Call it a case of early accuracy. Call it the storybook start to an ideal regular-season finale.
But, really, what else can you call it?
Rosie Moult hit a 3-pointer, Ki-Ki Moore slashed through traffic for a layup, Bree Farley hit another 3 and Taylor Thompson knocked down one more in what might’ve been the Fresno State’s women’s basketball team’s quickest start at the Save Mart Center this season: making seven of its first eight shooting attempts en route to a 90-64 win over UNLV.
“It’s always nice when you can hit the 3s early in a game because teams then adjust how they’re playing. And we had different players hitting those 3s,” Fresno State coach Raegan Pebley said.
Moore, who announced via a university release on Friday that she would end her career after this season due to “lingering injuries and pain,” led the Bulldogs in scoring with 19 points off 8-of-15 shooting. Moore also finished with a career-high 10 assists.
Moult scored 18 off of six 3-pointers and Jeanna Furst added four points.
Moore, Moult and Furst, who played their final game at the Save Mart Center on Saturday, were each honored after the blowout win.
The three were met with loud cheers and standing ovations from the 2,923 fans in attendance as they each subbed out in the final minutes of the game.
“We played a good game today,” Moult said.
“We played well defensively and offensively a lot of us were hitting our shots, so it was nice to go out on a comfortable win like we did. Obviously, it is very emotional because being here for four years, the support we’ve had from the crowd has been fantastic and knowing this is the last time you are going to play in front of them, it’s very emotional.”
Added Moore: “We prepared very well for this game. I just think that as seniors, we looked at this game as something special that we’ll always remember.”
As the game progressed, Fresno State found its offensive rhythm, finishing the game shooting a sharp 55.4 percent from the field and making a season-high 15 3s.
The 87.5 percent shooting percentage the Bulldogs started the game with, would, understandably, deflate.
Their lead over UNLV (12-18, 8-8 MWC), however, wouldn’t.
Fresno State led 47-30 at the half, and by as much as 30 in a second half. The Bulldogs reached the 90-point threshold for the second time this season (the first coming when they scored 102 in their exhibition win over Fresno Pacific).
Moore guarded Kelli Thompson, who leads the Mountain West Conference in scoring with 18.8 points per game, for most of the matchup. She finished with 11 points.
Thompson and Farley each contributed 14 points.
Fresno State, which finished the season 21-8 and 13-3 in Mountain West Conference play, will enter the March 13-16 conference tournament as the No. 2 seed.
San Diego State (24-5, 15-1 MWC), whose only conference loss came against Fresno State, enters the tournament as the top seed.
“This is March, it’s the grind-it-out time,” Pebley said.
“Injuries have befallen every team in our conference. I think what’s good is our team’s persevered through a lot. I trust where our mental toughness is at.”