It wasn’t until the final minute Saturday afternoon in Boise that Fresno State got its best whiff of victory.
But the Bulldogs ultimately left Idaho with a bitter taste, as the Broncos escaped via the free-throw line in the closing seconds of a 67-66 Mountain West Conference women’s basketball win at Taco Bell Arena.
With the score tied 66-66 with 3 seconds remaining, Fresno State’s Tory Jacobs was called for a reach-in foul on Shalen Shaw and that proved to be the Broncos’ saving grace.
Jacobs’ foul put the Broncos in the bonus and Shaw missed her first shot, but knocked down her second.
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Fresno State called a 30-second timeout to advance the ball past midcourt for the final play, then gave it to point guard Candice White. But the sophomore’s potential winning 3-pointer bounced off the back of the rim.
That capped an afternoon-long trend in which the Bulldogs continually got close, only to fail to pull ahead.
After allowing a 13-0 run by Boise State (13-3, 3-2) in the first quarter, Fresno State tied the score four times but never could retake the lead.
White and Jacobs scored on consecutive layups in the third to make it 39-39, but the Broncos responded with a 10-1 run capped by a triple from freshman guard Brayden Hodgins.
In the fourth, the Bulldogs (10-7, 3-3) leveled it 61-61 on a 3-pointer from freshman Kristina Cavey, before giving up five straight points to the Broncos.
Fresno State came back to tie 66-66 with 50 seconds to go, and it was then the Bulldogs appeared to get their biggest break in momentum. Junior center Bego Faz Davalos blocked Brooke Pahukoa on a drive, Faz Davalos collected the rebound and the Bulldogs were in position to go ahead.
But the league’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year saw her go-ahead layup rejected by Broncos center Marijke Vanderschaaf That set up the Broncos to win it at the line.
Faz Davalos finished with her 12th double-double of the season, scoring 10 points to go with 14 rebounds. White scored a team-high 13 points and had four assists.
Marta Hermida scored 14 and Shaw 13 to lead the Broncos.
FRESNO STATE VS. COLORADO STATE
- Wednesday: 6 p.m. at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo.
- Records: Bulldogs 10-7, 3-3 Mountain West; Rams 12-5, 4-1 (Colorado State hit 18 3-pointers in beating New Mexico 78-63 on Saturday)
- Series/last meeting: Colorado State leads 12-7; Rams won 55-54 in Mountain West Tournament final March 11, 2016, in Las Vegas.
- Webcast: Mountain West Network (themwc.com)