San Jose, Calif. - Appearing on its home floor for the first time since the season opener on November 13, a span of 23 days and four games, the San José State women’s basketball team hosts the San Francisco Dons in Sunday afternoon matinée on Walt McPherson Court. The Spartans are looking to snap a four-game slide in what will be the 41st meeting between the Bay Area rivals.
San José State Spartans (1-4)
San Francisco Dons (5-2)
Sunday, December 6, 2:00 p.m.
The Event Center, San Jose, Calif.
Streaming video and live stats available at www.sjsuspartans.com
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In four game, Dezz Ramos (Jr., PG, West Valley, Utah) has established herself as the leader of the team. She leads the Spartans, and ranks third in the MW, at 17.0 ppg. She is sixth in assists (3.8/g) in the league, second on the team and has led San José State in scoring in each of the last two games. Her .895 free throw percentage is second in the Mountain West as are her 2.8 made three-pointers per game. She ranks sixth in the conference in three-point percentage (.407) and eighth in assist/turnover ratio (1.4:1).
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 127 turnovers (25.4/g) and have gotten 67 steals (13.4/g). SJSU’s 13.4 steals a game ranks eighth in the nation and its turnover margin of +7.6 is the 11th best in the NCAA.
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.
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 853 points and 844 rebounds. At her current pace she could reach both milestones and join the 1,000/1,000 club against UNLV on February 10, 2016.
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 four games, the 2015-16 edition of the Spartans appear to be even more potent. They are averaging 83.0 points, 9.6 points per game more than the second ranked team in the conference. The team currently ranks 17th in scoring in the nation.
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 five games the team had hoisted 169 threes (33.8/g) and has drained 44 (10.2/g). Both numbers lead the conference and the 10.2 makes is eighth 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 12 three-pointers in the last three games, it looks like that trend is continuing. She currently leads the team in threes and is on pace to equal the 72 treys she made last year. West ranks third in the MW and 96th in the nation with 2.4 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 11.0 points and 7.2 rebounds this year which is third and first on the team, respectively. She is shooting a team-best .500, which ranks ninth in the Mountain West as do her 7.2 boards per game.
She slots in as the fifth most productive rebounder on the offensive glass (3.8/g).
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 6th in the nation with 4.3 steals per game. In addition, she leads the team in minutes (28.3/g), defensive rebounds, (16), is second in rebounds (5.8/g), field goal percentage (.444), assists (11), and third in offensive rebounds (7). She has the second highest three-point percentage (.428) and ranks fifth on the team at 9.0 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 San Francisco sits 147 points from becoming the 14th player to reach the milestone.
Byrd, who has averaged 9.0 rebounds a game her career, is 156 rebounds from reaching 1,000. She is 103 boards from passing Rhoda Chew (946 from 1982-85) for second place on the program’s career list and 219 from passing Banks (1,062) for the all-time record. In addition, Byrd holds the career record for blocked shots (168).
SCOUTING SAN FRANCISCO
The Dons are off to a 5-2 start, defeated Nevada in Reno 70-62 on Tuesday and play UC Riverside on Friday evening. They average 76.3 points a game and have been winning by an average of 10.4 points. In its four road games, USF is 3-1.
San Francisco has three players who are averaging double figures led by Taylor Proctor (23.3 ppg and 10.1 rebs). Proctor is second on the team in steals (10), leads the team in blocks (8) and is shooting 56 percent from the field. USF relies heavily on its starters who have accounted for 88 percent of its points through its first seven games (446-of-534 total points).
Jennifer Azzi is in her sixth season leading the Dons program. She brought a 52-102 record all at San Francisco into the 2015-16 season.
THE SERIES WITH SAN FRANCISCO
The Spartans and Dons have met 40 times with San José State holding a 22-18 advantage. From 1975 through the 1985 season, SJSU won 15 of the 18 meetings. Since then, USF has 15 wins to San José State’s seven. In games contested on the Spartans’ home court, SJSU holds a 13-6 advantage, including 98-79 win in 2013-14, the last time the teams played in The Event Center.