As soon as the Fresno State women’s basketball team appeared to find a rhythm Tuesday night, Utah changed the beat of the drum to win 65-55at Save Mart Center.
The Bulldogs (1-1) took a small lead early, but a string of three fouls in a five-second span by Bego Faz Davalos, Breanne Knishka and Tory Jacobs gave the Utes the momentum, which they never gave up.
The Utes (2-0) scored 10 straight points over the next 1:02, and little by little dashed Fresno State’s confidence.
Fresno State (1-1) next hosts Cal State Northridge (1-1) at 7 p.m. Friday on Fresno State Clubs Night. Bulldogs club sports and other campus organizations will be recognized.
Utah kept the pressure high, double-teaming Faz Davalos inside to throw a wrench in the Bulldogs offense, which was unable to alleviate the pressure on the junior center.
“Yeah, it’s a little frustrating. But we know it’s going to happen, so we practice for it,” Faz Davalos said of the double-team.
Fresno State tried to kick the ball out to the perimeter – but when the Bulldogs did, they couldn’t knock down their shots.
The Bulldogs shot just 3 of 17 in the first quarter and finished the game 17 of 62 (27.4 percent). The starting lineup combined to hit just 12 of 46 (26.1 percent). The poor shooting saw Fresno State go through three offensive droughts, each resulting in Utah scoring runs of 10 points or more.
Tanaeya Boclair scored a game-high 16 points to lead Utah, while 6-foot-6 center Emily Potter added 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Paige Crozon had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards.
Faz Davalos led the Bulldogs with 12 points and 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season. Candice White added 12 points, including 8 of 8 from the charity stripe, and freshman Kristina Cavey added 11 points and seven rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench.
We had some fumbling drives and sloppy passes, just execution in general. Utah is a team that is good, but not so good that should make us play that way.
Bulldogs coach Jaime White
“I just feel like with this new group, once we get in sync a little bit, it’ll be like clockwork,” third-year Bulldogs coach Jaime White said. “We definitely have to prepare for the double-team, but that’s not a bad thing because I think this year it’s going to be hard who to double off of, whether it’s Tory, Kristina or Breanne.”
The Bulldogs are searching for a consistent rotation, and White said it’ll be at least another week before they find their identity on the court. The Bulldogs host Cal State Northridge at 7 p.m. Friday.
“I would say I would like it to be three or four games, but it depends on how the team responds,” White said. “We have two days in between games, so it depends on how they respond to scout and how they respond to this little bit of adversity. We need our newcomers; we need some of those young kids to be ready. We need Kendra (Martin) to be ready and rebound. I feel like we did not rebound great tonight, and that was frustrating.”
The Utes outrebounded the Bulldogs 49-42.
“It’s the game – it just ebbs and flows, and I just think we needed more positives,” White added. “I think that’s the biggest frustration, is everyone not on the same page yet.”
FRESNO STATE VS. CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
- Friday: 7 p.m. at Save Mart Center
- Records: Bulldogs 1-1, Matadors 1-1
- Webcast/radio: Mountain West Network (themwc.com)/ KFPT (AM 790)