Fresno State needed to execute for a full 40 minutes to upset Mountain West leader Colorado State on Saturday, but the Bulldogs couldn’t hold on for the final 6 seconds.
The Rams (19-6, 11-2) forced overtime, then escaped with a 66-64 win while beating Fresno State for the fifth straight time.
With 5.2 seconds left in regulation, the Rams’ Myanne Hamm hit a 3-pointer to tie it 59-59 at Save Mart Center.
Colorado State then took its first lead, scoring four straight to open overtime. Fresno State (14-10, 7-6) rallied on consecutive baskets by point guard Candice White to take a 64-63 lead with 51 seconds remaining.
We did have the game and then the fourth quarter came.
Fresno State captain and senior guard Tory Jacobs
But again the Bulldogs could not finish it.
The Rams tied it on Hannah Tvrdy’s free throw and a few plays later Hamm provided another big play, forcing a jump ball to give her team possession with 11.4 seconds left.
Colorado State coach Ryun Williams took a timeout to move the ball past midcourt and called on reigning Mountain West Player of the Year Ellen Nystrom for the final play. With the ball in Nystrom’s hands, the 6-1 senior guard pulled up and knocked down a go-ahead jumper from just outside the paint with 2.1 to go.
Fresno State tried for a buzzer-beater, but White’s half-court shot missed its mark, ending the Bulldogs’ three-game winning streak.
The Bulldogs went on a 9-0 run in the first quarter and went into the halftime break with a seven-point lead. It was down to five to start the fourth quarter, then up to as many as eight before the Rams’ final surge forced the extra session.
“Slowly but surely, they cut the lead and when it came time to end the game, they were forced to hit a 3 and they did,” coach Jaime White said.
Nystrom scored eight of her team-high 18 points in the fourth as the Rams won for the first time at Save Mart Center. Elin Gustavsson added a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds. The teams did not play in Fresno last season.
Bego Faz Davalos had 13 points and nine rebounds for Fresno State. White had 18 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
“We did have the game and then the fourth quarter came,” captain and senior guard Tory Jacobs said. “They beat us on the boards. They got a lot of second-chance points opportunities. We didn’t box out. They ended up making shots and we weren’t.”
FRESNO STATE AT SAN JOSE STATE
- Wednesday: 7 p.m. at Event Center Arena
- Records: Bulldogs 14-10, 7-6; Spartans 8-16, 5-7 (lost 63-55 against UNLV on Saturday)
- Series/last meeting: Fresno State leads 56-20. Bulldogs won 88-74 on Jan. 7 in Fresno.
- Webcast: Mountain West Network (themw.com)