After last week’s loss that ended Fresno State’s 13-game winning streak, the Bulldogs took some time to evaluate themselves.
Without a game Saturday, coach Jaime White said her women’s basketball team got re-focused on improving during the second round of the Mountain West regular season.
“It’s not that we had a loss,” the first-year Bulldogs coach said. “It’s just that we’ve got to stay together and we’ve got to get better.”
In the 56-51 loss to San Jose State a week ago, the Bulldogs coughed up 25 turnovers and had difficulty finishing in transition. Even then, they still had opportunities to reverse the outcome late in the second half but couldn’t beat a hungry San Jose State team.
“We can’t settle on being pretty good,” White said. “That’s where it lies. That’s the reality.”
The Bulldogs (17-4, 9-1 MW), who hold a one-game conference lead on second-place Colorado State (17-5, 9-2) with eight games to go, have had some good practices since then heading into their matchup at 7 p.m. Wednesday against UNLV at Save Mart Center.
“This week we’re narrowed in and focused,” White said.
The Bulldogs host the Rebels (8-13, 5-5) in their annual Pink Out Game for breast cancer awareness and put their one remaining streak on the line: a 17-game home winning streak dating to last season.
UNLV has struggled on the road, going 2-8 in 10 games so far, with its only wins at San Jose State in overtime and at Air Force.
The Rebels are coming off a 55-43 loss to visiting Colorado State on Saturday and is led by senior Danielle Miller, who leads the conference in scoring at 18.4 points per game.
Senior forward Alana Cesarz averages 14.9 points per game, ranking seventh in the league and making UNLV one of two teams with two players in the 10 in scoring. Cesarz is also the league’s second-best rebounder, averaging 7.9 per game and helping the Rebels to lead the conference in offensive rebounds (17.1).
“We need to defend everywhere on the floor,” White said. “We need to defend the drive and defend the 3 very well.”
“This is the most important game we’re thinking of,” she added. “If we take it one game at time, we’ll be all right.”
Rebel returns to Valley
Former Hanford High standout and Brooke Johnson returns to the Valley with the Rebels.
The 5-foot-11 freshman guard/forward has played in all 21 games, including nine starts, for UNLV. Johnson, a three-time Fresno Bee All-Star and the 2014 co-Player of the Year, is averaging 20.9 minutes and 4.6 points per game.