Fresno State Basketball

That’s a lot of 3s. Bulldogs’ persistency with outside shot pays off at New Mexico

Bulldogs bullish on scholarship donations

Tim Collins, hired in September as senior associate athletics director for development at Fresno State, addresses the program’s fundraising challenges.
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Tim Collins, hired in September as senior associate athletics director for development at Fresno State, addresses the program’s fundraising challenges.

Fresno State launched a season-high 37 shots from behind the arc Saturday at New Mexico.

And even though the Bulldogs weren’t making their 3-pointers with much precision early, coach Justin Hutson continued to encourage his players to fire away.

After misfiring on 14 of 21 attempts behind the arc during the first half, the Bulldogs drained 7 of 16 3-pointers after halftime and withstood a late Lobos charge for an 81-73 victory in Mountain West action at “The Pit.”

“We missed a lot of shots early on, but we hung in there,” Hutson said. “They were all good shots, even when we were missing them.

“I liked how the guys kept at it. And guys made some stops at the end.”

As a team, Fresno State finished 14 of 37 (37.8 percent) on 3-pointers.

Bulldogs senior Deshon Taylor scored a team-high 26 points and shot 5-of-8 behind the arc.

Braxton Huggins, who got into foul trouble early on, tallied 19 points while limited to 22 minutes. He shot 3-of-10 from downtown.

Fresno State’s biggest 3-pointer was its last attempt from beyond the arc, belonging to New Williams.

With Fresno State up 73-71, the junior guard took a pass from Huggins and sank a 3-pointer with 48 seconds left.

Fresno State (19-6, 10-3), of course, has relied heavily on its outside shot — but even more so Saturday.

The Bulldogs, who lead the Mountain West in 3-point percentage and 3-pointers made, moved to 28-5 in its last 33 games when making at least 10 3-pointers.

The Bulldogs also moved to 4-1 when attempting 30-plus 3-pointers. Their previous season-high was 34 3-point attempts during a 93-53 win against Tennessee-Martin back in December.

“That’s just how the shots presented itself,” Taylor said of Saturday’s 3-point shooting and attempts. “I know I didn’t want to pass up good shots.

“And I felt I had to put more of the scoring on my shoulder when Braxton got into foul trouble.”

New Mexico (11-14, 5-8), who received a game-high 30 points from Vance Jackson, had a narrow opportunity to get back in the game with 38 seconds left.

Huggins had just been called for a technical foul after one of his arms appeared to get tangled up during a rebound attempt, and he pushed New Mexico’s Corey Manigault after a whistle was blown.

But after Fresno State and New Mexico each made a pair of free throws, the Lobos committed a turnover on the ensuing possession as the ball bounced off the foot of dribbler Keith McGee.

The Bulldogs secured their sixth Mountain West win on the road, and remained tied with Utah State (20-6, 10-3) for second in the conference behind No. 7 Nevada (23-1, 10-1).

“We can win big games on the road,” Taylor said. “We’ve shown that a lot this season.

“We fought down tooth and nail for this one. Our guys brought it. And we got another one today.”

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