San Jose State women’s basketball controlled the tempo for much of the first half and led by as many as 13, but a fourth quarter collapse on both sides of the ball allowed the visiting Boise State to seize the steering wheel and rally for a 78-75 win over San Jose State.
Dezz Ramos led the Spartans with 18 points and grabbed four rebounds; she also led the team in assists with seven. Riana Byrd had 17 points and 13 rebounds for her third double-double of the season and 25th of her collegiate career. Myzhanique Ladd had 16 points and five rebounds. For Boise State, two players scored 60 of the team’s 78 points. Miquelle Askew dropped 39 points and 13 rebounds, with Shalen Shaw making 21 points and 12 rebounds. Askew, a senior, broke her previous career high of 34 set in her sophomore season of 2013-14.
Boise State overcame a horrible first quarter with just three of 19 shooting. For each of the last three quarters, Boise State made at least 55% of field goals. San Jose State, in contrast, made 41.2% of field goal attempts in the second quarter and 50% in the third but regressed to 33.3% in the fourth. While San Jose State had the edge in turnovers (17 vs. Boise State’s 19) and rebounding (45-43), Boise State had a decisive advantage in points in the paint (48-28) and points off turnovers (19-13).
San Jose State led 19-10 after the first quarter and led by 7 or more points through much of the second quarter. However, San Jose State did not score for the final 3:17 of the second quarter, and Boise State inched back to within 38-34 by halftime. A foul called against Ramos with less than a second remaining put Boise State’s Jordan Tully on the free throw line, but Tully missed both shots to maintain San Jose State’s two-possession lead.
In the third quarter, Boise State always had an answer to San Jose State’s attempts to stretch the lead. Ramos opened the third with a three-pointer to extend the San Jose State lead to 41-34, but Askew hit a layup on the other end to put Boise State within 41-36. These exchanges of baskets kept the lead stubbornly around 5 points for the first two and a half minutes of the third quarter. Then came the missed buckets and turnovers for San Jose State, and Boise State finally took a lead, 50-47 with 4:53 left in the third on a layup plus and-1 by Askew.
Boise State could not yet run away, as Andrea Kohlhaas would hit a no-look, circus-shot layup, followed by a layup by Byrd off a turnover to give the lead back to San Jose State, 51-50. Nyre Harris later intercepted a pass by Marta Hermida and laid in the ball to put San Jose State up 56-53. Boise State committed another turnover, but Jasmine Smith could not hit a layup to extend San Jose State’s lead. Brooke Pahukoa missed a three-point attempt, but an offensive rebound by Askew kept the ball in Boise State’s hands, and Shaw made up for that miss. Driving to the basket, Harris had the ball knocked away by Shaw, but Askew lost the ball out of bounds with two seconds left in the quarter. The third quarter would end with a 56-56 tie.
The fourth quarter began with both teams exchanging baskets in the first minute. San Jose State’s offense could no longer keep up with Boise State’s hot shooting, as Boise State took advantage of three straight San Jose State misses to take a 67-61 lead with 6:48 to go. San Jose State would not quit and scored 6 unanswered points, only for Boise State to go on its own run and lead 73-67 with 3:20 left.
San Jose State was able to get enough defensive stops to claw back within 75-71 in the final minute, thanks to Ladd scoring a layup as she was fouled. She missed the ensuing free throw, but San Jose State was gifted the ball back because Boise State knocked the loose ball out of bounds.
On the ensuing possession, Ramos committed an offensive foul. That error might have slammed the door shut for San Jose State, but some Boise State mistakes kept things interesting. On Boise State’s inbounds, defensive pressure by San Jose State caused Yaiza Rodriguez to fall down after catching the pass and be called for a travel. After both teams exchanged free throws, Harris hit a layup with 11 seconds left to pull San Jose State within 77-75.
Shaw could make only one of two free throws for Boise State after being fouled on the next possession. The referees disrupted San Jose State’s final possession with a video review, presumably to check if the game clock was correct. Ramos got the ball and attempted a game-tying 3-pointer that bounced off the rim as time expired, and Boise State held on for the 78-75 win.
“You have to guard the ball, not the person,” commented San Jose State coach Jamie Craighead.
Craighead also thought that the team could best combat Askew’s offensive attack by getting Askew into foul trouble, something the team could not do.
“We let [Askew] push us off the block, and we wouldn’t fight back and get those same fouls.”
Stating that he was a great, offensive-minded teacher of basketball, Craighead also offered praise for Boise State coach Gordy Presnell, under whom Craighead began her coaching career as an assistant at Division II Seattle Pacific in 2002.
“We used to sit around and make up plays all the time. We even couldn’t use a call today, because it was his play.”