Aly Gamez made two 3-pointers in the final 6.6 seconds to lift the Fresno State women’s basketball team to an improbable 74-72 victory over host UNLV on Wednesday night at Cox Pavilion.
Instead of slipping into the middle of the pack in the Mountain West Conference, the Bulldogs rose to 5-3, squarely in the hunt for the top of the standings. Wyoming (7-1), Boise State (6-3) and UNLV (5-2) lead Fresno State. Next up for the Bulldogs is a date Saturday at Utah State, which lost 57-50 to last-place Air Force on Wednesday. Then the Bulldogs play Air Force at home on Monday in a makeup of the game canceled last week because of the federal shutdown.
Fresno State looked down and out several times in the fourth quarter at UNLV, the last time with 20 seconds left when Brooke Johnson made two free throws to put the Rebels ahead 72-68.
Worse, it took 14-plus seconds for Fresno State to get off a shot. Fortunately, Gamez made a 3-pointer.
Gamez got the clock stopped 1 second later with a foul. Turned out, she fouled the right person. Guard Nikki Wheatley, a 70.8 percent free throw shooter coming in and 4 of 6 in the game, missed both foul shots. Breanne Knishka secured the rebound for the Bulldogs and got the ball to Gamez, who raced upcourt and beat the buzzer with her winning shot.
Gamez, a freshman from Texas, finished with a career-high 25 points on 9-of-11 shooting including 6 of 6 on 3-pointers. Candice White scored 12, Kristina Cavey 10 and Knishka nine. Wheatley led the Rebels with 19.
UNLV coach Kathy Oliver complimented Gamez: “She’s fearless and just outplayed us.”