San Jose, Calif. – After defeating cross-town rival Santa Clara on Tuesday night, the San José State women’s basketball team returns to The Event Center to host the San Francisco Dons on Friday evening. With a win, SJSU would run its record against West Coast Conference teams to 2-1 this year.
COACH CRAIGHEAD AND PLAYER INTERVIEWS
All interview requests for Head Coach Jamie Craighead or any players should be made through the SJSU Athletics Media Relations Office, 408-924-1208, at least 24 hours in advance. Players are available as their class schedules, practices and meetings permit. Players will not be available until post-game on game days. Media members are also required to make arrangements with the San José State’s Athletics Media Relations Office to attend any practice session.
EPIC COME BACK WIN
In its game at Santa Clara (11/28) the Spartans trailed by 22 points, 36-14, with 6:02 to go in the second, came all the way back to force overtime and ultimately won the game 71-66. It was the largest comeback win in head coach Jamie Craighead’s four plus seasons at San José State. The biggest comeback before the Santa Clara game after a 16-point deficit with 8:03 to play in the third quarter against Fresno State on February 15, 2017. The Spartans won that game 77-68, also in overtime.
QUICK LOOK AT THE DONS
This will be the Dons seventh game of the year. USF (2-4), in its only other game this week, lost to Stanford at home 86-66. They are scoring 69.8 points a game and giving up 72.8. San Francisco is shooting .425 from the floor and .331 from three-point range while allowing opponents to hit at a .418 clip, including .345 from beyond the arc.
USF’s top scorer and rebounder is Michaela Rakova at 12.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, respectively. Anna Seilund’s 6.3 assists per game tops the team. Kalyn Simon leads the squad with 1.3 steals and Ninni Salmi is the top shot blocker with one per game.
Molly Goodenbour is in her second season leading the Dons program. She brings an 18-13 record as a Division I head coach into this season.
SJSU VS. THE WCC
Overall, San José State is 67-106 (38.7 percent) against the current make up of West Coast Conference schools. The vast majority of that record is contained in games against San Francisco (22-20) and Santa Clara (24-24) and Pacific (13-35). SJSU has faced all 10 of the WCC schools and has a winning record against only the aforementioned San Francisco. Last year San José State went 1-3 against WCC schools, losing to UOP, USF & St Mary’s and defeating Santa Clara. So far this year SJSU is 1-1 vs. the WCC with a loss at Pacific and a win at Santa Clara.
SPARTANS ROSTER SECOND YOUNGEST IN DIVISION I
In a preseason poll of Media Relations Directors, the Spartans are the second youngest team in Division I women’s basketball, based on percentage of freshman and sophomores on the roster. Twelve of SJSU’s 15 players are underclassmen, which ties them for second place with Florida International. UNC Greenville has the youngest team in the nation at 87.7 percent underclassmen.
AIN’T NOTHING BUT A THREE THING BABY
Making 10.2 three-pointers per game, the Spartans lead in the Mountain West and rank 10th in the nation. In four of the team’s six games they have launched at least 25 and in three hit at least 11 from beyond the arc, including MW season-highs in attempts (39) and makes (13) against Portland State. In addition, San José State is 12th in the nation in total threes and 21st in three-point attempts. Anaylss Benally (So., G, Park City, Kan.) leads the team, ranks third in the MW and 99th in the nation, making 2.67 threes per game.
Hallie Gennett (Sr., F, Post Falls, Idaho) and Myzhanique Ladd (Sr., G, Seattle, Wash.) each have a chance to reach 1,000-career points this season. Gennett began 2017-18 with 870 points, and with 49 points in the first six games, is now 81 from the mark. With a minimum of 24 more games this season, Gennett needs to average 3.4 points per game to surpass 1,000. At her career scoring average of 9.3/g, she is projected to reach 1,000 on January 6, in The Event Center, against New Mexico.
Ladd, who has scored 67 points through six games, has 703 in her Spartans’ career. She is 297 points from 1,000 and needs to average 12.3/game to reach the milestone. It may be a tall order based on her career 7.2 ppg average, but in 2017-18 she has upped her production to 11.2 ppg.
Taylor Turney (So., G, Henderson, Nev.) has emerged as one of the Spartans go-to players. She leads the team in scoring at 14.2 ppg, which is the fifth highest in the Mountain West. She is shooting 50.8 percent, which leads the team and ranks third in the MW. Turney leads the team in free throw percentage, assists and is second in steals. In the MW she’s fourth in free throw percentage (.875) third in assists (4.7/g) and tied for third in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8:1/g).
EVERYBODY INTO THE DEEP END OF THE POOL
In the first six games of the season, 10 Spartans have seen the floor in each game. The three upperclassmen are averaging 23 minutes per game while the underclassmen are at 13 minutes per outing. In every game this season, Myzhanique Ladd (Sr., G, Seattle, Wash.) has led the team in minutes.
When Cydni Lewis (Fr., F, Long Beach, Calif.) got the start in the season opener at #8/7 UCLA (11/10), she became just the second freshman, the other being Britta Hall in 2013-14, to be a starter in the opener in Coach Craighead’s five seasons at SJSU. Hall had 27 starts and Jasmine Smith earned five in 2013-14. Myzhanique Ladd (Sr., G, Seattle, Wash.) was the last freshman to start a game for SJSU. She had nine starts in 2014-15. With her start against Portland State (11/19), Mikaylah Wilson (Fr., F, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) has now joined the group and is the fifth freshman to start for Coach Craighead while she has been at SJSU.