The men’s basketball team will face stiff competition this week as it kicks off the second-half of conference play. The ‘Dogs will host Idaho on Thursday and Utah State on Saturday in a two-game homestand before hitting the road yet again next week.
Coach Rodney Terry is confident the team will bite back, heading into the final stretch of Western Athletic Conference, compared to the first.
“We’ve got to get back to playing really good defense, like we were at the beginning of the year,” Terry said. “It’s the defensive end where you have to stop guys and finish possessions. We’re going to have to do a good job of taking care of the basketball and limiting their second-chance points.”
Sophomore Kevin Olekaibe and senior Jonathan Wills will look to end the Bulldogs’ three-game skid. Olekaibe and Wills lead the team in scoring, averaging 18.2 and 10.8 points per game, respectively.
The Bulldogs will need to contain the Vandals, who have three players averaging more than 12 points per game. Idaho is 10-6 all-time against Fresno State and has won the previous eight meetings.
Redshirt sophomore Jerry Brown said the team is hungry for a win after losing two back-to-back games in the final seconds.
“We’ve been working hard and we’ve got to turn this ship around,” Brown said. “We lost a lot of close games on the road and we’re happy to be home and playing in front of the fans.”
Brown is averaging 8.8 points per game and team-high five rebounds per game heading into Thursday’s contest against the Vandals.
“Our community is looking for some wins. We’re looking for some wins, “Brown said. “We’re working hard and we’ve paid our dues, so it’s time to be rewarded.”