For those who have been there, hitting 50 is often something to celebrate. It's usually an occasion -- birthday, anniversary or any number of other things.
But when Marvelle Harris hit the Big 5-0 in Fresno State's 75-62 loss to UNLV to open Mountain West Conference play on New Year's Day, it was not. Not for Harris, and not for any of his teammates.
The guard, who played a strong second half to get to a game-high 25 points, put up a 3-pointer with 1 second remaining, which didn't mean anything to the outcome.
But when it caromed off the rim, it became the 50th miss for Fresno State.
Now, let's preface this. The Bulldogs are a much better offensive team than they were a year ago. The shooting percentage is up, as are points and assists per game. Coach Rodney Terry has elevated the talent level in the program as fast as scholarship limitations allow.
That only makes such a gigantic statistical anomaly a bigger curiosity. And it's hard to avert the eyes: Fresno State missed 50 shots in one game.
It was taking an average of only 56 before playing the Runnin' Rebels and had taken 51 to 61 shots per game every year from 2000-01 to 2012-13 --the Bulldogs took 51 in 2003-04, 52 in 2011-12, and 53 in 2008-09 and 2009-'10.
Fresno State this season had attempted only 50 shots against Cal Poly and Florida and 51 at Pittsburgh. And the Bulldogs missed 50 shots ... in one game?
On their home floor?
Yes, they did.
The Bulldogs went 25 of 75 (33.3%) including 4 of 17 (23.5%) on 3-point shots.
Know how many times that had happened, home or road in that span, 13 years plus 13 games? There was a double overtime loss at Louisiana Tech in 2003-04 when the Bulldogs were 22 of 64 in regulation and ended up 29 of 80 (36.3%), and an overtime loss to Hawaii in 2011-12 at the Save Mart Center when they were 23 of 64 in regulation and ended up 27 of 78 (34.6%).
But in regulation, 40 minutes of basketball? Not a one. It had not happened.
Mountain West play did not get off to a great start for the home teams -- three of the four that played Jan. 1 hit fewer than 39% of their shots. But only one missed 50.
Go back through the years with the current Mountain West programs and peek at some of the worst shooting games by a home team in conference play, and while there were some that hit at a lower percentage than the Bulldogs did against UNLV, none did so while missing 50 shots.
The worst of those shooting games at home over the past five seasons:
• 2008-09 Air Force vs. Utah -- 10 of 42, 23.8%
• 2009-10 Wyoming vs. UNLV -- 14 of 49, 28.6%
• 2012-13 Wyoming vs. UNLV -- 17 of 59, 28.8%
• 2012-13 Nevada vs. Wyoming -- 18 of 62, 29.0%
• 2011-12 Air Force vs. New Mexico -- 15 of 51, 29.4%
• 2008-09 UNLV vs. Air Force -- 15 of 50, 30%
• 2011-12 Wyoming vs. San Diego State -- 15 of 49, 30.6%
• 2009-10 Air Force vs. Colorado State -- 14 of 45, 31.1%
• 2011-12 Boise State vs. New Mexico -- 19 of 61, 31.1%
• 2011-12 San Diego State vs. Boise State -- 15 of 48, 31.3%
• 2008-09 Air Force vs. San Diego State -- 16 of 50, 32%
• 2012-13 Fresno State vs. New Mexico -- 18 of 55, 32.7%
Air Force went 12 years in a row between 2000-01 and 2011-12 without even averaging 50 shots, with a low of 40 per game and a high of 48.
Colorado State hasn't missed 50 shots in regulation since 2000-01, and neither has New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Utah State or Wyoming.
Boise State hasn't missed 50 in regulation since going 19 of 71 (26.8%) in a 61-42 loss to Troy on Dec. 22, 2000. Nevada last did it Nov. 27, 2009, in an 85-76 loss at Virginia Commonwealth, going 29 of 82 (35.4%).
Before Fresno State, San Jose State did it most recently -- the Spartans were 20 of 71 (28.2%) in a loss to Idaho on Jan. 3, 2013.
Even from the other side of that equation, it is tough to comprehend. It would stand to reason that to miss that many shots a team would have to take quite a few.
From 2000-01 to this season, the Bulldogs had taken 75 or more shots in a regulation game only one time -- they were 41 of 76 (53.9%) in a 108-56 victory over Texas-El Paso on Jan. 25, 2001.
• UNLV 72, at Fresno State 62
• Nevada 62, at San Jose State 50
• San Diego State 71, at Colorado State 61
at Air Force 73, Utah State 72
• at Boise State 86, Fresno State 79
• at New Mexico 80, Colorado State 73
• at Nevada 61, Wyoming 58
• at Utah State 86, San Jose State 67
• Air Force 75, at UNLV 68
• UNLV lost to Air Force on Saturday as a 14.5-point favorite on its home floor. In two seasons plus two games under coach Dave Rice, the Runnin' Rebels have now lost nine conference games when favored and in their previous Mountain West game at the Thomas & Mack Center lost to another 14.5-point underdog in Fresno State.
• Utah State was ranked sixth in Division I -- that's 345 teams -- in rebounding margin at plus-11.8. But in losing at Air Force in their Mountain West opener, the Aggies were outrebounded 30-26 by a team that put one player on the floor taller than 6-foot-7.
• Fresno State while losing to UNLV last week, scored 31 points in the first half and 31 in the second, this after scoring 52 in each half of a victory over UC Merced. The Bulldogs hadn't scored the same number of points in the first and second halves of a game since 2009-10 and haven't done it in back-to-back games since 2006-07.
• Colorado State had one point from its bench in a loss to San Diego State. The Rams played four players for a total of 32 minutes. They were a combined 0 of 3 on field goals and 1 of 5 from the line.
• Back on the 50 thing, Air Force not that long ago (2009-10) averaged 46 shots per game and took 50 or more in just six of its 31 games. On the day the Bulldogs were missing 50, the Falcons (24 of 47) and Utah State (27 of 56) combined missed 52 shots.
• Colorado State guard Daniel Bejarano set career highs in scoring in back-to-back games with 22 against San Diego State and 25 against New Mexico.
• New Mexico senior Kendall Williams became the second player in conference history to have 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 150 steals in a career in a victory over Colorado State. The first was then-Brigham Young guard Jimmer Fredette.
Back to business
Utah State center Jarred Shaw, the Aggies' leading scorer and rebounder, was back with the team Friday after he pleaded guilty to a drug charge -- third-degree felony marijuana possession, which according to a report in the Salt Lake Tribune could be reduced to a misdemeanor by his March 17 sentencing or upon completion of probation.
Shaw had faced a second-degree felony distribution charge; two other charges (misdemeanor counts of possession and contributing to the delinquency of a minor) were dismissed.
He had sat out five games, Utah State going 4-1, the loss in their conference opener at the Air Force.
"There has been lots of speculation and untrue rumors regarding Jarred," coach Stew Morrill said in a news release. "Jarred Shaw is a student-athlete who graduates this spring and who made a mistake. This was his first offense and he served his penalty by missing five games. We will go forward from here, and our team is certainly excited to have Jarred back."
In his first game back Shaw hit 2 of 10 shots, scoring six points with nine rebounds and two blocks as the Aggies beat San Jose State.
The reporter can be reached at email@example.com or @rkuwada on Twitter. His "Mountain West: Week in Review" report runs Wednesdays during the Fresno State football and basketball seasons. Read his daily updates at fresnobee.com/bulldogs.