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Sharpshooter Analyss Benally (Navajo) hit 4-8 three-pointers to beat Air Force

Colorado Springs, Colo. – Myzhanique Ladd had her second double double in as many games and Taylor Turney scored 14 of her team-high 17 points in the second half propelling the San José State women’s basketball team to a 75-74 win over the Air Force Falcons on Saturday afternoon.

Ladd finished with 15 points and equaled her career-high with 13 rebounds. It is the fifth double double of the Seattle, Wash., native’s career and fourth this season.

Sophomore sharpshooter Analyss Benally hit four of the eight three-pointers the team made in the game and sits at 40 for the season; seven from tying Kari Steele’s sophomore record of 47. Both Benally and Fieme’a Hafoka finished with 12 points, which equals Hafoka’s career-high.

The Spartans (6-11, 3-3 MW) bounced back from a sub-30 percent shooting night against San Diego State on Wednesday to make 28-of-58 shots, for 48.3 percent against the Falcons. In addition, they shot 42.1 percent (8-of-19) from beyond the three-point line.

The Falcons (0-16, 0-5 MW) jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes, but Benally’s first three of the game squelched the Air Force run and sparked an 8-0 spurt which gave San José State its first lead of the game.

Benally hit her second three with 3:17 to go in the quarter to make it 13-11 Spartans and with seven seconds to go Hafoka stroked one from beyond the arc to give SJSU a 20-18 lead after 10 minutes.

SJSU shot 63.6 percent in the first period, but committed 10 turnovers, which led to eight Air Force points. In the game, the Spartans committed 25 turnovers leading to 30 points for the Falcons.

In the second quarter the Spartans got into early foul trouble, committing their fifth foul 3:38 into the period. Fortunately, they weren’t hurt by it because the Falcons made just 4-of-10 from the charity stripe.

With 6:51 to go before intermission and Air Force up 26-23, Benally hit her third trey, starting a 16-0 run over the next three minutes. The Falcons came right back with an 11-0 run of their own to make it a two-point game, 39-37. Hafoka drained a three with three seconds to go before the half to give the Spartans a 42-37 heading into the locker room.

Turney scored eight of the team’s first 10 points in the third quarter, building a nine-point lead, but the Falcons would not go away. They scratched and clawed back into the game and held a 57-53 lead with just over two minutes to go in the period. Mikaylah Wilson made a layup and Ladd sank another in the final 30 seconds to send the game to the fourth tied 57-57.

SJSU outscored Air Force 12-4 in the first 3:30 of the final period and looked like they would pull away for the easy win, but the Falcons had other ideas.

The Spartans missed six of their next eight shots from the field as well as a pair of free throws while the Falcons cut the SJSU advantage to two points, 73-71 with nine seconds to play.

Ladd hit a pair of free throws with six seconds to go giving San José State a 75-71 lead, but Kaelin Immel, who finished with a career and game-high 26 points, sank a three with two seconds left to make it 75-74.

The Spartans called timeout and advanced the ball to the frontcourt. Turney inbounded it to Ladd who ran out the clock for San José State’s first conference road-win of the season.

In addition to the four Spartans in double figures, Cydni Lewis had seven points and nine rebounds and Wilson scored six points, grabbed four rebounds and blocked three shots.

The Spartans return to action next Wednesday in Reno, Nevada. SJSU and the Nevada Wolf Pack are set to tip off at 6:30 p.m. in the Lawlor Events Center.


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