Spring semester is two weeks away, so many students were off campus for another instant classic of a San Jose State Spartans basketball game.
Improving to 5-11 (2-2 Mountain West), the women’s basketball team snapped a two-game losing streak on Wednesday. Dezz Ramos hit a jumper with half a second remaining for an 81-80 overtime win over the San Diego State Aztecs at the Event Center.
Video of Ramos’s buzzer-beater via @sjswbb:
Ramos led San Jose State with 34 points, also adding four rebounds and seven assists. Three other players scored in double figures: Jasmine Smith had 14 points, and MyMy Ladd and Rachol West each had 10 points. Smith also grabbed 12 rebound and Ladd eight.
Following the 70-67 overtime loss at Colorado State on Jan. 4 and 88-74 loss at Fresno State on Jan. 7, San Jose State head coach Jamie Craighead said that she was happy that her team found a way to bounce back.
“Our starting five stepped up and made plays at the end,” said Craighead.
For San Diego State, McKynzie Fort led with 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Geena Gomez had 20 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, and Lexy Thorderson had 13 points and five rebounds. Khalia Lark, who became eligible this semester nearly a year after transferring from Washington, grabbed 12 rebounds but had only four points off one-for-eight shooting.
San Jose State started on a 12-0 run en route to a 22-10 first-quarter lead. However, missed shots and turnovers in the second quarter allowed San Diego State to shrink the deficit to 24-21. San Jose State responded with a 6-0 run off two layups from Smith and another by Taylor Turney and went to halftime up 34-26.
“[Craighead] told us that we got off the gas pedal,” said Ramos, describing how San Jose State drove in the paint less often in the second quarter.
Despite an early 37-26 third quarter lead off a Ladd three, San Jose State threw bricks beyond the arc the rest of the quarter as San Diego State sank six of 10 three-point attempts. Gomez sank a three that gave San Diego State its first lead, 45-44.
Fort hit another three to put San Diego State up 56-48 at the start of the fourth quarter. Under a minute later, layups by West and Ladd pulled San Jose State within 56-52.
Ramos sank a three and transition jumper off a Paris Baird steal to shrink the deficit to 60-59. Nearly two minutes later, San Diego State, ran back up 69-61 off two free throws and three straight field goals. However, San Jose State still would not go away. Ramos nearly gave away the long inbounds pass but hit a quick transition jumper plus the and-one free throw eight seconds later.
San Diego State committed three turnovers in the final three minutes, specifically a travel and two lost balls out of bounds, from which San Jose State got seven unanswered points. Ladd hit an open three to put San Jose State back up 71-69, but Fort hit a jumper with 53 seconds left to tie the game again.
After using its last foul before the bonus penalty, San Diego State forced a shot clock violation on San Jose State with eight seconds left. Andrea Kohlhaas used San Jose State’s foul to give with 3.7 seconds left. Off the inbounds, despite having four fouls, Baird blocked Fort’s layup attempt as time expired in regulation.
“The block was the secondary part of that stop, because she kept Fort from turning the corner and getting into the paint,” explained Craighead about Baird’s defensive stop that forced overtime. “[Fort] had to step back and take that pull-up jumper.”
The overtime period had three lead changes, starting when Kymberly Ellison sank a three to give San Diego State a 74-71 lead. With 50 seconds left, Ramos hit a jumper to put San Jose State ahead again, 77-76. Off a Thorderson travel, Ramos made two free throws for a 79-76 lead, but that lead went down to 79-78 after Fort hit a putback layup off a missed Ellison three. Baird then threw a bad inbounds pass off Ramos, who fell out of bounds trying to break a full-court press.
Smith initially forced a held ball, but the possession arrow favored San Diego State. Fort then hit a layup with 4.5 seconds and put San Diego State up 80-79. Following a timeout, Ramos drove just outside the key and shot a jumper that bounced around the basket and in with 0.5 seconds left.
Fresno State falls to 10-6 (3-2 MW). San Jose State has another home game on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 2 p.m. hosting Air Force (2-12, 0-4 MW) that precedes a two-game road trip at Wyoming and Boise State.
- Wednesday marked the fifth game this season in which Ramos scored 30 or more points. San Jose State is 3-2 when that happens, with wins over Santa Clara, Nevada, and San Diego State and losses to Pacific and Colorado State.
- This is San Jose State's second win off a Ramos buzzer-beater. On Jan. 13, 2016, Ramos nailed a three-pointer with 1.1 seconds left for a 67-66 comeback win at Wyoming.
- Smith had her fifth consecutive double-double, which was also her sixth overall this season and 18th career.
- This is the second buzzer-beater win for any San Jose State team at the Event Center this season, following the men's basketball 77-76 win over Bowling Green on Dec. 22. Brandon Clarke tipped in a missed layup from Jalen James with 1.2 seconds left.
- The last time San Jose State women's basketball won a game in the final seconds was on Feb. 13, 2016, when Riana Byrd hit a layup as time expired to beat New Mexico 59-58. Similar to Wednesday's game against San Diego State, New Mexico took a late lead off a San Jose State turnover, when Laneah Bryan made one of two free throws after intercepting a bad pass from Byrd and being fouled.