In an almost perfect role reversal from the team’s previous meeting this season, Fresno State pulled the rug out from under Boise State to complete a 55-52 comeback win in overtime Friday night in front of 3,016 fans at Save Mart Center.
The Bulldogs (21-8, 13-5) wrapped up the No. 3 seed for next week’s Mountain West Conference Tournament and Tuesday will play the survivor of a first-round matchup between No. 11 Air Force and No. 6 Wyoming.
Fresno State and Boise State also went overtime in that earlier meeting, with the Broncos winning 75-66.
This time, the Broncos were in line in the game’s final seconds to win again, but the Bulldogs’ Alex Sheedy had another idea.
Trailing 48-45 with 2.5 seconds to play, Sheedy drilled the tying 3-pointer to force an extra session — a shot that personified her outing on Senior Night.
“That’s it,” the Bulldogs four-year starting forward said. “Doing that was amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever hit a shot to get into overtime or win the game here.”
The Australian made it known she wanted to take charge in that situation.
With 34 seconds remaining, the Bulldogs called a timeout, during which Sheedy told her teammates in the huddle to get the ball into her hands, vowing that she could get her shot off in time.
It didn’t happen on the first try, as a jumper bricked off the front of the rim, but Shauqunna Collins pulled down the rebound to give Fresno State a second chance.
With nothing happening offensively, coach Jaime White called a timeout with 16 seconds remaining.
Sheedy was the go-to again, but White didn’t like the way it looked and called her third and final timeout, this one with 11 seconds to go.
On the in-bounds, Alex Furr swung the ball to Raven Fox, who passed to Collins at the top of the perimeter, before Sheedy got it along the 3-point arc.
“It took us three times, but the girls found her and knocked it down,” White said.
The Bulldogs have experienced overtime “the hard way,” with extra-period losses to the Broncos and UNLV this season, she added.
“These kids did whatever it takes to be there in the end and made things happen. It’s a nice way to go out.”
The Bulldogs took control in overtime behind junior center Toni Smith, who powered her way inside to score six of her 16 points in the five-minute extra session. She also had six rebounds.
Sheedy finished with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting to go with eight rebounds, four steals, two assists and one block.
“I wasn’t even thinking; I was just zoned in on that play,” she said. “I’m just really happy we made that shot.”
“We just believed in each other and gutted it out.”