Fresno State had to return to Save Mart Center to find a groove and win its first back-to-back Mountain West women’s basketball games of the season.
The Bulldogs (10-6, 3-2) handed Air Force a 63-40 blowout on Wednesday after beating San Jose State over the weekend.
Now, they’re aiming to make it three in a row in conference play when they visit Boise State (12-3, 2-2) Saturday.
To do that, Fresno State will need to come out against the Broncos with the same spark it started with against the Falcons (2-12, 0-4).
Air Force early on locked down junior center Bego Faz Davalos, but six other Bulldogs found the basket in the opening period. Senior forward Kendra Martin hit a 3-pointer, triggering a 9-0 run for a lead they would never relinquish.
Faz Davalos got into the mix in the second quarter, scoring eight of her 14 points. She finished with a game-high 14 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season.
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. The Bulldogs widened that margin with a 12-0 run in the fourth. 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.
“Hopefully we can take that intensity level we played at tonight and bring it again on Saturday,” head coach Jaime White said.
“It was nice to have the back-to-back home games, and we felt like that if we made sure we didn’t drop those games, that can put you back when they look at the standings in the tournament,” she added. “We felt like this is one where we’ve got to come out and play hard and be able to adapt. I felt good about that.”
Boise State has dropped two straight in conference play and had a bye Wednesday. White said she wasn’t sure if either factors will hurt or help the Bulldogs.
“It’s funny because when you’re on our side, you don’t think it is (beneficial) and if you have the bye, you don’t think it is either. It’s kind of a Catch-22,” she said.
Nonetheless, a young Fresno State squadron is finally starting to see the fruits of its labor after five games in conference where its only losses have come to the two best teams (Wyoming 12-3, 4-0; New Mexico 8-7, 4-1), according to starting point guard Candice White.
“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.”
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)