FRESNO, Calif. – The Fresno State women's basketball team outlasted the New Mexico Lobos from the line down the stretch for a 69-65 win in its first game at the Save Mart Center in 35 days on Saturday afternoon. The ‘Dogs notched their second conference win and extended their home win streak to 18 in the process.
"The girls spent a lot of time in the gym over the break, got a lot of shots up and it showed," said Pebley.
Fresno State shot 5-of-6 from the line in final 30 seconds and was 10-of-13 (.769) in the game. From the field the ‘Dogs went 26-of-56 (.464), in the previous three games the ‘Dogs averaged .464
Ki-Ki Moore led the Bulldogs with 22 points, shooting an efficient 9-of-15 from the field. She also chipped in seven rebounds and three assists in the win.
Fresno State opened the first half leading by as much as 12 with just under seven minutes to go in the period. The Bulldogs kept its lead at 11 by the halftime break, 40-29. Fresno State committed just three turnovers while dominating inside, having scored 20 of its points in the paint.
In the second half the 'Dogs lead grew to as many as 17 with 11:27 remaining, 58-41. History began to repeat itself as the ‘Dogs have struggled maintaining second half leads as their lead shrunk to three behind a 16-2 run over the next six minutes.
Moore, the team points leader, did not feel pressure when adversity faced the 'Dogs in the final minutes.
"I wasn't nervous at all, we just needed to pick it up and take care of the ball more," Moore said. "Value the ball and the possessions."
The 'Dogs refocused and would not let its home winning streak go in anymore jeopardy as they closed out the Lobos over the final minutes including clutch free-throw shooting (4-of-4) by Bree Farley in the final seconds.
ALBUQUERQUE, N. M. --- Without two key starters, the Fresno State men's basketball team suffered a 72-45 loss to the defending Mountain West tournament champion and 25th-ranked New Mexico in the Pit on Saturday afternoon.
Freshmen Marvelle Harris scored a team-best 11 points and Robert Upshaw added nine points, three boards and three blocks, but the Bulldogs' defense couldn't contain a Lobo squad that mixed a steady dose of pounding the paint and mid-range jumpers to register its 15th win of the season.
"We have to be more composed and it just comes down to execution," Fresno State head coach Rodney Terry said. "We have to do a better job of taking care of the basketball and can't compound those mistakes. Our young guys are getting valuable experience, but we have to play at a higher level."
Harris posted his sixth career double-digit scoring effort and the third in his past four games and Upshaw registered his fourth game with at least three blocks.
After the 'Dogs cut their first-half deficit to three at 23-20 when Allen Huddleston converted a lay-up, the Lobos rattled off a 16-2 run into the break at halftime.
"We cut it to a one possession game and just had a couple of blown assignments on defense and we never recovered from it," Terry said. "We needed to close that half out the right way and we didn't."
In the first half alone, New Mexico shot 60.7 percent (17-of-28) from the field compared to just 34.8 percent (8-of-23) by Fresno State. UNM's Cameron Bairstow scored 15 first-half points - making all six of his field goal and all three of his free throws in the first 20 minutes.
UNM's Alex Kirk recorded a double-double with a game-high 19 points and 14 rebounds.
Fresno State returns home to the Save Mart Center for a two-game homestand when the Bulldogs host Wyoming on Wednesday and Nevada on Saturday. Both games will tip off at 7 p.m. PT and the 1,500,000th fan in the Bulldogs' SMC history will enter the arena at some point during the week.
"Every 40 minutes you play in conference is big, and we have to be ready to go again on Wednesday (vs. Wyoming.)," Terry said.
Courtesy: Fresno St. Athletics