San Jose State women’s basketball overcame a 13-point fourth quarter deficit to force overtime against Pacific but came up short, 99-96 on Friday night’s home opener.
All-Mountain West Conference senior point guard Dezz Ramos had career highs of 38 points and eight assists in addition to grabbing two rebounds for the Spartans. Two other seniors scored in double figures: Jasmine Smith with 19 points and Paris Baird with 11. Smith also had 13 rebounds for her 13th career double-double. For the Pacific Tigers, Chelsea Lidy led in scoring with 18 points and grabbed six rebounds. Four other Pacific players scored in double figures.
“We moved the ball a lot better than our first two games,” said Ramos after the game.
San Jose State head coach Jamie Craighead also called the final result “a waste of an offensive performance.”
“Second chance points killed us, again,” added Craighead. Pacific outscored San Jose State 25-23 in that category.
Although Baird scored the first points of the game from a layup, that shot followed an air-ball three-point attempt among other off-line shots in the first quarter. Missed shots and turnovers let Pacific run away to a 9-2 lead inside the seven-minute mark, and the first quarter ended with a 22-20 Pacific lead.
“For some reason, we’re getting tight to start games. We give up pretty decent sized runs to start games,” said Craighead.
San Jose State struggled to stop Pacific for much of the game, as Pacific outscored San Jose State in the paint 46-30 and had a 51-44 rebounding advantage. However, sharp three-point shooting helped the team overcome a 77-64 deficit with 7:36 left in regulation. Hallie Gennett, a transfer from Sacramento State who first became eligible for competition this year, responded with a corner three to cut the deficit to 77-67. Following a Lidy layup, Baird hit a three on San Jose State’s next possession to pull the Spartans within 79-70.
Inside four minutes to go, Smith dished out an assist to Ramos for a running jumper that closed the deficit to 86-81. MyMy Ladd defended a layup well, and Andrea Kohlhaas found Rachol West behind the arc to assist a deep ball that pulled San Jose State to within 86-84 and fired up the crowd. After Baird blocked a Mauriana Clayton layup attempt, Ramos hit a three with 2:21 left to give San Jose State its first lead since the second quarter, 87-86. With the game tied at 90 in the final minute, Ramos missed two game-winning jumpers inside the arc, and Ameela Li could not make a game-winning three in the waning seconds.
In overtime, San Jose State took a 94-90 lead with 3:35 left off a Smith layup that came off Najah Queenland losing the ball out of bounds. However, Li responded with a layup to pull Pacific within 94-92. Jessica Blakeslee then blocked a Ladd layup attempt, a play that would begin a long scoring drought for San Jose State that allowed Pacific to take a 98-94 lead with 16 seconds left. Queenland made a potentially costly mistake for her team by intentionally fouling Ramos with 12 seconds left, a move that gave San Jose State free throws and possession. Ramos hit both free throws to close the gap to 98-96 but missed a game-tying jump shot afterwards.
Craighead criticized her team for “[not] understanding the urgency” during the overtime period, a reason she limited substitutions in the later minutes of the game.
Ramos said that she had a good look at the rim but wishes she could have driven closer to the basket, in retrospect.
This loss drops San Jose State to 0-3 on the season. The Spartans lost two road games prior to Friday, 66-55 to New Mexico State on Nov. 11 and 82-37 to no. 18 Arizona State on Nov. 13. This coming Sunday, San Jose State returns to the Event Center for a matchup against regional rival against Santa Clara, in the resumption of a series that went on hiatus when JR Payne became Santa Clara head coach in 2014. San Jose State won the last meeting on Nov. 12, 2013, 97-93 at Santa Clara.
With her 38 points, Ramos tied a record for points scored by a San Jose State player at the Event Center first set by Danada Smith in the Spartans’ 90-87 win over Long Island on Dec. 30, 2000. Ramos also tied her San Jose State career high eight assists first set on Feb. 8, 2016 vs. UNLV; her all-time career high in assists was 10, reached on Jan. 16, 2014 and Feb. 1, 2014 when Ramos played for Weber State.