Fresno State Basketball

Huggins goes for 30 and Bulldogs overcome poor shooting to take down Wyoming 71-60

Fresno State makes it 20 wins with 71-60 over Wyoming in Fresno

Fresno State makes it 20 wins with 71-60 over Wyoming in Fresno
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Fresno State makes it 20 wins with 71-60 over Wyoming in Fresno

With a 71-60 victory Wednesday over Wyoming, the Fresno State Bulldogs got win No. 20 and clinched a first-round bye next month at the Mountain West Conference Tournament.

And, while there were a few hints they could win out after a bye this weekend and secure a No. 3 seed, they were hidden behind a wall of missed shots.

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Fresno State forward Nate Grimes, center, grabs a rebound in the Bulldogs’ 71-60 victory over the Wyoming Cowboys Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019 in Fresno. Grimes 15 points and 14 rebounds in the win, his 11th double-double and 10th in Mountain West play. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA ezamora@fresnobee.com

The Bulldogs got 30 points from Braxton Huggins, and Nate Grimes had his 11th double-double this season with 15 points and 14 rebounds

Deshon Taylor had another solid game with 16 points, five rebounds and five assists

But as a team, Fresno State hit just 24 of 65 shots (36.9 percent), including 12 of 41 from the 3-point line.

The Bulldogs got just two points off the bench, three reserves going a combined 1 of 10. They had 15 offensive rebounds, but only nine second-chance points

They also had stretches of poor shooting, including 0 of 8, 0 of 6, 1 of 7 and 0 of 8. And there wasn’t overlap in any of those cold stretches.

“It wasn’t any of us individually,” coach Justin Hutson said. “It was us as a group. We need everybody to play good. If we’re going to go where we want to go, everybody has to step up and play good.

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Fresno State’s Noah Blackwell, left, and Braxton Huggins, right, shake hands after a play in a 71-60 victory over Wyoming Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019 in Fresno. The win was the Bulldogs’ 20th this season and secured a first-round bye next month at the Mountain West Conference Tournament. The Bulldogs are 20-8, 11-5 in conference play. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA Fresno Bee file

“It’s a long season, especially for some guys, and we talked about inexperience. You know, there are some guys that haven’t played this long, this many minutes, and come to practice and have that weight on their shoulders. Our seniors have done that before.

“So these couple of days off that we’ll have – this bye is great.”

The last time Fresno State (20-8, 11-5 in the MW) won when hitting 38 percent or less was almost a year to the day: Feb. 26, 2018 at Air Force, a 54-48 victory despite shooting 33.9 percent.

Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada
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