San Jose State Spartans women's basketball needed a second half rally and overtime to beat the visiting Fresno State Bulldogs 77-68 on Wednesday at the Event Center.
Dezz Ramos had 27 points, two rebounds, and eight assists. Jasmine Smith had 14 points, 13 rebounds, and one assist. Two more players scored in double figures: Paris Baird had 13 points, five rebounds, and two assists, and MyMy Ladd had 10 points, six rebounds, and two assists.
Alexis Harris, a freshman center who entered having played only five games in conference, had four points and two steals coming off the bench.
San Jose State head coach Jamie Craighead said that Harris was a good matchup against Fresno State’s size.
“For her to have the confidence to go in, get up, be aggressive, and take away the high post pass…it’s a good thing for us to see,” said Craighead about Harris.
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Fresno State also had four players scoring in double figures. Bego Faz Davalos had 18 points and nine rebounds, Candice White had 17 points, four rebounds, and two assists, Emilie Volk had 14 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, and Tory Jacobs had 12 points, five rebounds, and three assists.
While Craighead is known for coaching an up-tempo offense, the first quarter had an unusually slow pace and ended with a 13-9 Fresno State lead, led by Faz Davalos shooting four for five. As San Jose State missed its first five shots in the second quarter, Fresno State expanded its lead to 17-9. Having scored five points on free throws in the final minutes, Fresno State went to halftime leading 33-22.
Another slow San Jose State start in the third quarter allowed Fresno State to open with a 38-22 lead. However, four three-pointers from Ramos, Baird, and Rachol West helped shrink the deficit to 47-39 at the end of the third quarter. Despite their baskets, San Jose State missed opportunities to make the score closer, including a missed defensive rebound off a Faz Davalos missed free throw that turned into a Fresno State layup and Andrea Kohlhaas double dribbling in the closing seconds.
In the fourth quarter, Fresno State struggled offensively and committed five turnovers, including two shot clock violations, as San Jose State had a 21-13 scoring advantage. Although Ramos tied the game 58-58 on a three-pointer with 1:31 left and Smith hit a tying layup with 44 seconds to go, Ramos missed a potential game-winning jumper at the buzzer, forcing overtime with a 60-60 tie.
“We communicated a lot in defense,” said Baird. “…We knew when to switch, we knew when to stay, and staying in front of them helped us get those two shot clock violations.”
San Jose State scored first in overtime thanks to a Baird three. After Baird took a charge from Faz Davalos, Ramos was fouled in the backcourt with just over two minutes to go and hit a free throw for a 67-62 lead. After Volk hit a three to pull Fresno State within 68-65, Ramos hit a layup as the shot clock expired. The ball bounced around and through the rim to put San Jose State up 70-65 with 34.7 seconds.
After Smith grabbed a defensive rebound and was called for an offensive foul, Smith was elbowed in the face by Jacobs and left the game with a bloody nose. Play stopped with 22.8 seconds left as staff cleaned the floor and officials reviewed video of the foul. After video review, officials assessed a flagrant two on Jacobs and ejected her, and Ramos hit both technical free throws to put San Jose State up 72-65.
San Jose State has two road games at Air Force on Saturday and Utah State next Wednesday, before returning home on Feb. 25 to take on Boise State. San Jose State improves to 9-16 (6-7 Mountain West), while Fresno State is now 14-11 (7-7 MW).
- Replacing West, Kohlhaas made her first career start at guard, for San Jose State's first change at starting lineup all season. In all 24 previous games, the starting five consisted of Ladd and the four seniors, Baird, Smith, West, and Ramos.
- Craighead got her 99th career win as a college basketball head coach and 48th at San Jose State.
- This is Fresno State's second consecutive overtime loss. On Saturday in Fresno, Fresno State lost 66-64 in overtime to Colorado State.
- There are no other instances of Jacobs, who transferred to Fresno State from Minnesota, being ejected from a game this season. Mountain West Conference rule 4.4.4 stipulates that an individual ejected from a game gets a private reprimand for the first offense.
- Both Fresno State basketball teams had team members ejected for technical fouls while visiting San Jose State. As this site reported last month, Fresno State men's coach Rodney Terry was ejected late in the second half on Jan. 7 for committing two technical fouls, both for complaining to the referee.
- In Fresno, San Jose State men's basketball ended its four-game winning streak with a 77-59 loss to Fresno State.