Senior Veronica Wilson (right) thanks Bulldog fans who set an attendance
record of 7,689 after their 65-62 win over conference rival La. Tech.
Dalton Runberg / The Collegian
The women’s basketball team added another banner to the rafters in its 65-62 win over rival Louisiana Tech, clinching the regular season Western Athletic Conference championship.
“La Tech did a good job of making it tough on us,” head coach Adrian Wiggins said. “We didn’t give up. We tried hard on defense and in the end it paid off.”
The ‘Dogs started off cold from the floor, making just eight of 29 total shots from the field for a 27.6 shooting percentage while the Lady Techsters climbed ahead early with an 11-5 lead with 10:57 remaining in the first half.
But senior Blakely Goldberg and sophomore Ki-Ki Moore made sure they would never trail again combining for 18 points in the first half, giving Fresno State a 26-22 lead at the break. Jasmine Bendolph and Whitney Jones led the Lady Techsters with eight points apiece in the first.
“In the first half, we were all a bit stagnant and weren’t moving very well,” said junior Rosie Moult. “So in the second half we started to move well, and that created a lot of open things for me cutting to the basket.”
Moult erupted in the second half, scoring all of her 17 points after halftime.
“I started to move a lot better,” Moult said. “My shots just felt a lot better in the second half than rushing them in the first.”
Senior Blakely Goldberg goes up for layup against
La. Tech’s Shantale Bramble-Donaldson in Fresno
State’s 65-62 win. Goldberg finished with 14 points
and four rebounds.
Dalton Runberg / The Collegian
The 6-foot-1 forward spurred Fresno State to a 13-2 scoring run, stretching the Bulldog lead to 11 with 13:22 left in the game. The double-digit lead didn’t hold for long as the Lady Techsters marched back to within three points, 65-62, with 1:21 remaining.
Fortunately for the ‘Dogs, the La. Tech run ended there as they held on for the win in the final conference game against their long-time rival in front of a record crowd of 7,689.
“The crowd was fantastic tonight,” Moult said. “It’s always good to have a crowd when playing La Tech in our rivalry game and to clinch the WAC title. It was just a great night.”
Fresno State had three players score in double figures as Moore led the way with a team-high 18 points while Moult and Goldberg added 17 and 14, respectively. The ‘Dogs clinched the regular season WAC title, as well as the top-seed in the conference tournament despite having one more game left in conference play.
“It ended the right way,” Wiggins said about the rivalry. “We started a long time ago and we wanted to be and have what they had. And today I can say we are ending the rivalry and we have what they had. That’s why you play sports and that’s why we work, and it doesn’t take anything away from what [our players] have done but we’re happy where we’re at now.”
“It’s just exciting to be a part of something like this,” Moore said. “We worked hard all season and I think we deserve it.”
The ‘Dogs will host New Mexico State at 2 p.m. Saturday in their final regular season game, where they will honor Goldberg and Veronica Wilson for senior night before tip off.