Fresno State will try to rebound from a two-game skid in the Mountain West Conference women’s basketball race when it visits New Mexico at noon Saturday.
But the Bulldogs (14-11, 7-7) already are starting from behind. They will face the Lobos without starting shooting guard Tory Jacobs, who, per conference policy, will serve a one-game suspension after being whistled for a flagrant-2 technical foul in an overtime loss at San Jose State on Wednesday.
In the final minute, Jacobs got tangled up with the Spartans’ Jasmine Smith as they dueled for a rebound. An elbow caught Smith in the face, a flagrant foul was ruled and Jacobs was ejected.
The 5-foot-10 guard from Irving, Texas, averages 32 minutes per game in conference play, scoring 9.6 points with 3.1 assists per game.
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It’s been a rough week for Fresno State, which is coming off consecutive overtime losses that dropped the team into sixth in the conference standings, a half-game back of Boise State.
The Lobos (14-11, 9-5) are in third, but to gain ground, the Bulldogs will have to focus on slowing senior center Richelle van der Keijl and junior guard Cherise Beynon.
The 6-5 van der Keijl is averaging 14.3 points in her first year with the Lobos, scoring in double figures in 10 of 14 Mountain West games. In the conference opener at Fresno State, she scored 16 and pulled down seven rebounds in an 80-54 Lobos win.
Beynon, a 5-10 guard, leads New Mexico in scoring (15.9) and assists (6.6) and is pulling a second-best 7.0 rebounds per game.
The Bulldogs’ 1-2 punch of junior center Bego Faz Davalos and sophomore point guard Candice White lead the team in scoring, both averaging 14.8 points per game. Faz Davalos leads the conference in blocks (3.6) and defensive rebounds (7.2) per game while ranking eighth in steals (1.6).
FRESNO STATE AT NEW MEXICO
- Saturday: Noon at WisePies Arena in Albuquerque, N.M.
- Records: Bulldogs 14-11, 7-7 Mountain West; Lobos 14-11, 9-5 (lost 64-62 against Boise State on Wednesday)
- Series/last meeting: Tied 10-10. Lobos won 80-54 on Dec. 29 in Fresno.
- Webcast: Mountain West Network (themw.com)