After a shaky run through nonconference play, the Fresno State women’s basketball team has a new air of confidence amid a 2-0 start in the Mountain West that includes a double-overtime win at New Mexico.
The Bulldogs (6-7, 0-2) salvaged the victory Saturday across the two extra periods by combining tough defense with big shots from seniors Moriah Faulk, Toni Smith and Alex Furr, the latter of whom also went a perfect 10 for 10 from the free-throw line. Furr is 28 for 28 dating to the Cal Poly game on Dec. 5
I think it was everything a college basketball game should be, although I didn’t really want to go to two overtimes. In New Mexico, the odds are against you, but our team did a good job of staying the course.
Coach Jaime White on Fresno State’s double-overtime win at New Mexico
The win ended a four-game skid as a visiting team for Fresno State (which had won a game on a neutral court) and also reversed a trend of losing close games. It was the second consecutive win decided by a four points: 58-54 against UNLV and 69-65 at New Mexico.
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Against nonconference opponents, the Bulldogs were 0-3 in games decided by four or less and 1-5 in games decided by 10 or less.
The Bulldogs’ first two conference wins came against teams selected to finish in the Mountain West’s top five – UNLV (fifth) and New Mexico (second). Fresno State was picked fourth.
The Bulldogs can make it three wins in a row Wednesday, when they march into Reno for a conference game against Nevada at 6:30 p.m.
The Wolf Pack (1-12, 0-2) have lost four in a row. Nevada’s only win was a 57-51 victory against NCAA Division II San Francisco State. But that doesn’t mean the Bulldogs are taking the road trip lightly
Fresno State had to break free from a closely fought game at halftime (27-21) before winning 62-44 in Reno a year ago. In addition to their 1-4 road start, the Bulldogs overall have yet to win more than two games in a row.
Fresno State has won 17 of the last 19 against Nevada dating to Feb. 8, 2007.
“Every game is important, especially on the road,” coach Jaime White said. “The score might not say it, but this was one of the hardest games on the road last year. We’ve got to focus on what’s right in front of our nose. We don’t have the luxury of looking ahead and I don’t think we ever will.”
Nevada is paced by senior forward Nyasha LeSure, who posted a career-high 24 points in a 68-53 loss at Wyoming on Saturday. She leads the team in scoring (13.2) and rebounding (6.0).
FRESNO STATE AT NEVADA
- Wednesday: 6:30 p.m. at Lawlor Events Center in Reno
- Records: Bulldogs 6-7, 2-0 Mountain West; Wolf Pack 1-12, 0-2
- Series: Fresno State leads 38-10. Last meeting: Bulldogs won 62-44 on Jan. 24, 2015 in Reno.
- Internet: Mountain West Network (www.themwc.com)