Spartan Women Snubbed on WNIT Birth.

The lady Spartans (18-12) finished in a three-way tie with Fresno State and SMU in the regular-season standings, and one game behind Tulsa. It still was not good enough to get the WNIT bid.

Coach Richard blames strength of schedule for WNIT snubbing:

(No WNIT spot stings Richard and lady Spartans)

With her contract about to expire, SJSU women's coach Janice Richard was still very disappointed one day after not receiving a berth in the Women's National Invitation Tournament.

What really hurts is that the Spartans were passed over for three other schools from the Western Athletic Conference: Tulsa, Southern Methodist and Fresno State.

The Spartans (18-12) finished in a three-way tie with Fresno State and SMU in the regular-season standings, one game behind Tulsa. But SJSU beat Tulsa three times, split the series with SMU and went further than both teams in the WAC tournament.

But Richard acknowledged that her team's lower RPI, strength of schedule and attendance numbers probably played a large role.

``We'll look to change what to do for next season,'' Richard said. ``I will continue to try and get in touch from someone from the WNIT and make sure we're not a team that is overlooked again.''

Richard hopes to return next season and help SJSU clear that hurdle. With her contract expiring in April, Richard and Bowen plan on meeting soon to discuss her future.

(Credit San Jose Mercury News for story content).

SJSU proud of 2004-05 campaign

By Lauren Bosch- Daily Staff Writer

March 14, 2005

The season ended with the absence of a phone call Sunday night, as the San Jose State University women's basketball team came to the harsh realization that not only would they not be attending the NCAA tournament, they also would not be getting an invitation to play in the WNIT tournament either.

Despite the news, the Spartans are responsible for producing one of the most successful seasons the program has seen since its start in 1974.

"I think it's perfect - 18 wins," said guard Lamisha Augustine. "We worked so hard during the season, so getting 18 wins says a lot. We're not playing against sorry teams, we've played good ones. It says a lot about a team."

The women are responsible for several individual record-breaking statistics and as a team are responsible for making history. This success was a product of determination and drive to prove doubters wrong.

"I think we're out to prove everyone wrong," said guard Jessica Kellogg. "(WAC coaches) picked us to finish ninth and because of that we just wanted to come out and show them that we're better than that."

Kellogg's attitude is one that has been felt throughout the season by many of the players and head coach Janice Richard.

The selection to finish ninth in the Western Athletic Conference in the coach's poll at the beginning of the season became the driving force for the team. The loss of three key starters - Tatiana Taylor, Teoma Taylor and Cricket Williams - after the 2003-04 season set low expectations for this team's postseason play.

Yet the Spartans found themselves in the WAC tournament semifinals last week, after their win over the University of Tulsa in Wednesday night's quarterfinals.

Not only did the team post a record 18 wins for the season, it is the first team in the program's history to make an appearance at a conference tournament semifinal round game.

"We knew that (winning 18 games) was going to be the first time in a long time. We knew that coach hadn't won more than 17 games in one season here," said Kellogg. "It was exciting because in the five years that we've been here 17 has been like our max and when we get 18 it's - I don't know - its fun."

Excitement is something the entire team can now claim they've started with the addition of freshman Amber Jackson and the emergence of leadership and ability from several seniors throughout the year.

Ranked nationally in several areas, the Spartans managed three WAC Players of the Week in Augustine, Jackson and Erica McGlaston. Augustine was also named as an All-WAC first team selection, while Jackson was named as a second team selection and to the All-Freshmen team as well.

Several other players made strides within the WAC, as some made names for themselves with placements in key areas. Jackson has been ranked second nationally in field goal percentage at 67.2 percent. The game against Tulsa also made her the fifth woman in school history to make more than 200 field goals in one season. Augustine is ranked fifth in the WAC in scoring with 13.9 points per game and is tied for fifth in rebounding.

McGlaston finished the season ranked first in the WAC in assists, averaging 6.04 a game, and fourth in steals with 2.14 per game. Kellogg's accomplishments include being the Spartan career leader in games played with 119. She is third all-time in 3-point field goals for the lady Spartans and second in the WAC.

The loss on Friday to Rice University brought disappointment to the team, however, Richard points out that several of the players opened up many opportunities for her when they took a chance on a struggling program five years ago.

"I addressed my seniors. Jessica and Lamisha are from my first recruiting class, my very first recruiting class," Richard said. "I went into their homes when our basketball program was 2-25 and I convinced them some way - I don't know how - to come and help me turn this women's basketball program around."

This and the addition of others since Richard's emergence as head coach five years ago has given her the tools and the ability to recruit for the program in the future.

"They took a chance on me because the tradition of the basketball program wasn't in place yet," Richard said. "And I talked to them about the foundation that they've laid. They've been great assets for us. I feel like we can go into any home and recruit because they have laid the groundwork. We have a great basketball team and they set the standard for the younger players."

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