Raegan Pebley screamed for a timeout before and after the final buzzer to no avail.
Taylor Thompson stared down the referees, too, while laying on her belly near the free-throw line after running into two San Diego State players. Both wondered why the officials didn't take notice.
But while the whistles remained quiet during the final critical stretch, it was Fresno State's offensive silence to start the second half that proved just as costly in a 70-69 loss to San Diego State on Wednesday night at the Save Mart Center.
The Bulldogs (10-6, 4-1 Mountain West) missed their first nine shots while wasting a seven-point halftime lead. Then after trading baskets in the closing minutes, Thompson's dribble drive downcourt was stuffed at the free-throw line as bodies hit the floor on the game's final play.
"I was looking for the contact, but it went how it went," Thompson said. "It was a good shot. I was just going to push and try to create a foul or get a good shot."
Just prior to the miss, recorded as a block for San Diego State's Cierra Warren, Aztecs guard Danesha Long drained a contested go-ahead basket from about 10 feet with 4 seconds left.
Pebley declined to call a timeout immediately, instead letting Thompson dribble up the court. The coach yelled for time, though, after noticing Thompson was in trouble when confronted by the 6-foot-4 Warren and another Aztecs player.
Referees did not heed Pebley's request nor call a foul against the defenders.
"You don't call a timeout with 5 seconds left and you've got a player like (Thompson) who is open to get the ball," Pebley said. "(Moriah Faulk) knew that she was going to be inbounding the ball if there was a made shot. And if she couldn't get it in, then she could call a timeout.
"But again, I couldn't have drawn up a play better to get Taylor open with space and to use her speed and Taylor's experience right there. You've got to trust it."
Later, Pebley conceded that officials made the right call by not giving her a timeout near the end of the game. She wouldn't comment much about the contact on the last shot.
"I think the officials do the best job that they can with that first look, and only look, that they get," Pebley said. "Ball's in their court. They get to make that decision."
Fresno State looked to have control after draining seven of its first 12 3-pointers, leading by as many as nine, and up 42-35 at the break. But after intermission, the Bulldogs looked flustered by San Diego State's zone.
While the Bulldogs went 0 for 9 to start the second half, including 0 for 6 on 3-pointers, San Diego State went on an 11-3 run to take a 46-45 lead. Fresno State didn't make a field goal until there was 14:24 left in the second half on a Thompson 3-pointer, which gave Fresno State the lead again at 48-46.
"We shot the lights out in the first half and so you're going to hit some points," Pebley said. "But you've got to keep fighting through that and stay confident."
There would be nine lead changes and five ties in all, including six lead changes to close the game.
Fresno State was down four when Alex Sheedy hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 44 seconds left to reduce San Diego State's lead to 68-67. Sheedy finished with 21 points.
Thompson then got a steal, raced upcourt to draw a foul and drained two free throws to put the Bulldogs up 69-68 with 18 seconds left.
But Long followed with her go-ahead jumper from the right side of the basket.
San Diego State (5-9, 2-2) went 30 for 60 from the field, with Warren scoring 21 to go with 10 rebounds. Fresno State hit 14 of 28 shots in the first half, but 6 of 27 in the second.
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