By Kavin Mistry:
It is no secret. Dezz Ramos can dominate a game by shooting lights out from the floor.
But she cannot win every game for the Spartans alone.
Wednesday’s game against Nevada was yet another display of Ramos’ ability to take over a game and leave opponents scrambling for ways to guard her.
“We always wait for that time of the game for it to be Dezz time,” said head coach Jamie Craighead. “She’s also finding people, she had eight assists … Dezz is a special player and she knows it.”
While the Wolfpack were unable to stop the Spartan sharpshooter, someone in the Mountain West Conference will and when that time comes, the Spartans have to be prepared to find other ways to score.
Last week, SJSU experimented with having Ramos drive with the ball more, to allow for the kickout pass and give her teammates open looks while directing the defense’s attention to herself.
“Dezz is a pretty unique player,” Craighead said. “She can pretty much dictate the tempo of the game, it can be fast, it can be slow. I sent her a text and said this is your team, you are driving the car and you have to push the pace.”
Juniors Hallie Gennett and and Myzhanique Ladd took full advantage of the drive and kick plays, each scoring in double figures in the win.
“It was nice to see the whole team hitting shots,” Ramos said. “I am able to just open up for our shooters and making them relax and shoot a three and a lot of them did that.”
Craighead had high praise for the play by Gennett on Wednesday and talked about how important her contribution was to the win.
“We have seen her play like that in practice a few times and in-game she looked really comfortable,” Craighead said. “I feel like she always felt like there was this pressure on her. We got her some open looks in the corner and she buried them.”
The Spartans will need those contributions from players not named Ramos to keep their hopes alive for a Mountain West run.
We all know SJSU can score the ball. Over the past two years, the Spartans have shown their ability to win games by outplaying their opponent on the offensive side of the ball. But in order for that trend to continue, players like Gennett, Ladd, Rachol West and Paris Baird will need to keep knocking down open looks.
Tomorrow the Spartans will look to continue their hot shooting when the team heads to Colorado to take on the Rams.
Ramos will want to improve on her Mountain West leading 20.6 points per game and third ranked 5.5 assists per game.