In a battle for the top spot in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), Fresno State won in a convincing fashion against the Nevada Wolf Pack, 81-49 â€“ a game head coach Adrian Wiggins called the teamâ€™s most complete game of the season.
â€œThatâ€™s a goal of ours: to win two halves,â€ senior Erica Henry said. â€œObviously we did that tonight. It was pretty complete.â€
Early in the game, the â€˜Dogs applied pressure to the Wolf Pack, forcing them into a number of contested shots. The defense was persistent throughout and caused Nevada to shoot 35.1 percent from the field, and no player scored in double figures.
Whether it was beating guards to the spot, diving after loose balls or contesting every shot, it was obvious this Bulldog team was hungry.
Wiggins said they applied extra pressure to Nevadaâ€™s Dellena Criner, the WACâ€™s leading scorer. He assigned senior Tierre Wilson to defend her for most of the game.
â€œTierreâ€™s assignment was to guard her, and I felt she just did a really wonderful job,â€ Wiggins said. â€œShe just stayed in her stance; she did not try to do too much.â€
Criner went scoreless in the first half and finished the game with 8.
Wilson finished the game with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists, coming dangerously close to a triple double. Wilson was everywhere on the court, scoring in an isolation, finding teammates and playing aggressive defense.
â€œHonestly, I wouldnâ€™t care if I had two points,â€ Wilson said. â€œI told myself, I said, â€˜Iâ€™m going to come out and play defense I donâ€™t care about points.â€™â€
Henry and Wilson decided that they would lead by example and not replicate their performance against Boise. It would be their night to set an example for the young players and redeem a mediocre performance.
â€œWe had seniors that were very focused tonight, which made our team very focused tonight,â€ Wiggins said
â€œTierre had promised the one of the coaches that the seniors wouldnâ€™t play like we played last weekend,â€ Henry said. â€œWe tried to come out and do all the little things coach Wiggins wants us to do. We just play harder when the two seniors decide weâ€™re going to play hard.â€
The effort put forth by the team was evident on both sides of the ball. The â€˜Dogs drove the ball relentlessly in the key attacking Nevadaâ€™s defense. The offense never flinched when rotating the ball, keeping the Wolf Packâ€™s defense guessing
After playing one of their best games of the year, the â€˜Dogs take its momentum on the road to Ruston, La. to take on the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters. The â€˜Dogs have never won a game against the Techsters in Ruston.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t mean any more than any other game that we played,â€ Henry said. â€œNothing special about the game. We need to go out and play with heart and passion like we did tonight.â€
The Bulldogs face Louisiana Tech on Feb. 4 at the Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston, La.