Fresno State Basketball

Fresno State men’s basketball: Harris and a lot of help power ’Dogs to victory at New Mexico

AP

There was a stretch in the second half, midway through, where Fresno State put the ball in the hands of Marvelle Harris and New Mexico got a bit mixed up defending ball screens, giving him a nice head start at the rim.

The senior guard took that open invitation to drive the ball, kicking off a decisive run with two layups and a trip to the foul line in a 92-82 victory over the Lobos on Saturday at WisePies Arena aka The Pit in Albuquerque.

The victory was huge for the Bulldogs in a number of ways.

They got to 20 wins during the regular season for the first time since 2006-07, now 20-9 and 11-5 and in second place in the Mountain West. They clinched a bye in the first round of the conference tournament. And with two games remaining, they became the hottest team in the conference, winning for the sixth time in their past seven games.

“Feels pretty good,” Harris said.

But there was far more to it and that could bode well for the Bulldogs, who have a chance to win out with 7-8 Colorado State visiting Save Mart Center on Wednesday and a trip to 6-10 Utah State to end the regular season.

Harris had 32 points and a career-high tying 10 assists. But Julien Lewis added a season-high 21 points, hitting 8 of 11 shots including 5 of 6 at the three-point line. Karachi Edo had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Cullen Russo had 13 and six, both bigs staying on the floor down the stretch despite playing in foul trouble. Jahmel Taylor knocked down three shots from the three-point line.

“Every guy that came in gave us a lift,” said coach Rodney Terry, who has improved the Bulldogs’ win total in the Mountain West in each of their four years in the conference, going from five to nine to 10 and now 11 with two games to go. “Sam (Bittner) came in and his minutes were critical for us. Terrell (Carter II)’s 12 minutes were big as well. It was a total team win for us. Again, we fought through some adversity early in the first half there and guys kept working. They kept working the game.

“I said to our guys, ‘Over the last seven, eight, nine games, we’ve bought into team.’ When you buy into team, it’s really hard to not do your job and not have your teammate’s back. I think our guys have really bought into that concept. We’ve always tried to develop a culture here where we’re going to play for 40 minutes and whether we have a lead, whether we are behind, we’re going to try to play the same way and be the same team.”

The Bulldogs did that in winning at New Mexico, overcoming a 15-0 New Mexico run that became 20-2 in the first half. Fresno State was down by as many as 13 points, but was able to cut that deficit to 43-41 at halftime.

And midway through the second half, they were down by one when Harris took advantage of some defensive mistakes by the Lobos.

“A couple of times there was some miscommunication on their part and being a basketball player, when you see things like that you have to take advantage of it, especially in a place like this. You don’t get many of those opportunities,” Harris said.

“A couple of times where they broke down on defense, I saw the lane and I either took that lane and tried to go make a play or I kicked it out and they (my teammates) made a play and I was confident doing it.”

A layup put Fresno State up 63-62 with 9:52 remaining. After a New Mexico turnover, Harris shot into the lane again and was fouled, making one of two free throws. There was another layup, a foul and a three-point play.

The next trip down the floor, the ball got inside to Carter, who was fouled and hit two free throws that pushed the Bulldogs’ lead 69-62 and they worked their way home. The Lobos cut the lead to five points twice, but it took the Bulldogs only 22 and 20 seconds to push the lead back up to eight on a three-pointer by Taylor and then one by Harris.

“Everybody is playing confident,” Harris said. “We had Juice step up tonight. We had Cullen make some big plays. Karachi make some big plays. Jahmel came off the bench ready to shoot like we need him to. Everybody gave us positive minutes.”

FRESNO STATE 92, NEW MEXICO 82

FRESNO STATE

FG

FT

Reb

Min

M-A

M-A

O-T

A

PF

PTS

Edo

27

4-7

4-5

2-8

0

4

12

Russo

29

4-9

5-6

1-6

2

4

13

Lewis

36

8-11

0-0

0-2

2

1

21

Guerrero

12

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

Harris

40

10-22

11-17

0-3

10

3

32

Watson

3

0-1

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Taylor

30

3-7

0-0

1-2

1

3

9

Ellison III

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Bittner

8

1-2

0-0

0-2

1

2

3

Carter II

12

0-1

2-2

0-1

0

4

2

Totals

200

30-60

22-30

5-25

16

22

92

Percentages: FG .500, FT .733.

3-Point Goals: 10-24, .417 (Lewis 5-6, Taylor 3-7, Bittner 1-2, Harris 1-6, Watson 0-1, Russo 0-2).

Team Rebounds: 1.

Blocked Shots: 5 (Harris 2, Russo 2, Edo).

Turnovers: 7 (Lewis 2, Russo, Carter II, Guerrero, Edo).

Steals: 12 (Russo 4, Harris 3, Taylor 2, Lewis 2, Guerrero).

Technical Fouls: None.

NEW MEXICO

FG

FT

Reb

Min

M-A

M-A

O-T

A

PF

PTS

Logwood

29

2-6

0-0

0-1

2

1

5

T Williams

35

7-9

4-8

1-6

0

4

18

Aget

11

1-2

1-2

2-3

0

4

3

Neal

38

2-6

5-6

1-5

2

5

9

Brown

39

13-23

10-13

2-11

6

2

41

Kuiper

11

0-1

0-0

0-0

1

2

0

Adams

13

2-4

0-0

0-1

1

3

4

Furstinger

20

1-1

0-0

1-4

2

1

2

Jacobs

4

0-0

0-0

0-1

1

0

0

Totals

200

28-52

20-29

8-34

15

22

82

Percentages: FG .538, FT .690.

3-Point Goals: 6-12, .500 (Brown 5-7, Logwood 1-2, Adams 0-1, Neal 0-2).

Team Rebounds: 2.

Blocked Shots: 1 (T. Williams).

Turnovers: 18 (Brown 6, T. Williams 4, Neal 3, Adams 2, Logwood, Furstinger, Jacobs).

Steals: 3 (T. Williams, Logwood, Brown).

Technical Fouls: None.

Fresno State

41

51

92

New Mexico

43

39

82

A—13,546.

Officials—Tommy Nunez, Shawn Lehigh, D.G. Nelson.

  Comments