Fresno State Basketball

Bulldogs, Bakersfield both have programs on the rise – and they’ll meet Tuesday

Here’s some trivia for you: Name two of the eight West Coast men’s basketball programs that have made back-to-back postseason appearances (NCAA and/or NIT).

To see the answer, go to the Save Mart Center on Tuesday night.

Cal State Bakersfield, which followed a surprise trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2016 with a run last season to the NIT semifinals, visits Fresno State, which also did the NCAA/NIT double in 2016 and last season.

Fresno State (6-2) has won four straight and is looking to reestablish dominance in the “Battle for the 99.” The Bulldogs lead the series 9-5 and haven’t lost in five meetings at the Save Mart Center – but fell 71-63 last year in Bakersfield.

Tempo has been good for Fresno State, coming off a 106-70 victory Saturday at Long Beach State that marked the seventh time it has scored at least 75 points. It’s the first time since 1996-97 that the Bulldogs have enjoyed that kind of offensive start to the season.

How’re they doing it? Fresno State ranks in the top 30 in the nation in steals per game, fewest turnovers per game, field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage.

Bakersfield (4-5) has lost three straight – 75-72 to Central Michigan in the championship of the last Great Alaska Shootout, 75-66 at UCLA and 60-52 at home against Northern Arizona on Saturday night.

Up next

CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD AT FRESNO STATE

  • Tuesday: 7 p.m. at the Save Mart Center
  • Web/radio: Mountain West Network/KFIG (940 ESPN), 1600 (Spanish)
  • Records: Bulldogs 6-2, Roadrunners 4-5
  • Of note: Darrin Person Jr. out of Immanuel High is a freshman at Bakersfield who’s redshirting this season, the school said. The Roadrunners boast three players from Mississippi, plus Mississippi State transfer Fallou Ndoye, a 6-11 reserve.
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