San Jose, Calif. - As the opening half of a two-game road swing in the Pacific Northwest, the San José State women’s basketball team reacquaints itself with the Washington State Cougars in a post-Thanksgiving match-up. It will be the first time in eight years the pair has met in women’s hoops.
San José State Spartans (1-2)
Washington State Cougars (4-0)
Friday, November 27, 7:00 p.m.
Beasley Coliseum, Pullman, Wash.
Live streaming video link is available on the women’s basketball schedule page at www.sjsuspartans.com
Live stats link 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 and the majority of Mountain West 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 Spartans women’s basketball on all our social media platforms. The team’s Twitter handle is @sjswbb, Facebook page is /SanJoseStateWBB, Instagram is sjsu_wbb.
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.
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.
END IT IN REGULATION!
With San José State’s stunning 90-88 overtime loss at CSU Bakersfield (11/22), the Spartans are just 1-7 in overtime games since the start of the 2006-07 season. The lone win in that span was an 80-77 win at Nevada (2/7/15). In the program’s history, SJSU is 10-15 in games that cannot be decided in regulation time.
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 839 points and 838 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 - 16TH BEST IN THE NATION
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 three games, the 2015-16 edition of the Spartans appear to be even more potent. They are averaging 87.0 points, 7.7 points per game more than the second ranked team in the conference. The team currently ranks 16th 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 at the end of the year upped that number to a 13.3 per game clip. So far this year, she’s even hotter. Baker is averaging 16.0 ppg, which leads the team and ranks second in the Mountain West. At Saint Mary’s (11/15) she had a team-leading and career-high 21 points.
Baker leads the team in assists (11) and free throw percentage (.857) and is second in steals (9) and minutes (29.3).
PAC-12 OPPONENTS ARE NOT KIND
When the Spartans meet Washington State (11/27) it will be the 123rd time SJSU has faced a Pac-12 foe. The Spartans are just 37-85 (30.3 percent) in the first 122 match-ups. The Spartans have a losing record against 11 of the 12 members of the conference and the lone team they have beaten more times than not...Stanford. San José State is 13-10 against the Cardinal.
FROM BEYOND THE ARC…THERE ARE NO RED LIGHTS
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 three games the team had hoisted 107 threes (35.7/g) and has drained 34 (11.3/g). Both numbers lead the conference and the 11.3 makes is seventh best in the nation.
THE SUN IS RISING FOR THE SPARTANS WEST
Rachol West (Jr. G, Bakersfield, Calif.) nearly doubled her offensive output from her freshman to sophomore year and with nine three-pointers in the last two games, it looks like that trend is continuing. She is one of five Spartans who are averaging double digits (10.5 ppg) and ranks second in the MW and 42nd in the nation with 3.0 made threes a game. Her five treys at Saint Mary’s (11/15) equaled a single-game career-best.
GETTING IT DONE
Jasmine Smith (Jr., F, Burbank, Calif.) is averaging a double double this year (13.0 ppg & 10.7 rebs). Her scoring average in second highest on the team and she is shooting a team-best .500, which ranks in the top-10 in the Mountain West. Her 10.7 boards are third in the conference.
She is the conference’s top rebounder on the offensive glass (6.0/g) and ranks fifth in the NCAA. Her 4.7 defensive rebounds a game is 11th in the Mountain West.
In three games, so far, Smith has two double doubles, 20th in the nation and tops in the MWC.
HARRIS DOING EVERYTHING
Nyre Harris (Sr., G, Stockton, Calif.) is a team captain and is leading by example. Harris tops the team, conference and ranks 10th in the nation with 4.3 steals per game. In addition, she leads the team in minutes (31.0/g), is second in rebounds (6.0/g), field goal percentage (.458), defensive rebounds (11) and third in offensive rebounds (7) and assists (7). She has the second highest three-point percentage (.428) and ranks fourth on the team at 11.3 point 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 Washington State sits 161 point from becoming the 14th player to reach the milestone.
Byrd, who has averaged 9.0 rebounds a game her career, is 162 rebounds from reaching 1,000. She is 109 boards from passing Rhoda Chew (946 from 1982-85) for second place on the program’s career list and 225 from passing Banks (1,062) for the all-time record.
In addition, Byrd holds the career record for blocked shots (165).
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 (11/13) players 20 times in the season opening win.
So far in 2015-16, the Spartans have forced 83 turnovers (27.6/g) and have gotten 43 steals (14.3/g). SJSU’s 14.3 steals a game ranks 12th in the nation and its turnover margin of +6.7 is the 32nd highest in the NCAA.
SCOUTING WASHINGTON STATE
The Cougars are off to a 4-0 start in 2015-16, having won last week’s Rainbow Wahine Classic with victories over Nevada (70-57) and host Hawai’i (62-52). They average 65.2 points a game and have been winning by an average of 11.8 points. WSU is one of seven team’s the Spartans face in non-conference play, which participated in last year’s WNIT.
Washington State lost Lia Galderia and Tia Presley who combined for more than half the team’s offensive output last year (68.0 ppg), but have gotten a huge lift from a pair of freshman, Borislava Hristova (team-high 18.5 ppg, 4.3 rebs) and Maria Kostourkova (6.8 ppg, team-high 6.0 rebs). Dawnyelle Awa is averaging 9.3 points and leads the squad with nine assists and 17 steals.
June Daugherty is in her ninth season leading the Cougars program. She brought a 90-160 record at Washington State and a career record of 404-374 into the 2015-16 season.
THE SERIES WITH WASHINGTON STATE
The Spartans and Cougars have met eight times, but this will be the first time they have shared the court in eight years. SJSU won the first three match-ups, but haven’t defeated Washington State in five meetings since the 1984-85 season. San Jose State is 1-3 all-time in games played in Pullman.