W. Hoops Headed to Bay Area to Face SJSU

Jan. 9, 2018

MW Network | Live Audio | Live Stats | Game Notes

SAN DIEGO -- Fresh off an open date, San Diego State jumps back into action this week when it ventures north to the Bay Area to face San José State on Wednesday, Jan. 10, starting at 7 p.m. PT.

SDSU alumnus Chris Ello will call the action courtside at The Event Center for a live audio webcast on GoAztecs.com, with a link to streaming video courtesy of the Mountain West Network/Stadium also available online.

SDSU is coming off a hard-fought 65-63 loss to Colorado State at home in its last outing on Jan. 3. The Aztecs led by as many as 13 in the second quarter and six in the fourth period. However, the Rams shot 83.3 percent from the field in the final 10 minutes (10-12), including a layup with two seconds remaining to escape.

Individually, SDSU was led by senior McKynzie Fort, who logged her third career double-double with 22 points and a personal-best 16 rebounds. She also shot 57.1 percent from the field (8-14) and dished out a game-high seven assists.

In addition, the Aztecs received 14 points and five rebounds from fellow classmate Geena Gomez, while freshman Najé Murray contributed 12 points and five boards of her own.

Entering Wednesday's contest, Fort occupies the second spot in the Mountain West with an average of 16.8 points for all games and ranks fifth in field-goal percentage (.494) and 11th in assists (3.4/gm). In addition, Gomez is tied for fifth in assists (4.4/gm) and ranks ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4).

As a team, SDSU is fourth in the conference with an average of 65.7 points allowed per game as well as rebounding margin (+1.1), but ranks sixth in scoring offense with 65.4 points per outing. In addition, the Aztecs remain among the middle of the pack in the MW in offensive rebounds (5th, 12.4/gm), three-point field-goal percentage (6th, .335) and opponent field-goal percentage (6th, .408).

The Aztecs have found themselves in several close games this year, posting a 4-3 record in games decided by six points or less, including last-second victories at home over Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 18) and San Diego (Nov. 29). In addition, SDSU has played one overtime game, falling to Central Michigan in Bimini, Bahamas (Nov. 24).

Despite owning a 20-8 advantage in the all-time series, the Aztecs dropped all three meetings to the Spartans last year, including a 76-58 loss in the first round of the Mountain West tournament.

SDSU has come up short in its last two visits to Silicon Valley, falling in overtime 81-80 last year after suffering a 78-73 defeat in 2016. The Aztecs' last victory at The Event Center occurred in 2014 when the Scarlet and Black claimed a 77-63 decision. San Diego State is 8-3 in 11 previous trips to San Jose.

Since SJSU joined the Mountain West in time for the 2013-14 season, the winner of the Aztecs-Spartans matchup has averaged 82.1 points, while the loser has averaged 62.2 points.

Similarly, SDSU has averaged 80.8 points per games in four victories during that span and 75.3 points in four defeats.

San José State (5-10, 2-2 MW) has split of its first four conference games this season, including a 95-86 upset of first-place New Mexico at home on Jan. 6. Senior Myzhanique Ladd poured in a career-high 27 points vs. the Lobos on 8-12 field goals and 8-9 free throws to earn Mountain West Player of the Week honors.

Earlier, the Spartans emerged with a 79-66 triumph over Utah State at home, followed by losses at Colorado State (63-48) and UNLV (79-60).

SJSU and the Aztecs played two common opponents during their respective non-conference schedules. The Spartans prevailed at Santa Clara in overtime 71-66 on Nov. 28, but came up on the short end of a 76-59 decision to CSUN at home on Dec. 7.

Offensively, the Spartans are led by sophomore Taylor Turney (13.6 ppg), who ranks among the conference leaders in assists (4th, 4.3/gm) and free-throw percentage (6th, .797), while Ladd (12.1 ppg) occupies the seventh spot in rebounds (6.9/gm).

In addition, sophomores Megan Anderson and Analyss Benally are SJSU's two primary three-point threats. Anderson (21-45) ranks third in the league with a .467 clip from beyond the arc, while Benally is tied for fifth with 2.2 triples per game (33 overall). Not to be outdone, Ladd is also in the mix, ranking eighth in three-point accuracy (.417, (15-36)).

The Spartans have also received a boost from sophomore Fieme'a Hafoka and freshman Danae Marquez, who are tied for 10th in the MW with 1.4 steals per game (20 overall).

As a team, SJSU enters the week ranked second in the conference with 72.2 points per game, but ranks last on defense, allowing a whopping 84.3 points per contest.

In addition, the Spartans find themselves near or at the bottom of the league in field-goal percentage (9th, .382), field-goal percentage defense (10th, .443), scoring margin (10th, (-12.1)), rebounding defense (11th, 47.9) and rebounding margin (11th, (-9.3)).

Conversely, SJSU ranks among the upper half of the MW in assists (2nd, 15.5/gm), steals (4th, 8.3/gm) and blocked shots (5th, 3.1/gm).

Head coach Jamie Craighead is in her fifth season at the helm of the Spartan program after spending the previous four years at Sacramento State. Her career record stands at 106-156.

Following its clash with the Spartans, San Diego State will return to Montezuma Mesa to play host to Boise State on Saturday, January 13. Game time is set for 1 p.m. PT.

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