The Fresno State women’s basketball team hopes to take another step forward in its second-to-last home game of the regular season Wednesday night.
After bouncing back from a four-game losing streak with a 64-55 victory against Utah State on Feb. 21, the Bulldogs have their sights set on a strong finish in the Mountain West Conference — and gaining some momentum heading into the conference tournament in Las Vegas.
“We definitely turned the page and feel like we’re back to our old selves,” first-year coach Jaime White said.
“We’re excited and challenged by making a run here at the end. We want to go into the tournament feeling good about how we’re playing and where we’re seeded.”
If the regular season ended today, Fresno State (18-7, 10-4 Mountain West) would be the No. 3 seed in the tournament behind No. 1 Colorado State (20-6, 12-3) and No. 2 New Mexico (15-11, 11-4).
Four games remain for the Bulldogs to change that, with Wyoming up first at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Save Mart Center.
The Cowgirls (13-11, 8-6) have won four straight and six of their past seven — but none were against a top-five team in the conference. Wyoming is 1-6 against the league’s top five, winning at Boise State 64-59 on Jan. 10.
The Bulldogs squeaked by Wyoming 66-65 last month the program’s first victory in Laramie. Shauqunna Collins, who finished with a career-high 26 points, scored the eventual winning points on a layup with less than 5 seconds left.
The Bulldogs own the league’s best 3-point defense (holding opponents to just 27.8% of their attempts), while the Cowgirls are the best from long range, averaging 7.8 3-pointers per game at a 36.7% clip (187 of 510) for the season.
Wyoming’s attack comes from its three leading scorers — Marquelle Dent (17.2 points per game), Kayla Woodward (15.6 ppg) and Kaitlyn Mileto (12.0 pgg). All three are shooting at least 39% on 3-pointers, with Woodward leading the team at 41.8% (56 of 134). Woodward, a senior guard, is also averaging 7.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game.
“We’re focusing on defense,” Fresno State senior guard Raven Fox said. “That’s our game plan. Defending, staying aggressive and trying to do what we do best. … We’re coming ready to play. We still have quite a bit we want to accomplish.”