The Fresno State women’s basketball team stumbled out of the gate Tuesday, losing to host Northern Arizona 86-73 in the season-opener.
The game start was unusually early, 11:30 a.m. as part of an annual field day for Flagstaff Unified students on the Northern Arizona campus.
Maybe that’s what caught up to the Bulldogs, who came in off a 17-15 finish to last season plus a high-scoring preseason – averaging 91 points in three August exhibitions in Europe then blasting Cal State Dominguez Hills 102-49 in last week’s exhibition at home.
Northern Arizona outscored Fresno State 25-12 in the second quarter for a 49-36 halftime lead. Consecutive baskets by Maddi Utti early in the fourth quarter got the Bulldogs within 69-63 before NAU stretched its lead again.
Utti finished with 25 points and seven rebounds. Candice White scored 18 and Kristina Cavey 10. Utti shot 11 of 16 from the field; the rest of the team combined for 17 of 56.
Fresno State is off a week before the home opener Nov. 14 against Cal Poly, 7 p.m. at the Save Mart Center.