Fresno State finally got the start it had been longing for Wednesday.
With 7:40 to go in the first quarter, senior forward Kendra Martin hit a go-ahead 3 to start a 9-0 scoring run en route to the Bulldogs’ 63-40 blowout win against Air Force at Save Mart Center.
The Falcons zeroed in early on junior center Bego Faz Davalos, alternating a tight man-to-man press between Kailin Davis and Darby Glaab. However, Fresno State had an answer as six other Bulldogs found the basket in the opening period, a welcome adjustment for head coach Jaime White.
I thought we did a really good job in the first quarter being ready to start. We ran our stuff and knocked down some shots.
Bulldogs coach Jaime White
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“I think it’s nice to play in chaos some times, and just be able to play, make plays, and go one-on-one some at times,” White said after the game.
Faz Davalos eventually found her way back into the fold in the second quarter, where she scored eight of her 14 points. She also pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season.
I’m confident my teammates are going to score. I’m confident I’m going to score. I just have to look for it, and be patient, and know that it will work.
Fresno State junior center Bego Faz Davalos, on finding the basket
Air Force crawled its way back, trimming a 12-point second-quarter deficit to five in the third before the Bulldogs were able to ground the Falcons for good with some help from their underclassmen.
With 4:01 left in the third quarter, freshman Kristina Cavey and sophomore Candice White dropped back-to-back 3-pointers to double Fresno State’s lead.
“I think that was the dagger,” Jaime White said.
The Bulldogs then stretched their lead with a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter. White finished with 14 points to go with five assists and three steals. Cavey added nine points and three rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench.
Davis finished with 15 points and Mariah Forde added 11 to lead the Falcons, who dropped their fifth straight.
The victory marks the first consecutive wins in conference this season for the Bulldogs, who are feeling confident ahead of a two-game road trip at Boise State (12-3, 2-2) and Colorado State (11-5, 3-1).
“‘If we work hard, good things will happen,’ that’s something coach White always preaches and I think we’re actually starting to buy into that process and buy into that saying,” point guard Candice White said.
FRESNO STATE VS. BOISE STATE
- Saturday: 1 p.m. at Taco Bell Arena
- Records: Bulldogs 10-6, 3-2 Mountain West; Broncos 12-3, 2-2 (Lost 84-77 to San Diego State on Jan. 7)
- Series/last meeting: Fresno State leads 24-10; Bulldogs won 62-57 on Jan. 9, 2016 in Fresno.
- Webcast/radio: Mountain West Network (themw.com)