By Sandeep Chandok:
Conference play is in the air as San Jose State women’s basketball takes on the Nevada Wolfpack today in the Event Center.
The Spartans come in with a 3-9 non-conference record ranking them second-worst among Mountain West Conference teams, while the Wolfpack sit at seventh with a 6-5 mark.
SJSU’s non-conference slate was highlighted by senior guard Dezz Ramos who is tied for 36th in scoring in the NCAA at 19.1 points per game.
Aside from Ramos, only senior forward Jasmine Smith has hit double-digit scoring on a consistent basis, putting up 10.3 ppg.
Unfortunately for the Spartans, lack of scoring hasn’t been their only weakness as the team allows opponents to score nearly 81 ppg.
This could be a problem against a Nevada team which features three players who average double-figure scoring and also likes to dominate the paint.
Another significant issue facing the Spartans is controlling the glass as they are outrebounded by around 14 per game whereas the Wolfpack is plus six on the boards.
The Wolfpack’s rebounding success is likely due to having four players over six feet in height—all of whom average over 5.5 rebounds a game.
SJSU coach Jamie Craighead is certainly aware of Nevada’s size and knows it needs to be addressed.
“Imagine we play Nevada and their strength is inside and their size,” Craighead said. “We can’t give up the block.”
Craighead said the Spartans need to play harder and put more pressure on the ball after allowing 85 points to Stanislaus State.
Nevada is a good test for the Spartans to start conference play as over half of Mountain West teams have a winning record and the games will only get harder moving forward.
The Spartans and the Wolfpack tip-off tonight at 7 p.m.