It was a bittersweet evening at Save Mart Center on Tuesday, with the Fresno State women’s basketball team upended by Boise State on Senior Night.
The Broncos (21-7, 11-6) outscored the Bulldogs 29-9 in the second quarter en route to a 66-48 win, their sixth straight in the Mountain West Conference.
The Bulldogs (15-13, 8-9) have lost four of their last five, and will settle for no better than the No. 7 seed at next week’s conference tournament in Las Vegas. Utah State sealed the sixth seed with its win against UNLV.
Fresno State trailed 15-12 to start the second quarter, only to see that deficit balloon to 23 at halftime.
Boise State went on a 14-0 run to open the quarter and made 12 straight baskets. Brooke Pahukoa led the Broncos, scoring 14 of her game-high 21 points in the second period.
“We just let that second quarter get away from us and it really was the predictor of the game,” Bulldogs head coach Jaime White said. “Pahukoa, you would’ve thought it was her senior night. She came in and knocked down shots and did a good job. We couldn’t seem to hang on to her.
“There was a time in the second quarter where we let them score 12 times in a row, and that’s embarrassing, actually, so that’s something we’ve really got to be focused on first.”
The Broncos led by as many as 28 in the third quarter before the Bulldogs eventually shaved the deficit to 54-44 on Candice White’s 3-pointer with 7:21 remaining in the fourth.
The comeback ended there, however, with the Broncos pulling away on a pair of 3s from Yaiza Rodriguez and Marta Hermida.
White led the Bulldogs with 16 points, including three 3-pointers and 5-for-5 on free throws.
Bego Faz Davalos added 11 points, moving her past 1,000 points in her career with 1,004. She is the 23rd player in Fresno State history to achieve the milestone.
After the game, Faz Davalos, who didn’t know she was nearing the mark until earlier this week, was presented with a game ball from her teammates and coaches.
“It was a really nice surprise,” the 6-foot-3 junior center said. “I’m grateful to have the opportunity to achieve that. It’s a dream come true and I’m really happy about it.”
Senior night goodbyes – Fresno State honored senior players Anais Kirvan, Kendra Martin and Emilie Volk in a pregame Senior Night ceremony. All three were in the starting lineup for their final home game.
After the game, the trio exchanged goodbyes with fans and friends, including former Bulldogs’ assistant coach Keith Ferguson, who was in the area recruiting (he’s the head coach at Bethany College in Kansas).
“It’s extremely special just the community we have here,” Volk said. “The fans are incredible. I’m so grateful to have gone all four years here. It’s hard to pinpoint just one thing. It’s all just a collection of special moments and special people that put in a lot of work to make things happen.
Added coach White: “We love her, and I know her teammates love her and I’ve never coached a kid that has just endured, is patient with us, and has done what we’ve told her, and I’m so proud of her this year, along with the other seniors which have had a great ride and gone through things of their own. As a coach, you’re extremely proud of all of that.”
FRESNO STATE AT UNLV
- Friday: 6 p.m. at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas
- Records: Bulldogs 15-13, 8-9 Mountain West; Rebels 20-9, 11-6 (lost Tuesday 58-49 against Utah State)
- Webcast: Mountain West Network (themw.com)