After a back-and-forth first half that saw 11 lead changes between Fresno State and Cal State Fullerton, the Bulldogs took command after halftime en route to a 57-52 nonconference win over the Titans on Sunday afternoon.
“We felt like we needed to put the ball on the ground and attack the basket,” said coach Jaime White. “We made (Cal State Fullerton) play our game.”
Seniors Alex Sheedy and Alex Furr sparked the second-half surge with aggressive post play and long-range shooting as the Bulldogs went on a 14-3 scoring run and never looked back.
Sheedy, who finished with a game-high 19 points, including 7 of 8 from the charity stripe, banked a short-range jumper off the glass and Furr drained a 3-pointer to give Fresno State its first double-digit lead of the game.
During that stretch, Sheedy forced her way in the paint for a layup and became the 22nd player in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark in a career.
During the following dead ball, a highlight reel of Sheedy played on the Save Mart Center video board as the crowd of 2,143 gave the four-year starter a standing ovation. After the game, Sheedy was presented with a game ball at center court by White.
“It was just such a huge milestone and I was so happy to get it.” Sheedy said. “This program has a long history and I’m honored to be part of that group. I know my team has a lot of faith in me so that’s always helpful.”
Despite a cold shooting night from long range for the Bulldogs — 16.7% (3 of 18) as a team — Furr was the lone hot shooter, making 3 of 6 from beyond the arc. She also was a perfect 5 of 5 from the free-throw line for 16 points while matching her career high with seven rebounds.
The Titans (3-6) gave the Bulldogs a scare in the final minutes, going on a 9-0 run to pull within three with 41 seconds to go.
From there, Fresno State took control as Sheedy blocked Chante Miles’ layup with 12 seconds left and grabbed the loose ball to keep the Bulldogs in front 55-52. Sheedy was fouled on the in-bounds pass and made both free throws to seal the first set of back-to-back victories for Fresno State since the first week of the season against Cal Poly and Cal State Stanislaus.
“Every moment of every game seems to be a teaching moment right now in this first year,” added White. “Every team that we play: 1, I feel like we can win it and 2, there’s going to be an opportunity to get better.”