Women's Basketball Preview:
San Jose Calif.----San Jose State women's basketball (0-8) will travel to the Mile High City to face the Denver Pioneers (5-4) of the Sun Belt Conference on Saturday, December 11. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (MST) at Magness Arena.
The Spartans are looking for their first win of the season, while Denver looks to keep their 2010 perfect record (3-0) at home.
Fans can view free live stats for the San Jose State-Denver game at SJSUSpartans.com. To follow, click on the live stats link on the home page.
The New Gold Zone is your pass to all things Spartans Athletics. For live video/audio of all San Jose State women's basketball home games, sign up to be a Gold Zone member at SJSUSpartans.com.
KSJS (90.5 FM, San Jose) originates San Jose State University basketball broadcasts. Nolan Rak calls the women's basketball play-by-play. There will be no air time for the Denver game.
Women's Basketball Ticket Prices:
Tickets for all San Jose State home women's basketball games are $5 for adults, $3 for youth 12 and under, and free admission to all students with a valid SJSU ID. Also, groups of 20 or more can buy discounted tickets of $3 per person. The ticket office opens one hour prior to tip-off at The Event Center or can be purchased by calling the San Jose State Athletics Ticket Office at 408-924-SJTX (7589).
The Pioneers enter the 2010-11 season with extensive experience, returning their top-three scorers in Kaetlyn Murdoch, Britteni Rice and Brianna Culberson. Last season, Murdoch finished fifth in the nation with a 62.6 percent field-goal percentage and 11th in blocked shots per game with 3.0, while leading the Pioneers with 15.8 points per game. Head coach Erik Johnson returns for his third season at the helm of the Pioneers finishing 18-13 overall and 12-6 in conference play for the 2009-10 season.
Murdoch (16.3 ppg., 5.9 rpg.), Rice (14.2 ppg., 2.1 rpg.) and Culberson (13.6 ppg., 5.8 rpg.) lead the 2010-11 Pioneers with a combined 44.1 average points per game. Denver won a pair of games this week upsetting No. 23 Vanderbilt, 70-65, on December 5 and beating in-state rival Air Force, 73-62, on December 9.
The Series With The Pioneers:
This will be the first time San Jose State and Denver will square-off at Magness Arena in Denver. The Pioneers hold a 1-0 edge over the Spartans, beating San Jose State 66-61 at The Event Center on December 6, 2009.
The San Jose State women's basketball team fell behind 16-7 early, and lost to UNLV, 80-48 on Sunday afternoon, December 5, at The Event Center. San Jose State was paced by Sara Plavljanin's 14 points, while Brittany Johnson notched 13. Dominique Hamilton and Johnson each grabbed four rebounds. The Spartans were held to 35.4% shooting (17-of-48) from the floor, 1-of-8 from three-point range, and made 13-of-16 at the free throw line for 81.3%.
Women's Basketball Coach Janice Richard (1964-2010):
An imposing, caring and warm coaching figure according to several of her San Jose State players, Ms. Richard died after a four-year battle with breast cancer on December 1, 2010, at age 46, in an Alexandria, Louisiana hospital.
Born Janice Joseph, Ms. Richard had a 16-year head-coaching career with tenures at Xavier (La.) (1993-98), San Jose State (2000-06) and Louisiana College (2008-10), and compiled a 307-163 win-loss record.
"We are saddened to learn of Janice's passing. Her coaching accomplishments here are well documented. Our thoughts and our prayers are with her immediate family," San Jose State University director of athletics Tom Bowen said upon learning of her death.
A memorial service is scheduled for Monday, December 13, 11:00 a.m., in the Spartan Chapel on the San Jose State University campus. The Chapel is located near the University's 4th and 7th Street garages.
Home Sweet Home:
After playing six of seven games on the road (11/15-12/5), San Jose State will return home after playing Denver (12/11) for its next nine of eleven games at The Event Center. During the home span, the Spartans host one Mountain West Conference game, two Big West, one Northeast Conference, one West Coast Conference, and four Western Athletic Conference games.
Spartan Head Coach Pam DeCosta:
San Jose State head coach Pam DeCosta begins her fourth season at the helm of the program. She enters Saturday's game with an 11-87 coaching record at San Jose State and an overall record of 56-153 in seven seasons.
First Career Double-Doubles:
One Spartan this season recorded their first collegiate double-double. The latest to do this was Brittany Johnson who had 11 points and 11 rebounds at San Francisco on November 15, 2010.
Follow the Spartan women's basketball team and all San Jose State athletic teams on the web. Become friends with Sammy Spartan on Facebook and get the latest tweets on Twitter @SJSUAthletics.
Grabbing The Round Ball:
Brittany Johnson leads the Spartan team in rebounding with 38, 4.8 per game. She grabbed a career-best 11 rebounds against San Francisco. Myesha Broaden trails by a pair with 36, 5.1 per game. Broaden's season-best eight rebounds at Cal State Fullerton was also her career-best.
Dishing Out The Round Ball:
AJ Newton leads the team in assists with 24 and dished out six assists at University of the Pacific (11/19). Sara Plavljanin dished out 12 assists, while Liz Johnson produced 11 this season.
Stealing The Game:
Brittany Johnson grabbed 12 steals this season. Johnson snatched a season-best three at San Francisco and versus Washington. AJ Newton follows with nine steals this season.
Racking Up The Frequent Flyer Miles:
With close to 21,000 miles of travel this season, the Spartans are projected to log 19,697 air miles and 1,301 miles of ground transportation in 2010-11.
In eight games played this year, San Jose State has used seven different starting lineups. Brittany Johnson is the only Spartan to have started all eight games this season. AJ Newton has started seven, Sara Plavljanin has five games, while Dominique Hamilton has four. Leonie Solia, Sayja Sumler, Britney Bradley, and Myesha Broaden each have three starts, while Monique Coble and Liz Johnson have a pair.
Fighting The Injury Bug:
San Jose State has had a string of bad luck with five Spartans sidelined due to injury. Brieanna Ashley, Palagi Atoe, Rachel Finnegan, and Marnesha Hall are out indefinitely due to injuries. Sayja Sumler, a four-year starter who leads the team in minutes (2,774), is recovering from a lower back injury and will travel to Denver. She is listed as questionable.
WAC Tournament Held In Sin City:
The 2011 Western Athletic Conference Tournament will be held March 9-12 in Las Vegas, Nev., at the Orleans Arena.
The Spartans will host Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on Saturday, December 18 at 7:00 p.m.