Fresno State Basketball

Fresno State shows aggression in bounce-back hoops win vs. Lamar

Fresno State’s Jaron Hopkins hit 9 of 18 shots while scoring 23 points in the Bulldogs’ 83-64 win over Lamar.
Fresno State’s Jaron Hopkins hit 9 of 18 shots while scoring 23 points in the Bulldogs’ 83-64 win over Lamar.

Paul Watson cocked his arm and skied for a tomahawk dunk, shooting a brief glance toward the floor where his victim waited helplessly.

The thunderous slam over Lamar’s Dorian Chatman capped a pivotal 13-0 run as Fresno State pulled away in an 83-64 nonconference victory Saturday afternoon before an announced crowd of 5,269 at Save Mart Center.

Showcasing their explosiveness and athleticism through much of the second half, the Bulldogs (2-1) found redemption after an 84-78 head-scratching loss to Prairie View A&M earlier in the week.

“We knew coming in, (Lamar was) the type of team we needed to make decisive plays,” coach Rodney Terry said. “When guys go to the basket, they needed to go with authority and go with the intent of finishing.

“It really helped us have a great day today.”

And the victory came against a Lamar team (2-1) coming off a 63-60 win against Oregon State, which made the NCAA Tournament last season.

I was really pleased with our effort and energy. That was one thing we didn’t have (against Prairie View A&M).

Coach Rodney Terry on Fresno State’s 83-64 win against Lamar

“I was really pleased with our effort and energy,” Terry added. “That was one thing we didn’t have (against Prairie View A&M). We came out with great intensity defensively.”

Watson finished with 17 points, including two dunks and 10 points in the second half .

Point guard Jaron Hopkins stepped up his game after halftime, too, showing more aggressiveness to the paint.

He scored 17 of his 23 points, which included two dunks, after the break to go along with five steals.

Watson and Hopkins notched five and six points during Fresno State’s key run after Lamar reduced its deficit to 61-57 with 7:30 remaining. The Cardinals trailed 38-14 at halftime and by as many as 20 on the day.

“Just don’t get riled up,” Watson said of Lamar’s 7-1 run that brought the Cardinals within four. “We kept our composure. We got back to what we needed to do and stayed poised and executed our offense.”

Fresno State guard Jahmel Taylor hit 6 of 8 shots, including 4 of 6 3-point attempts, and finished with a career-high 16 points.

The Bulldogs also received a career outing from center Terrell Carter II.

Matched up most of the day against a 6-foot-5 defender, Fresno State’s 6-foot-10, 290-pound center Terrell Carter II registered a career-high 15 points.

Matched up most of the day against 6-foot-5, 218-pound Colton Weisbrod, Carter, at 6-10, 290, scored 10 of his career-high 15 points during the first half and finished with six rebounds.

The junior had been a nonfactor in the Bulldogs’ first two games this season, mustering a combined four points and one rebound.

“He stayed very positive during some adversity to start the season,” Terry said. “We knew at some point it was going to click for him and give us the night we expect from him on a nightly basis.”

56.6 Fresno State field-goal percentage that led to a season-high in points against a Lamar team that held its first two opponents to 38.1 percent shooting and an average of 53.5 points.

Fresno State established a season-high in points and shot 56.6 percent as a team thanks in part to good spacing and ball movement against a Cardinals defense that held its first two opponents to 38.1 percent shooting and an average of 53.5 points.

“We played well – that was the most important part,” Hopkins said. “We’re getting better and we see it every day.”

Bryant-Jon Anteola: (559) 441-6362, @Banteola_TheBee

Up next

FRESNO STATE AT CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD

  • Tipoff: 7 p.m. Tuesday at Icardo Center (3,497)
  • Records: Bulldogs 2-1, Roadrunners 1-1 (pending Saturday night game vs. UC Santa Barbara)
  • Radio: KFIG (AM 940)
  • Of note: Cal State Bakersfield reached the NCAA Tournament last season. The Bulldogs defeated the Roadrunners 76-68 on Dec. 16, 2015.

FRESNO STATE 83, LAMAR 64

Lamar

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

F

Pt

Nzeakor

15

2-3

2-4

1

4

6

Weisbrod

34

4-13

2-5

6

2

10

Frenchwood

21

2-5

0-0

3

4

5

Noel

14

2-4

0-0

2

4

5

Owens

35

2-6

2-2

8

1

8

Garth

29

3-9

2-2

4

1

8

Chatman

18

3-7

0-1

2

3

6

McGee

16

3-4

3-3

2

2

10

Albright

12

2-6

0-0

0

1

5

Bosha

4

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Hubby

1

0-0

1-2

1

1

1

Atwood

1

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Davis

--

-

-

0

Totals

200

23-57

12-19

29

23

64

Percentages: FG .404, FT .632. 3-Point Goals: 6-23, .261 (Owens 2-6, McGee 1-2, Noel 1-3, Albright 1-4, Frenchwood 1-4, Garth 0-4). Team Rebounds: 2. Team Turnovers: 13 (11 PTS). Blocked Shots: 0. Turnovers: 13 (Chatman 3, Noel 3, Weisbrod 3, Owens 2, Frenchwood, Nzeakor). Steals: 6 (Frenchwood 2, McGee, Noel, Nzeakor, Weisbrod). Technical Fouls: None.

Fresno State

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

F

Pt

Russo

22

0-2

2-2

4

3

2

Williams

13

0-1

1-2

1

3

1

Hopkins

35

9-18

5-6

5

1

23

J.Taylor

29

6-8

0-1

2

1

16

Watson

32

5-8

5-5

6

3

17

Carter

26

7-9

1-3

6

2

15

Bittner

18

1-1

0-0

4

4

2

D.Taylor

16

1-4

2-2

3

1

5

McWilliams

7

1-2

0-0

0

0

2

Grimes

2

0-0

0-2

1

1

0

Totals

200

30-53

16-23

32

19

83

Percentages: FG .566, FT .696. 3-Point Goals: 7-18, .389 (J.Taylor 4-6, Watson 2-5, D.Taylor 1-4, McWilliams 0-1, Hopkins 0-2). Team Rebounds: 2. Team Turnovers: 10 (15 PTS). Blocked Shots: 3 (Hopkins, Russo, Watson). Turnovers: 10 (D.Taylor 3, J.Taylor 2, Watson 2, McWilliams, Russo, Williams). Steals: 8 (Hopkins 5, D.Taylor, J.Taylor, Watson). Technical Fouls: None.

Lamar

24

40

64

Fresno State

38

45

83

A—5,269 (15,544).

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