The Fresno State women’s basketball team is hitting its stride at the right time.
Saturday afternoon, the Bulldogs moved into a tie for the Mountain West Conference lead while knocking off longtime nemesis Colorado State 56-45 at the Save Mart Center.
Fresno State has won seven of its last eight games.
San Jose State beat previously unbeaten New Mexico 95-86, leaving Fresno State (8-7, 3-1 MW) and New Mexico (15-2, 3-1) tied at the top of the conference standings.
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Colorado State (10-5, 2-2) fell into a tie with San Jose State, Boise State and Nevada in the jumbled early conference standings. And that group is trailing 2-1 teams Wyoming and UNLV.
More than any other MW team, Colorado State had the Bulldogs’ number, winning five straight and 14 of 21 overall in the series. The Rams’ most recent win over Fresno State was 66-64 in overtime last February in Fresno.
Colorado State is the four-time reigning conference regular-season champ and was picked third in the preseason poll but with heavy support (six first-place votes).
Besides quelling its Colorado State demons, the Bulldogs got off on the right foot in a run against the conference’s top teams. Coming into Saturday’s games, the Bulldogs were one of four teams with a winning record in the 11-team MW, and facing three straight games against the other conference leaders. Up next is a road trip Wednesday to Boise State and Saturday to New Mexico.
Fresno State pulled away from a 22-22 halftime tie, getting a 3-pointer by Aly Gamez with three seconds left in the third quarter for a 42-37 lead heading into the fourth.
Candice White scored 10 of her 24 points in that third quarter. She added 12 rebounds overall, but saw her perfect free throw shooting season end with a miss in the third quarter after making seven straight. She had made 68 straight dating back to last season, a Mountain West record and two shy of the NCAA Division I record of 70 set by Bowling Green’s Lauren Prochaska in 2011.
Gamez added 13 points and 12 rebounds.
FRESNO STATE WOMEN AT BOISE STATE
- Wednesday: 6 p.m. at Taco Bell Arena, Boise, Idaho
- Records: Bulldogs 8-7, 3-1 Mountain West; Broncos 8-7, 2-2
- Webcast: Mountain West Network (themw.com)
- Of note: Boise State was outscored by Wyoming 28-10 over the final 15 minutes of the first half Saturday and lost 66-51. Tess Amundsen, a Boise State freshman forward out of Clovis West High, scored eight while going 2-for-2 on 3-pointers. She played 17 minutes. Amundsen is averaging 4.0 points in nearly 10 minutes per game.