Against Air Force, Kevin Olekaibe of the 2011-12 season reappeared.
Olekaibe led Fresno State in scoring on Wednesday night, making six 3s on 6-of-10 shooting behind the 3-point arc. It tied his career best.
Fresno State coach Rodney Terry has said throughout the season that, given the roster’s size expansion this year compared to its nine eligible players last season, the scoring load does not have to rest on solely his shoulders
Olekaibe, whose 17.8 points per game led Fresno State in scoring last season, is averaging 8.2 points per game this season.
Olekaibe, nursing an injured elbow, was not active in the beginning of the season.
Fresno State hosts UNLV at home on Wednesday.
Women’s basketball gets late opportunity in season
In its 60-47 win against Air Force on Wednesday, Fresno State was able to go deep into its bench for the first time since nonconference play.
Jacinta Vandenberg, who started some games at the beginning of the season, was back in the starting lineup in place of an ill Rosie Moult.
The Bulldogs, at several points in the game, also had different rotations on the floor that included Vandenberg, Raven Fox, Robin Draper and Toni Smith.
“You never know what can happen,” Fresno State coach Pebley said after Wednesday’s game.
“You always have to help develop your bench because you’re going to need your bench in the month of February. The team that continues to improve in February is set up for the most success in March. Teams either dial in or check out in February.
“It’s real important to keep those bench players really engaged and improving because you’re going to need them to help seal up a couple of victories in February and March.”
Up next for the ’Dogs: UNLV
Fresno State continues Mountain West play on Wednesday on the road against UNLV.
The Rebels are 7-13 overall and 3-3 in conference play. UNLV is the only school from the Mountain West that Fresno State has not faced this season.
“They are a competitive team and that’s fueled tremendously by their coach, whom I have a lot of respect for,” Pebley said. “They’re going to be prepared.”
“I know that they like an up-tempo game. They’re a very similar team to who we are and how we do things.”