The Fresno State women’s basketball team had overcome deficits to get to where it was prior to Saturday night at home. The Bulldogs had mounted crazy comebacks – they’d made crunch-time shots and fan-resurging 3s to come out on top at home.
Twenty straight had fallen at the Save Mart Center.
That’s where the number will stay.
Fresno State (15-7, 7-2 MWC) was left behind by a fast and furious Aztecs offense in a 74-49 loss that turned the tides on the Bulldogs, usually the ones dominant at home.
“They did a great job of establishing the physicality of the game,” Fresno State coach Raegan Pebley said. “That was not something we responded to well. It impacted our finishing ability, our rebounding ability. … It impacted our offense quite a bit.”
San Diego State (17-5, 8-1 MWC), which had lost its first encounter with the Bulldogs 80-72 at Viejas Arena on Jan. 9, controlled the pace of the game early on. The Aztecs got off to a 26-13 lead 10 minutes into regulation and led 42-26 at the half.
Fresno State and San Diego State battled with first place in the Mountain West standings on the line. The Aztecs are now one game ahead of the Bulldogs for first place.
Rosie Moult and Ki-Ki Moore each scored 15 points for the Bulldogs, with Moult netting her 300th career 3-pointer shooting 5-of-11 from behind the arc. Moult sunk in her signature 3s that riled up the home crowd – as she has done all season – and Moore charged the paint fearlessly for her routine layups.
It wasn’t enough against the Aztecs.
And not all of those routine Fresno State shots made it in. The Bulldogs shot 20-of-62 from the field – with a couple layups bouncing once or twice off the edge of the rim and a few jumpers teetering and tottering away from the basket.
“I guess we needed better focus from the start,” Moult said. “They came out very hard from the beginning and we were just not boxing out, finishing our shots and we weren’t as aggressive to the basket as we normally are.”
San Diego State’s Courtney Clements led the game in scoring with 20 points. Four Aztecs scored in double figures.
Center Malia Nahinu scored 18 and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Aztecs. San Diego State outrebounded Fresno State 46-31.
Alex Sheedy added 10 points, two assists and two steals for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs’ 20-game win streak at the Save Mart Center was the nation’s third-longest active home-win streak.
Fresno State continues conference play on Wednesday at New Mexico.