Fresh off a sizable win at Air Force, Fresno State is sowing all the confidence it can.
The Bulldogs (12-9, 5-5) are going to need it Saturday when they visit San Diego State (8-12, 3-6) for a Mountain West game at Viejas Arena.
While the Aztecs are ninth in the 11-team conference standings, they’ve done a particularly good job of defending their home court. San Diego State is 6-3 at home (3-1 in MW games) with victories against UNLV (15-7, 6-4), which is fourth in the standings, and Boise State (15-6, 5-5), which is tied with Fresno State for fifth.
60 The magic number for the Bulldogs this season. Fresno State is 12-1 when scoring more than 60 points. The only loss was a one-point defeat at Boise State on Jan. 14.
“I thought we played well at Air Force and I think it definitely helped with our confidence,” Bulldogs coach Jaime White said.
The team took a morale hit after last week’s home loss to Utah State.
“I think (the players) were surprised that game (against Utah State), that you can’t sit back and then try and do it all in the third and fourth quarter. Maybe coming off a bye had something to do with it, or not. But as we move forward I think there’s a chip on our shoulder,” White said.
To continue building up, White believes she’ll need the same effort from her reserves they gave in their win against the Falcons.
Key contributors off the bench are senior center Anais Kirvan and freshman guard Kristina Cavey. Cavey has scored in double figures four times this season and is averaging 6.4 points per game in conference play. Kirvan, who scored 10 against Air Force, has provided the Bulldogs with extra support inside to help starting center Bego Faz Davalos.
“The more different things we can do, the more we can be successful,” White said.
FRESNO STATE AT SAN DIEGO STATE
- Saturday: 2 p.m. at Viejas Arena
- Records: Bulldogs 12-9, 5-5 Mountain West; Aztecs 8-12, 3-6 (lost 80-67 against Wyoming on Wednesday).
- Series/last meeting: San Diego State leads 27-17. Aztecs won 65-54 in double overtime on Feb. 10, 2016, in San Diego.
- Webcast: Mountain West Network (themw.com)
- The skinny: Candice White leads the Bulldogs in scoring (14.7 ppg) and is second in the MW in free-throw percentage (.870) and fifth in 3-point percentage (.408). Bego Faz Davalos (14.4 ppg, 11.1 rpg) has collected 15 double-doubles for Fresno State, ranking third in the country. Defensively, her 77 total blocks and 3.7 blocks per game rank second and third in the nation, respectively. … San Diego State has lost three in a row (Air Force, Colorado State and Wyoming). Senior guard McKynzie Fort leads the Aztecs in scoring at 16.4 ppg, second in the MW. The Aztecs are dictated by the 3-point line, going 5-1 in games when they make eight or more from beyond the arc and 1-11 in games in which they make seven or fewer.