Greg Smith Called Up By Houston; Dogs Beat Northridge - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Greg Smith Called Up By Houston; Dogs Beat Northridge

Posted: Updated: Feb 18, 2012 11:21 PM PST
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

Former Bulldog Greg Smith is re-joining the Rockets in time for Sunday's game in Houston, against Utah. Smith told KMPH via text that he can't wait for the opportunity and that he does expect to get some minutes in Sunday's contest.

Smith left Fresno State after his sophomore year to enter the NBA, but went undrafted.

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- The Bulldogs had been there before - needing a monster second half after digging themselves into a hole. But this time felt different.

Fresno State chipped away from a nine-point deficit, stifled a potent Matador attack and pounded its way to a 62-49 road non-conference victory over Cal State Northridge on Saturday evening.

"That was really great team effort out there in the second half," Bulldogs head coach Rodney Terry said. "To be honest, I was really disappointed with our defensive effort in that first half. We can't let that happen. But to respond the way we did and execute when we had to, that was big for us. We've been in games like this all year, and knew what it was going to take to get a win."

The 'Dogs have faced bigger deficits this season, like the 17-point first half hole before stunning Arizona State in the final minute for their first road win.

But this time, the Bulldogs shot just 8-for-28 (28.6 percent) in the first half and sorely needed a spark.

And that spark came courtesy of the team buckling down after some passionate halftime encouragement from Terry.

"Not only were the coaches disappointed in our first half showing, I think our players weren't happy with how they were playing," Terry said. "We take pride in our defense and when we started doing the little things right, it really changed the game."

Those little things included playing lock-down defense and finding ways to counter CSUN's gameplan of shutting down the Bulldogs leading scorer Kevin Olekaibe.

Enter junior forward Kevin Foster, who had one of the best nights of his Bulldog career as he tallied team-highs in both points (17) and rebounds (7) in just 24 minutes of action. 

"We are really coming together as a team, and we wanted this game as much as every game on our schedule," Foster said. "We've been working hard in practice and anytime you can get a win - especially on the road - it's big."

Tyler Johnson added 11 points and Olekaibe netted 10 (all in the second half) for the 'Dogs in their BracketBusters finale.

The game did feature a rarity with just two referees working the majority of the game after lead referee Bill Gracey left the game less than four minutes into the game with an apparent leg injury.

Cal State Northridge (7-18) was led by Josh Greene, who scored a game-best 20 points, but the Matadors converted just 2-of-22 (9.1 percent) field goal attempts in the second half with no 3-pointers. Fresno State also held CSUN to zero field goals in the final 13 minutes.

The Bulldogs (12-16) will finish up their non-conference slate on Thursday when they host Seattle U, with tip off slated for 7 p.m. PT.

Courtesy: Fresno St. Athletics

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