Fresno State continues to win by comfortable margins at home.
The Bulldogs (4-2) cruised to a 70-45 win over UT Arlington Sunday at the Save Mart Center – a game in which Fresno State always had the lead.
Two players ended in double figures, with Alex Sheedy scoring 14 points and Robin Draper finishing with 12 points off the bench.
Head coach Raegan Pebley said Sunday’s win was “a great opportunity for us.”
“Our first six, seven players were able to build a lead for us, which allowed us to be able to go pretty deep into our bench and get some important players some opportunities to get game experience,” she added.
Jacinta Vandenberg made two free throws a minute into regulation to give the Bulldogs a lead they would not relinquish.
Fresno State scored 27 points off of the 30 turnovers it forced on the Mavericks (1-6) and made 36.9 percent of its shots.
Vandenberg and the Bulldogs pressured the Mavericks in the post, holding center Rosalyn Thorpe to 14 points on 5-of-15 shooting.
After more than two minutes without a score, Fresno State escalated its lead to 24-15 when Ta’Nitra Byrd made a layup with 4:05 left in the first half. The Bulldogs led 33-17 heading into halftime.
Taylor Thompson’s seven steals led the Bulldogs, who forced 19 steals in the game. Thompson also added eight points and five assists.
Every Bulldog player that received playing time scored points.
“I liked our offensive approach at showing a little bit of patience in working for a good shot,” Pebley said. “We had some nice balance scoring here. You don’t see one person with 20-plus points.”
Several reserve players received significant playing time, with Draper and Toni Smith logging in 29 and 17 minutes, respectively. Smith scored nine points and had four rebounds and Draper added 12 points and a steal for the Bulldogs.
This was the second consecutive game in which Draper scored in double figures.
“It’s nice to be able to prove myself by taking advantage of those minutes I’ve been given,” Draper said.
Four bench players played more than 10 minutes in the game. The Bulldogs’ bench accounted for 32 points in the game.
“Seeing Robin being able to contribute and develop into that consistency and getting players like Toni, Raven and Ta’Nitra back into our lineup will definitely help our team’s depth as the season goes on,” Pebley said.
“We’ve been talking a lot about our identity, our team and everybody being ready to contribute and build consistency – not just with the first five or first six.”
Fresno State continues its four-game home stand – its longest of the season – on Wednesday when it hosts USC (3-3).
“Converting at the free-throw line is going to be really important,” said Pebley, whose team made 58.6 percent of its free throw shots Sunday.
“We’re doing a good job getting ourselves there. Getting to the foul line doesn’t do a whole lot for you unless you finish those shots.”
’Dogs rout Washington State
Against her former team, Ki-ki Moore scored a team-high 27 points in Friday’s 82-59 win against Washington State.
Four Bulldogs finished the night with double figures in scoring. Sheedy finished with 16 points, Draper with 13 and Farley with 12.
Fresno State made 51.6 percent of its shots and 38 percent of its 3-point attempts en route to a win over the Pac-12 program.
Fresno State entered halftime trailing the Cougars 35-31, but went on a scoring surge in the second half to pull away from Washington State. Through efficient shot-making, the Bulldogs outscored the Cougars 51-24 in the second half.
The Bulldogs scored 32 points off of turnovers and recorded 37 total rebounds.