Bad shooting from Fresno State and the opposite for UC Riverside led to an 86-68 season-opening loss for the Bulldogs on Friday afternoon – the Highlanders’ first series win in more than 40 years.
UC Riverside last beat Fresno State on Feb. 24, 1973, a 38-23 win. The Bulldogs entered 11-1 all-time, including a 73-61 victory last season.
The Highlanders closed the first quarter with a 12-2 run and cruised from there behind Annelise Ito, Brittany Crain and Réjane Verin, who combined for 54 points. UC Riverside shot 43 percent from the field, including 6 of 12 beyond the arc.
Fresno State was 1 for 12 on three-pointers and hit 36 percent overall.
Ito scored seven and added six rebounds in the first quarter before finishing with a game-high 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
The second quarter was worse, as the Bulldogs were held to 11 points while the Highlanders built a 20-point lead. Crain scored 10 of her 18 points in the quarter.
Four Bulldogs scored in double figures, with sixth-year senior Alex Furr topping the list with 15 points. Redshirt sophomore Bego Faz Davalos fell just short of a double double, collecting 11 rebounds to go with her nine points.
The Bulldogs make their regular-season home debut at 7 p.m. Tuesday against NCAA Division II Fresno Pacific.