Impressive debuts highlighted Fresno State’s victory over Biola in a women’s basketball season opener Friday night at Save Mart Center.
Tory Jacobs and Candice White scored 16 and 13 points as the Bulldogs won 71-50.
Jacobs, a redshirt sophomore transfer from Minnesota, started at shooting guard and sparked the offense with three first-half 3-pointers.
“It felt really good to get out there. I’ve been waiting for a whole year,” Jacobs said. “I’m excited for the season and to see how it goes since we’re all new.”
White started at the point and also showed her range scoring nine of the Bulldogs’ 18 points in the first quarter.
Alongside returning starters center Bego Faz Davalos and forward Breanne Knishka, they helped fueled Fresno State to a 19-point lead in the second quarter.
“I thought we started the game well and did a good job executing in the zone (defense),” third-year coach Jaime White said.
I do believe that this team was able to answer every time they needed to and that's really important.
Fresno State coach Jaime White on the Bulldogs up-and-down opening night
Senior Kendra Martin was the other starting forward. Martin shared minutes with Emilie Volk, who had nine points and six rebounds off the bench.
The Bulldogs displayed their strengths but also showed lapses against the NAIA Eagles, including turning the ball over 19 times.
The Bulldogs made 7-of-11 3-pointers in the first half, but went 0-for-7 the rest of the way.
“As a coach, you want things to be perfect and they’re not going to be, but I do believe that this team was able to answer every time they needed to and that’s really important,” White said.
Despite the second-half drought, White is confident the new offense will improve as the season continues.
“The entire guard line can knock it down, and that’s nice because of the zone, which we struggled with last year when we were faced with having to score outside,” she said. “I feel confident in everybody as long as we’re getting the ball and getting a little window.”
Leading by 20 in the second half, the Bulldogs emptied their bench as White hopes to develop more depth this season. Biola (3-1) played the game as an exhibition.
Katelin Noyer, a 6-4 freshman center, scored four points in eight minutes and sophomore guard Raven Johnson added nine, going 4 for 4 from the free-throw line.
“We’re trying to find that substitute rotation,” White added. “I do think the rotation over the long run is really important and that all 10 are getting valuable minutes and getting better over the year.”
FRESNO STATE VS. UTAH
- Tuesday: 7 p.m. at Save Mart Center
- 2015-16 records: Bulldogs 22-12, 15-3 Mountain West; Utes 18-15, 8-10 Pac-12
- Webcast/radio: Mountain West Network (themwc.com)/KFPT (790 AM)
- Of note: Utah was opening at home vs. Montana State on Saturday night.