The last time Fresno State faced Wyoming, it was a rude awakening.
Dominant in nearly every aspect, the Cowgirls handed the Bulldogs their worst loss in Mountain West Conference play – a 70-48 blowout in Laramie.
Fresno State had lost starting sophomore forward Breanne Knishka to a knee injury the day before, and the Bulldogs were left scrambling without their best defender.
Just more than a month later, third-year coach Jaime White said she believes her team has improved as it prepares to host the Cowgirls at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Save Mart Center.
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“Then, we were trying to figure it out without (Knishka),” White said. “We hope we got all that out and we’re comfortable here going in with some confidence.”
The Bulldogs (13-9, 6-5 Mountain West) got a big push from junior center Bego Faz Davalos, who was named the conference’s player of the week after wins at Air Force and San Diego State.
Faz Davalos recorded her 16th double-double of the season Saturday with 23 points and 19 rebounds against the Aztecs. She had 17 points and seven rebounds against the Falcons.
16 double-doubles this season for Fresno State junior center Bego Faz Davalos, who was announced as the Mountain West women’s basketball player of the week on Monday.
While Faz Davalos continues as the focal point, the Bulldogs’ supporting cast is increasingly making its presence felt when needed.
“It feels like more of a seasoned team,” since the loss at Wyoming, White said. “But I think what we’ve needed is the leadership on the floor. Somebody to pull the ball out and set up a play. Somebody to recognize when we have transition, and we’re getting closer to that.
“We should be peaking right about the right time.”
Forward Kendra Martin and center Anais Kirvan have seen their minutes increase throughout the season and each had a double-digit scoring game last week.
“We really have no choice but to step up because people are going to double Bego and probably Candice (White),” Martin said. “Coming off the bench, everybody has to be confident.”
The Bulldogs will need continued execution throughout their roster when the Cowgirls (17-5, 9-2) arrive for the rematch. Wyoming is a game behind Colorado State for the conference lead.
“We’re going to be ready for them,” Kirvan said. “As we look at it, we’re kinda running out of time, so we don’t have many opportunities left, so we’re going to take each game as it comes and go as hard as we can. I think we had a rough start and weren’t as prepared to start the conference, but it’s not too late to make a run. I don’t think any of us have doubted that.”
FRESNO STATE VS. WYOMING
- Records: Bulldogs 13-9, 6-5 Mountain West; Cowgirls 17-5, 9-2 (beat Air Force 73-41 on Saturday)
- Series/last meeting: Fresno State leads 16-11; Wyoming won 70-48 on Jan. 4, 2017 in Laramie
- Webcast/radio: Mountain West Network (themw.com)/KFPT AM (790)
- Of note: Cowgirls are coming off back-to-back home wins against San Diego State and Air Force. Wyoming leads the Mountain West in 3-point shooting at 38.5 percent (170 for 441). Junior guard Liv Roberts paces the teams at 15.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
San Jose State
San Diego State
Nevada at UNLV, 6 p.m.
Air Force at New Mexico, 6 p.m.
Colorado State at Utah State, 6 p.m.
San Jose State at San Diego State, 6:30 p.m.
Wyoming at Fresno State, 7 p.m.
Boise State at Air Force, 1 p.m.
Utah State at Wyoming, 1 p.m.
Colorado State at Fresno State, 2 p.m.
UNLV at San Diego State, 2 p.m.
San Diego State at Nevada, 4 p.m.