Fresno State had to dig deep for its first conference win, hitting pay dirt partly through the efforts of its underclassmen.
Now, can the Bulldogs post a winning streak and do so on the road?
Freshman reserves Katelin Noyer, Kristina Cavey and Saraya Smith combined to score 22 points, and sophomore point guard Candice White played all 40 minutes while scoring a career-high 25 in the Bulldogs’ 71-70 comeback victory at Nevada on Saturday.
It was a display of growth for the Bulldogs, who have had trouble finding a consistent offensive complement to junior center Bego Faz Davalos, who was double-teamed in the Mountain West opener against New Mexico and by the Wolf Pack and was held to eight and six points.
Faz Davalos averaged 16.3 points per game in nonconference play. Though her team-leading average has fallen to 14.8, she is averaging a double-double by grabbing 11.1 rebounds per game.
White has helped make up for the dip in Faz Davalos’ scoring, averaging 16.0 points through two conference games (compared to 14.5 for the season) and hitting 5 of 7 from beyond the 3-point arc to raise her season percentage from distance to 40.9.
But to contend in the conference, Fresno State (8-5, 1-1) will need regular production throughout its lineup, from the rookies to its three seniors – center Anais Kirvan and guards Kendra Martin and Emilie Volk.
The Bulldogs play Wednesday at Wyoming, which was picked to finish eighth in the Mountain West preseason poll but is 10-3 overall and 2-0 in the conference. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m. at Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.
The Cowgirls have won four in a row after beating UNLV 79-57 at home Saturday behind junior guard Liv Roberts, who scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed a team-best eight rebounds.
Roberts is shooting 50 percent from the field (69 of 138) and averaging 15.2 points and 6.8 rebounds, twice earning Mountain West Player of the Week honors. Sophomore Marta Gomez is averaging 9.7 points and 3.8 rebounds.
FRESNO STATE VS. WYOMING
- Wednesday: 5:30 p.m. at Arena-Auditorium in Laramie, Wyo.
- Records: Bulldogs 8-5, 1-1 Mountain West; Cowgirls 10-3, 2-0 (beat UNLV 79-57 on Saturday)
- Series/last meeting: Fresno State leads 16-10; Bulldogs won 64-52 on Feb. 17, 2016, at home
- Webcast: Mountain West Network (themw.com)