Fresno State senior guard Taylor Thompson hit the game-winner as time expired to lift the Bulldogs to a 72-70 victory past the Utah State Aggies, head coach Raegan Pebley’s former team, Saturday afternoon at the Save Mart Center.
The win marked Pebley’s 150th career win.
“What a great game for our team and a great game for an incredible crowd,” Pebley said. Our Red Wave was amazing tonight.
The Bulldogs (16-10, 10-5 Mountain West), who trailed by 10 with about five minutes left in the game, went on a 9-0 run to cut the Aggies’ lead to 1.
The run paid off in the end as it helped the ‘Dogs climb back into the game and set up Thompson’s buzzer-beater. Thompson, along with her 16 points, also had a game-high eight assists and five steals.
“I honestly wasn’t even thinking,” Thompson said. “I just said I’m going to take the best shot that we can get, or I’m going to get it to someone who has the best shot for them.
“I prayed when the shot went up and it went in, so it was good for us.”
Utah State guard Jennifer Schlott exploded for a game-high 35 points while shooting 14 of 24 from the field. The 5-foot-6 senior led the way for the Aggies (11-15, 5-10 MW) as they shot 51.8 percent for the game.
Schlott’s shooting powered the Aggies offense for a majority of the afternoon. She nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game 70-70 with seven ticks left in the game before Thompson’s game-winning floater.
“Utah State definitely is a tough team and Jennifer Schlott is outstanding,” Pebley said. “She is an outstanding player and you can tell that she is really the leader and the catalyst for that team in a lot of ways.”
Bree Farley led the team with 18 points and sunk a couple of critical free throws down the stretch to help the ‘Dogs come back and set up the win. Raven Fox tied her career high with 13 points off the bench in her 20 minutes on the court.
“I’m just so proud of our ‘Dogs, we needed a close win like that,” Pebley said. “We’ve had some painful, close losses and to win a close game like that will really help us as we head into the tournament.”
The Fresno State women’s basketball team has now won 11 straight against the Aggies and remains in third place in the conference behind the Boise State Broncos and the first-place Colorado State Rams.
The Bulldogs have three games left on their schedule before they head to Las Vegas, Nev., for the 2014 Reese’s Mountain West Tournament. Their next contest is against Boise State, the team that sits a half game in front of them in the conference standings.
The Bulldogs’ last home game of the year will take place March 7 when they host the San Jose Spartans on Senior Night.