3-for-6 for nine points, had a rebounds and a steal in 17 minutes.
SENIOR LEADERSHIP IN THE OPENER
The Spartans four seniors Riana Byrd (Sr., C, Richmond, Calif.), Nyre Harris (Sr., G, Stockton, Calif.), Ellie Stevens (Sr., F, Ocean Grove, Victoria, Australia) and Emily Vann (Sr., F, Martinez, Calif.) accounted for 40 of the Spartans 92 points in the Southern Oregon win. They grabbed 23 of the team’s 56 rebounds and produced 11 of the 20 steals. From the floor, the quartet shot a combined 46.1 % (12-for-26). They were 4-for-7 (57.1%) from beyond the arc and converted 12 of 17 (70.5%) free throws.
SCOUTING CSU BAKERSFIELD
The Roadrunners reached the semifinal of the 2015 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Tournament and earned a bid to the WNIT where they fell to eventual winner UCLA 70-54. They are one of seven team’s the Spartans face in non-conference play that participated in last year’s WNIT This year they lost their home opener to Pacific 80-74, snapping a 22-game home winning streak in the process. CSUB plays at UC Santa Barbara on Thursday night ahead of its game with the Spartans.
CSU Bakersfield returns their two of its top four scorers from a year ago in seniors Alyssa Shannon (10.1 ppg., 4.4 assts.) and Batabe Zampare (9.5 ppg., 9.9 rebs). They had four players in double figures against UOP led by Zampare’s 19 points and 19 rebounds.
Greg McCall is in his fifth season leading the ‘Runners program. He brought a 61-60 record at CSU Bakersfield into the 2015-16 season.
THE SERIES WITH CSU BAKERSFIELD
The Spartans and Roadrunners have met three times, but this will be the first time they have shared the court since the 2009-10 season. This will be the third time the match-up has taken place in Bakersfield, where CSUB has won by an average of 22.5 points.