Hours after the best game of her career, Fresno State guard Alex Furr laid down in bed and let herself cry again.
For roughly one year, Furr had held them back -- a promise to herself that she would not feel sorry for herself anymore and that she would not look back.
It was too painful to revisit the past.
Within a year's span, Furr tore her anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, and then after months and months of rehabbing, she tore it again -- missing the majority of the past two seasons while creating doubt in her mind whether she'd ever play basketball again.
But with her knee finally fully recovered, Furr is providing key contributions off the bench in Fresno State's quest to win the Mountain West Conference and reach the NCAA Tournament for a seventh straight season.
The Bulldogs (11-6, 5-1) visit Nevada (7-9, 2-3) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
"Every time I step onto the floor and leave healthy, it's a win," Furr said. "It doesn't matter how many points I scored or steals I made. There's been so many tough times that I've had to go through, I feel thankful, very thankful, every time I get to play still."
Coming out of Athens High in Texas, Furr was Fresno State's next great 3-point shooter under former coach Adrian Wiggins' uptempo, dribble-drive system. She averaged 36 points during her senior season and was named the Class 3A Player of the Year (similar to California's medium schools level).
Furr played basketball her who life, learning under her father, Guy, who's been a basketball coach on and off through the years, including as a current assistant for perennial junior college national power Trinity Valley Community College.
The 5-foot-5 Furr, however, knew she wouldn't play much as an incoming freshman with eventual career leading scorer Jaleesa Ross as the starting shooting guard.
By her sophomore season, in 2011-12, Furr believed she was ready to contribute. And she showed signs of providing instant offense off the bench after scoring nine points in just seven minutes during an 81-71 win against Oregon. But the very next game during the second half against Stanford, Furr tore her ACL while making a cut on defense. She'd miss all but those first eight games of the 2011-12 season and eventually redshirted.
"I cried," Furr said. "It hurt. The injury was physically painful. I was mentally hurting. I felt depressed for quite a while."
But Furr went on a mission to rehab the knee, getting daily guidance from Fresno State head trainer Kelli Eberlein. Even after Fresno State made a coaching change and hired Raegan Pebley and teammates discussed transferring, Furr said she wanted to play only at Fresno State.
That day would have to wait, though, because on the official day of individual workouts under Pebley, Furr went down during a noncontact layup drill. Furr fell to the ground, grabbed her knee, cried and screamed. She instantly knew.
"I did it again!" Furr recalled yelling. "I tore it! I tore it! I tore it!"
A couple of weeks later and after undergoing another knee surgery that required the insertion of cadaver tissue to help with the reconstruction, Furr promised herself that she wouldn't be sad anymore.
By this past summer while back in Texas, Furr started testing what her knee could do while practicing daily with her father.
When fall practices rolled around at Fresno State, Furr wanted to show coaches she was fully healed, even if she wore a thick brace around that left knee.
Pebley was impressed with Furr's tenacity but was wary of forcing the junior guard into playing too many minutes. Furr, likewise, said she wasn't sure how her knee would hold up.
Then after contributing here and there early on with outside shooting and feistiness on defense, Furr erupted for a game-high 22 points Saturday at New Mexico, shooting 6 of 8 from the field, including 4 of 6 behind the arc, in addition to 6 of 7 on free throws. Fresno State narrowly won, 75-73.
"I'm just so proud of Alex," Pebley said. "There's a point when a player injures her knee and she has to ask herself if she wants to come back and be a competitive athlete or do the rehab and just be a student.
"She's shown that she had a vision for herself and would not be defined by her knee injury."
After the win at New Mexico, Furr reflected on her journey and let the tears flow. This time, they were tears of joy.
"I've always been competitive and I don't think I could've lived with myself if I didn't get back to playing basketball as I did before," Furr said. "There were so many emotions going through my mind after the game, thinking about where I've been and what I've dealt with to get back to this point.
"I've had a lot of support and encouragement from my team. It makes me happy to know that I can help them again."
FRESNO STATE AT NEVADA
Wednesday: 6:30 p.m. at Lawlor Events Center in Reno
Records: Bulldogs 11-6, 5-1 Mountain West; Wolf Pack 7-9, 2-3
Series: Fresno State leads 34-9, including 13 of past 14 -- with the loss coming in previous meeting last February at Save Mart Center
The skinny: Bulldogs are 3-0 in Mountain West road games, winning at Air Force, UNLV and New Mexico. ... Fresno State has MW's best defense, allowing 62.4 ppg and forcing 17.8 turnovers. Offensive, Bulldogs have hit a MW-leading 137 3-pointers. ... Wolf Pack already has equaled MW win total from last season. ... Showdown in the paint? Nevada's Mimi Mungedi leads conference with 32 blocks while Fresno State's Jacinta Vandenberg is third with 27.
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