Spartans offense sputters in loss to Gaels

By Darby Brown-Kuhn

In their first home game in the month of December, the Spartans women’s basketball team fell to the Saint Mary’s Gaels 85–64.

The game quickly became a low-post scoring clinic as the Gaels used their size to score inside, shooting 72 percent in the first quarter and converting 12 of 13 shots in the lane.

“It’s difficult to win a game when a team is shooting as high a percentage as they were and we’re shooting as low a percentage,” said Spartans head coach Jamie Craighead.

Most of the Spartans offense was generated behind the three-point arc.

SJSU attempted a program-record 43 three-pointers during the game, and converted just 11 of them.

The team shot 79 shot in the contest, 21 more than the Gaels, but shot only 30 percent from the field.

Despite snagging 12 steals and forcing 25 turnovers, the Spartans defense was unable to slow down the Gaels offensive attack.

“We absolutely didn’t do anything on the defensive end that we talked about in our game plan,” Craighead said. “We knew there were going to be ball screens, they were going to score in the paint. That’s their game plan. You can’t expect to be late to every single spot and expect to be successful.”

Spartans’ senior guard Dezz Ramos was once again the team’s high scorer, dropping 16 points on 6–17 shooting.

Junior forward Hallie Gennett was the only other Spartan in double figures with 10 points and fellow junior Myzhanique Ladd added nine points, eight rebounds and four assists.

Gaels forward Megan McKay led all scorers with 21 points on 9–11 shooting and fellow forward Sydney Raggio had a double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

As a team, the Spartans struggled in all facets of the game and were unable to sustain any momentum for an extended period of time.

One cause, according to Craighead, for the team’s struggles was their lack of competitive spirit.

“We just didn’t come ready to compete,” Craighead said. “I don’t know how you can compete against Mississippi State but you can’t come in on your home court and compete against Saint Mary’s.”

The next game for the Spartans is on the road against the University of San Francisco. The Dons are undefeated at home this season and have outscored their opponents by an average of 12 points in their four victories so far.

Although the Spartans had a poor showing Saturday night, Craighead believes the team will be ready for the matchup.

“Effort hasn’t been our issue,” Craighead said. “So let’s hope that this was something that doesn’t occur very often and I think if we play with better effort and, you know, we hit some shots we’ll be in the game at USF and we have a chance to win.”

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