Fresno State and Cal State Monterey Bay played a little basketball on Monday at the Save Mart Center, a game that counted for the Bulldogs and was an exhibition for the Otters, a Division II program playing up.
It was not close, and shouldn’t have been, with Bryson Williams, Ray Bowles Jr. and Nate Grimes dominating around the basket at both ends of the floor in a 93-56 victory that fattened up the stats but still left open any questions out there after getting run over in the second half of a loss to Oregon two days earlier.
“Our mindset and our focus was to just come out and play hard (defense), play Bulldog basketball and play for 40 minutes. We had to come out and bring it to them,” said Williams, who scored 30 points in just 22 minutes on the floor.
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Fresno State (10-3) pumped the ball inside to Williams early, the 6-foot-8 forward scoring 12 points in the first seven minutes, 16 in the first half.
Williams hit 14 of 17 shots, eight on layups or dunks. Bowles scored 16 points, with six of his seven baskets at the rim on layups or dunks. Grimes had a double-double with 10 points and 17 rebounds along with four blocks, the Bulldogs outrebounding the Otters 49-21.
The 17 rebounds by Grimes tied a Fresno State Save Mart Center record set in 2006 by Quinton Hosley against Utah State, a 99-96 victory in double overtime. Paul Millsap (Louisiana Tech) set the record that same season with 18.
Against Cal State Monterey Bay, which had not played a Division I team this season, it really was just exercise. But there was a point to it, which needed some reinforcement after the Bulldogs blew a 10-point lead in losing to the Ducks.
“We’ve tried to say for a better part of the first part of the year here that we were playing faceless opponents and it’s about us trying to improve the things that we need to get better with,” coach Rodney Terry said.
“We weren’t very good on the glass the other day, one of the few outings this year we weren’t very good on the glass. Oregon, they did a nice job offensive rebounding, and we’ve won the rebounding battle the better part of the year. We wanted to come out and try to establish a good tone on defense, sit down and try to guard and get back to having pressure up the floor like we’ve had for a better part of the season”
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada
NEVADA AT FRESNO STATE
- Wednesday, Dec. 27: 7 p.m. at Save Mart Center
- TV/radio: ESPN3/KFIG (940 ESPN), KGST (1600 ESPN Deportes)
- Records: Bulldogs 10-3, Wolf Pack 9-2
- Of note: Nevada has a game against UC Davis on Tuesday and will play Southern Illinois and San Francisco in a tournament in Las Vegas before the Christmas break. The Wolf Pack were picked to win the Mountain West Conference in a preseason media poll and have been led by forward Jordan Caroline and twins Caleb and Cody Martin. Caroline started the week averaging a double-double with 18.1 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. Caleb Martin is scoring 18.2 points per game and Cody Martin is a 15.2. The Bulldogs won both regular-season meetings with Nevada last season, but lost in the semifinals of the Mountain West Tournament 83-72.