By Kavin Mistry
San Jose State has had a difficult time navigating through its non-conference schedule this season. The Spartans have lost six in a row, the second-longest streak in the Jamie Craighead era.
Sunday poses an important challenge for the Spartans — finding momentum.
It has been a struggle for the Spartans this season to find any consistency on the defensive end of the floor. While the will of the team has been tested, having faced top-level opponents (even on an equal playing surface) SJSU has had trouble staying in games.
The Spartans have been outscored 227-155 in first quarters and 235-177 in third quarters this season. It has been tough for them to come back when they get down early in each half.
Craighead said she hopes this week-long break will help her team focus on something other than basketball before returning their attention to the task at hand.
On the offensive side of the ball it has been all Dezz Ramos. The senior is averaging 19 points and five assists per game.
The rest of the offense has had a rough time this season keeping up with Ramos, making it difficult for the Spartans to spread the wealth.
It will be pivotal for SJSU to find Ramos a supporting cast that can take the pressure off her shot and allow for a better balanced offensive attack.
The Spartans will need to have consistent shooting from junior Hallie Gennett and senior Rachol West to help keep SJSU in games and avoid giving up big runs. Both have begun to find their way shooting the ball, but have not been able to sustain it throughout the game.
Last season the Spartans were lights out from beyond the arc, which provided a lethal offense that gave opponents fits. This year, opponents are shooting 34 percent from three while SJSU is shooting 29 percent.
“We are out of rhythm as as team and we have to get that corrected,” Craighead said postgame against South Dakota. “Chemistry on the court will be critical for us in Mountain West play.”
Tomorrow the Spartans will take on Stanislaus State at 4:30 p.m. in the Event Center.
It will be the last chance SJSU has to try and find its rhythm as a team before it begins Mountain West play on Dec. 29.
Jasmine Smith is 32 points away from 1,000 points for her career at SJSU. If she does, she will become the 16th player in program history to achieve that mark.