Everything that could have gone wrong for the Fresno State women’s basketball team just about did Friday night.
The Bulldogs (1-2) saw an 18-point lead vanish as Cal State Northridge (2-1) let it pour in from long range to come back and win 61-57 in a nonconference game at Save Mart Center.
It was the first time since 1975 that Fresno State lost to the Matadors They entered Friday having won 15 in a row while leading the all-time series 21-4.
“It’s hard to think they’re that much better than us,” Fresno State coach Jaime White said. “Of course, they played a good second half, but it’s hard for me to think that we shouldn’t have won that game. And with everything we have, we should’ve won that game.”
The Bulldogs jumped in front early, leading by 18 with 2:59 left in the second quarter, but their intensity and focus faded.
I think we have to be patient, and you know, the kids have got to play and kids are going to have their ups and downs. They’re going to miss shots. They’re going to make mistakes. We get that. But our effort should never waver (or) our intensity and our desire to win. I thought all those things wavered a little bit and that was disappointing.
Bulldogs coach Jaime White
Junior center Bego Faz Davalos was the one bright spot, pulling in a triple-double with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks. The rest of the Bulldogs shot a collective 28.3 percent (15 of 53) for the night, including just 11.1 percent (3 of 27) in the second half.
Starting sophomore guard Tory Jacobs was the only other Bulldog in double figures with 10 points while shooting just 4 of 16 – and only 1 of 9 after halftime.
“I need to know how to make shots in the second half,” Jacobs said. “We’re learning, but at this point we’ve been here all summer so we should know how to play.”
Junior center Bego Faz Davalos’ triple-double was the second in program history – she also recorded the first, against Cal State Stanislaus, on Dec. 8.
The poor shooting put the Bulldogs out of rhythm against a bigger, taller Northridge team that also had Fresno State beat on the outside. It was a similar problem the Bulldogs faced in their loss to Utah earlier in the week.
“It’s really frustrating,” White said. “Their size hurt us, their speed hurt us and I don’t think we had the intensity to match it in the second half.”
White said it’ll be back to the drawing board before the Bulldogs face Belmont on Friday and UC Irvine on Saturday at the Loyola Marymount Thanksgiving Classic. She mentioned potential lineup changes and simplifying the game plan.
Said Faz Davalos: “We definitely need to work harder and learn from this game. I think we need to be tough on ourselves to learn from it. We’re a good team; we just need to execute. That’s what we need to do.”
FRESNO STATE AT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT THANKSGIVING CLASSIC
- Friday: vs. Belmont, noon
- Saturday: vs. UC Irvine, 1 p.m.
- Records: Bulldogs 1-2, Bruins 1-2, Anteaters 0-3
- Webcast/radio: Mountain West Network (themwc.com)