By Luke Johnson:
San Jose State women’s basketball team hosts red-hot San Diego State Wednesday evening in the first meeting this season between the conference rivals.
The Aztecs (7-7, 2-1) are coming off a come-from-behind fourth-quarter victory against Boise State (12-3, 2-2). SDSU trailed 61-54 heading into the final period but outscored the Broncos 30-16 before the final horn for its fifth win in the past six games.
The Spartans (4-11, 1-2) are dependent on senior point guard Dezz Ramos, who leads the Mountain West Conference in points per game with 21. No one else comes close with the runner up (Cherise Bynon of New Mexico) averaging 16.6 per game.
Ramos is also dishing out 5.2 assists per game which ranks third in the MWC. She scored a career-high 40 points in San Jose State’s only conference win this season against Nevada.
One of the keys to the Aztecs’ recent success has been scoring behind the arc by draining 21 three pointers in the past two games. Junior forward Lexy Thorderson has accounted for more than half of those threes with 11.
Scoring on the outside for SDSU are junior guards McKynzie Fort (16 PPG) and Khalia Lark (13.4 PPG). Fort ranks fourth in scoring in the Mountain West.
They will face the worst defense in the conference Wednesday as the Spartans are giving up 80.6 points per game this season.
SJSU collapsed after a halftime lead against its other conference rival Fresno State Saturday. The score was 41-37 through 20 minutes of regulation, but the Bulldogs rallied in the third quarter, 29-10, and never looked back.
“We gave up too many points in the paint,” said SJSU head coach Jamie Craighead after the game. “I thought we were over helping on people who couldn’t shoot threes, and when the shot clock gets down they’re gonna have to shoot it and they didn’t close out on ‘em. So we’re not hittin’ shots and we’re giving up points. It’s not a good combo.”
Ramos was non-efficient Saturday — shooting 3-for-19 from the field — but still led the team with 12 points.
When asked if the team struggles when Ramos struggles, Craighead said “Yeah, for sure. I mean, she got lots of open looks, so you just gotta ride with it.”