It’s no secret by now that Fresno State is a second-half team.
The Bulldogs (11-9, 4-5) have trailed at halftime in 10 of their past 11 games, struggling to get into rhythm until the third or fourth quarters.
That was the case in Saturday’s loss against Utah State, when they shaved an 11-point first-quarter deficit to as low as two at numerous times in the second half.
Fresno State fell to 4-6 in games when behind at halftime, and the trend is beginning to wear on the Bulldogs, who are tied with San Jose State (7-14, 4-5) for sixth place in the Mountain West women’s basketball race.
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But to salvage what’s left of the conference race and a possible first-round bye at the conference tournament – awarded to the top five teams – the Bulldogs need to play with a sense of urgency for 40 minutes.
“We’ve got to continue to figure that out and figure out how and what makes us tick,” third-year coach Jaime White said.
It will be an uphill battle for the Bulldogs, who have nine conference games remaining in the regular season that includes bouts against the top five teams (No. 2 Wyoming on Feb. 8, No. 1 Colorado State on Feb. 11, No. 3 New Mexico on Feb. 18, No. 4 Boise State on Feb. 28 and No. 5 UNLV on March 3).
The challenge begins at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday when Fresno State visits Air Force ( 3-15, 1-7) for their second meeting of the season. The Bulldogs won 63-40 at home on Jan. 11.
The Falcons are coming off their first conference victory, 62-59 at San Diego State that was also their first conference road win since 2007.
Freshmen guard Mariah Forde scored 17 against the Aztecs and leads Air Force with 10.3 points per game, a mark that also ranks first among all MW freshman.
The Bulldogs are led by sophomore point guard Candice White (14.5 ppg) and junior center Bego Faz Davalos (14.3 ppg, 11.4 rpg and 3.7 blocks per game).