Fresno State Basketball

MW Tournament notes: Fresno State hosting selection show Sunday

Fresno State coach Rodney Terry, left, gets a hug from his mother, Brenda Phillips, after the Bulldogs beat San Diego State 68-63 in Mountain West Tournament final Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Las Vegas.
Fresno State coach Rodney Terry, left, gets a hug from his mother, Brenda Phillips, after the Bulldogs beat San Diego State 68-63 in Mountain West Tournament final Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Las Vegas. AP

Fresno State earned its first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2001 by winning the Mountain West Tournament, beating San Diego State 68-63 on Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center – and the university is inviting fans to watch the selection show with the team as space permits.

The tournament seeding and brackets will be announced Sunday starting at 2:30 p.m. on CBS. The Bulldogs will watch the two-hour selection show at the Josephine Theater inside the Duncan Building near Bulldog Stadium.

The NCAA Tournament starts with the First Four, March 15 and 16 in Dayton, Ohio.

The first and second rounds will be played March 17 and 19 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa; PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.; Pepsi Center in Denver; and Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, R.I.; and on March 18 and 20 at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City and Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane, Wash.

Tickets for the NCAA Tournament will go on sale through the Bulldog Scholarship Fund, at 559-278-7160.

Let them play – Fresno State coach Rodney Terry on the shot with 1:36 to go by Julien Lewis – a quiet 0 of 8 shooting to that point – that put the Bulldogs ahead for good:

“Sometimes you’ve got to let seniors make plays. Sometimes we, as coaches, want to overcoach and not let those guys play. I’ve really grown a lot this year as a coach and letting my guys play, because I’ve got older guards who I trust. We’re going to run something, we’re going to try to execute something – let those guys play a little bit.

“And we did that today, trusting those guys to make the right decision. And, sometimes, you’ve got to get lucky and get some things done. And on this day, you know, things fell our way. He made a big shot.”

Tournament honors – Fresno State senior guard Marvelle Harris was selected as the most outstanding player of the tournament, averaging 17.7 points per game. Junior forward Karachi Edo also made the all-tournament team along with Cameron Oliver from Nevada and Trey Kell, Malik Pope and Winston Shepard from San Diego State.

Taking a lead – The Bulldogs trailed against San Diego State for all but the first 54 and last two seconds of the first half, though they had several chances to get a lead. Six times, they had the ball either down one or with the score tied and failed to score until their last opportunity before the half.

With the clock winding down, the score tied at 36, Harris let fly a long three-pointer. The Bulldogs went in with a lead.

Harris was asked if that was the longest shot he had made this season:

“Probably in practice, not in a game,” he said. “I just looked up, I saw there were four seconds on the clock so I knew I had to shoot it. When I shot it, it felt good, just like Julien said (on his three-pointer). The shot just felt good and I kind of knew it was going in.”

Fresno State was in the lead for only 4:25 in the game, trailed for 29:32 and the score was tied for the remaining 6:03.

Shot down – Fresno State hit just 21 of its 54 shots in the game, 38.9 percent.

It was the second game in a row the Bulldogs won when hitting less than 40 percent of its shots. They were 20 of 54 (37 percent) in a semifinal victory over Colorado State.

Fresno State won four times against Mountain West opponents when hitting less than 40 percent.

Vouching for the Bulldogs – San Diego State this season played at Utah, played against Cal, West Virginia and Kansas, going 1-3, the only victory over the Golden Bears in November.

Here’s what Aztecs coach Steve Fisher said about on how Fresno State stacks up to those Power Five teams:

“Terry has done a marvelous job with that team, keeping them together, playing hard,” he said. “He has good players, good athletes, led by a player – led by a star – Marvelle Harris, that you win with. And they played through him. They played through him and that’s not always easy when you’ve got other good players. But they were able to do that. I believe now they’ve won nine in a row or 11 out of 12 or something like that. They’re playing really good basketball right now.”

FRESNO STATE 68, SAN DIEGO STATE 63

Fresno State

FG

FT

Reb

Min

M-A

M-A

O-T

A

PF

PTS

Edo

24

3-8

3-4

2-2

0

2

9

Russo

15

2-5

3-3

1-1

1

2

7

Lewis

37

1-9

5-6

0-7

0

3

8

Guerrero

23

2-5

3-3

0-1

1

1

8

Harris

40

7-19

0-0

1-4

4

1

18

Watson

26

3-4

0-0

0-5

0

2

8

Taylor

17

2-3

0-0

0-1

3

1

6

Ellison III

0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Bittner

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Carter II

17

1-1

2-2

1-3

0

2

4

Totals

200

21-54

16-18

9-30

9

14

68

Percentages: FG .389, FT .889.

3-Point Goals: 10-24, .417 (Harris 4-9, Watson 2-3, Taylor 2-3, Lewis 1-3, Guerrero 1-3, Russo 0-3).

Team Rebounds: 6.

Blocked Shots: 3 (Edo 2, Carter II).

Turnovers: 12 (Harris 7, Carter II 3, Russo 2).

Steals: 11 (Harris 3, Lewis 3, Russo 2, Guerrero 2, Watson).

Technical Fouls: None.

San Diego State

FG

FT

Reb

Min

M-A

M-A

O-T

A

PF

PTS

Spencer

23

1-1

0-0

4-5

0

2

2

Shepard

34

5-10

5-6

2-8

7

5

15

Pope

30

8-16

0-0

3-11

0

0

19

Allen

34

4-6

1-2

0-4

0

3

9

Kell

34

1-9

3-4

1-2

3

1

5

Chol

13

1-3

0-0

0-0

0

1

2

Cheatham

16

3-3

1-2

0-2

0

0

7

Hemsley

16

1-9

2-2

1-3

1

2

4

Totals

200

24-57

12-16

13-37

11

14

63

Percentages: FG .421, FT .750.

3-Point Goals: 3-13, .231 (Pope 3-4, Allen 0-2, Hemsley 0-2, Kell 0-5).

Team Rebounds: 2.

Blocked Shots: 6 (Spencer 3, Cheatham 2, Allen).

Turnovers: 15 (Allen 3, Cheatham 3, Kell 3, Pope 2, Spencer 2, Shepard, Chol).

Steals: 6 (Allen 2, Shepard 2, Kell, Spencer).

Technical Fouls: None.

Fresno State

39

29

68

San Diego State

36

27

63

A—8,132. Officials—David Hall, Verne Harris, Larry Spaulding.

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