Candice White scored a career-high 21 points, including a half-court buzzer-beater at the end of the first quarter, as the sophomore guard led Fresno State to a 63-45 nonconference victory against UC Irvine on Saturday to close out the Loyola Marymount Thanksgiving Classic.
White’s half-court heave banked off the glass to give the Bulldogs a 12-11 lead heading into the second quarter and sparked Fresno State’s offense.
Tory Jacobs hit a 3-pointer to start a 12-2 scoring run and the Bulldogs (3-2) never relinquished the lead.
Fresno State stretched UC Irvine’s zone defense, allowing junior center Bego Faz Davalos to find space inside to finish with 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting. She also had six rebounds and four assists, three blocks and one steal.
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Jacobs finished with 11 points while White added a team-best seven rebounds with three assists and three steals.
The Bulldogs went to a full-court press after halftime and that was the downfall for the Anteaters (0-5), who coughed up 12 of their 19 turnovers after the break.
UC Irvine missed six straight shots from the field as Fresno State’s lead grew to double digits. Shereen Sutherland had 12 points and nine boards to lead the Anteaters.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 19 in the fourth before securing the team’s first consecutive wins this young season following Friday’s victory against Belmont.
Freshman Zaria Branch scored the first points of her Fresno State career, making a short-range jumper in the final seconds.
The Bulldogs return to Save Mart Center for a nonconference game against San Francisco at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
FRESNO STATE VS. SAN FRANCISCO
- When: 7 p.m. Wednesday at Save Mart Center
- Records: Bulldogs 3-2, Dons 4-2
- Webcast: Mountain West Network (themw.com)