Fresno State pulled a fast one Wednesday night at Wyoming, escaping with a 49-42 win in Laramie to stay undefeated in the Mountain West Conference.
For the sixth time in eight games, the Bulldogs (12-7, 8-0) trailed at halftime. And just like the previous five, they reversed course in the second half to get the victory.
“I just feel like we know how to come back,” senior co-captain Toni Smith said in a phone interview after the game. “It’s not that we want to be down at half, but we can feed off each other at crucial moments.”
Those crucial moments started in the third quarter, after Fresno State found itself down 33-25 after Natalie Baker’s three-pointer with 4:24 to go in the period. Baker finished with a game-high 16 points..
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When we came back out from halftime, we kept thinking if we get some stops here and capitalize that we’ll get back in it.
Bulldogs coach Jaime White, an ex-assistant under Wyoming’s Joe Legerski and now 4-0 at Fresno State vs. the Cowgirls
The Bulldogs made adjustments, switching between their zone and full-court press and the Cowgirls (10-9, 3-6) eventually crumbled.
After Baker’s three-pointer, Wyoming missed its next seven shots. The Bulldogs, in turn, made it a one-possession game on Smith’s putback with 1:26 left in the third quarter.
Marquelle Dent, Wyoming’s leading scorer and third-best in the conference at 18.2 points per game entering the night, was held to six on 2-of-12 shooting, including 0 for 4 from the three-point line. As a team, Wyoming shot 27.9 percent (17 of 61) from the field, including 22.2 percent (4 of 18) beyond the arc.
13blocks by Fresno State, six by Bego Faz Davalos and four by Brittany Aikens
The Cowgirls’ mistakes mounted in the fourth quarter, with four turnovers in a 5-minute stretch. Before that, they had committed just six.
Fresno State took advantage, an 8-0 run highlighted by Shauqunna Collins, who drove for a pair of layups that kissed off the glass.
Alex Furr made 4 of 4 at the line down the stretch. Smith scored seven of her team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter and added five rebounds.
We’re having different people make plays and that’s been the formula for us.
Bulldogs coach Jaime White
Bego Faz Davalos got her league-leading 10th double-double of the season, hauling down a game-high 15 rebounds to go with 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
Brittany Aikens got her third start of the season, getting the call at point guard for the second game in a row in place of Collins. Collins, who did not play Saturday against Air Force, had nine points in 23 minutes off the bench.
“We’re having different people make plays and that’s been the formula for us,” coach Jaime White said. “I really think it’s building a stronger team.”
28Points inside the paint for Fresno State of its 49 total
Fresno State returns to action Feb. 3 when San Jose State visits Save Mart Center.
“We’re getting into a pretty good routine,” White added. “Hopefully that equals positive things and we can get back to work next week and fine tune some things and be ready for San Jose.”
SAN JOSE STATE AT FRESNO STATE
- Feb. 3: 7 p.m. at Save Mart Center
- Records: Bulldogs 12-7, 8-0 Mountain West; Spartans 6-14, 4-7 (Lost 70-68 to Colorado State on Wednesday)
- Series: Fresno State leads 54-20
- Last meeting: Bulldogs won 59-54 in San Jose on Jan. 16
- Webcast/radio: Mountain West Network (themw.com)/KFPT (AM 790)