By Sandeep Chandok:
It wasn’t pretty, but San Jose State women’s basketball came away with its third Mountain West victory of the season with a win over Air Force earlier this afternoon.
The final score was 86-74, but the Spartans allowed 44 first-half points to a Falcons team that came into The Event Center averaging just 51.6 points per game.
SJSU head coach Jamie Craighead acknowledged Air Force’s toughness and strength of its preseason schedule but when it came to the Spartan’s defense, she wasn’t satisfied.
“Offensively, good job,” Craighead said. “Defensively, not very good. You can’t give up that many points in the paint — those elbows and boxes — the free throws.”
It’s hard to argue with Craighead as SJSU gave up 15 offensive rebounds and 16 second-chance points. The Spartans made up for this, however, at the charity stripe, converting on 20 of 24 attempts while taking care of the ball with just nine turnovers in the 40 minutes.
Guard Dezz Ramos continued her offensive onslaught for the Spartans racking up 31 points and 7 assists in the win.
The Spartans were down five at the 9:16 mark in the third period before Ramos poured in 10 straight on four jumpers to put SJSU up 51-50.
Ramos wasn’t the only Spartan with a big game as forward Jasmine Smith (23 pts/10 rebs) extended her double-double streak in conference play to five games.
Smith stressed the need to clean the glass after the Spartans were outrebounded 39-33.
“Rebounding is really important for this system,” Smith said. “Especially for me — I know my teammates really rely on me to rebound the ball.”
Despite losing the boards battle, SJSU made eight 3’s compared to the Falcons’ six. Spartans’ guard Rachol West was responsible for three of the eight SJSU triples including two clutch ones in the final five minutes of the game.
Forward Paris Baird only made one 3 all afternoon, but it was the shot of the game as it gave SJSU a 79-72 lead with 55 seconds left in fourth period and sealed a Spartan victory.
After being wished good luck in the Spartans next game, Coach Craighead said, “Better not play like that or we’re gonna get our ass whooped.” She also said, “Thanks,” and “We’re gonna need it.”
SJSU’s next game is at Wyoming on Wednesday at 7 PM.