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Freshman Bree Delaney shooting 15 points and leading the ‘Dogs with 5 assists in their win against the Eastern Washington Eagles 56-81, Nov. 10, 2017 at the Save Mart Center. (Megan Trindad/ The Collegian)

Starting off the season with a win

The Fresno State women’s basketball team opened its season with a dominant 81-56 victory over Eastern Washington behind tough perimeter defense and a career day from sophomore Kristina Cavey.

Cavey led the way when she was a perfect 4-of-4 on her shot attempts in the first quarter, finishing with a team-high 21 points.

“A lot of it obviously comes from the assists,” Cavey said. “I credit all that to my teammates. There was a lot of that, and we really worked through our motion really well and then also just got into our offense really smoothly.”

The ‘Dogs are shifting their focus this season, head coach Jaime White said. After losing some height from last year, the team is determined to attack using a variety of guards.  

“We knew we were going to be more guard-oriented this year, and we wanted to make sure our offense reflected that,” White said. “I think our kids have all really bought into it, Kristina being one, obviously, and transition leads right into it. There’s no stop-and-go action, which was kind of slowing the game down a little bit.”

The ‘Dogs’ offense didn’t skip a beat. After leading by two after the first quarter, the ‘Dogs erupted for a 24-point quarter, outscoring the Eagles by 14.

Fresno State’s offense showed quick and instinctive ball movement, culminating in 25 assists on 31 baskets. Each player who entered the game for Fresno State registered at least one assist, but the team was led by freshmen Bree Delaney and Aly Gamez who combined for nine assists.

“A lot better movement than I feel like we’ve had maybe in a couple of years,” White said. “That might be a record or it might be tied for the best. But that’s great to see.”

The ‘Dogs opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run and never looked back. Their offense was steady throughout, shooting over 50 percent from deep along with from the field.

Behind 14 steals and strong perimeter defense, the Eagles had very little breathing room. Although Delaney Hodgins scored a game-high 28 points along with 10 rebounds, the ‘Dogs collective effort stymied the rest of the Eagles.

The Eagles were held to below 30 percent shooting in both the second and third quarters. The lead ballooned to 33 points early in the fourth quarter, and the ‘Dogs eased their way to a dominate showing in front of the Red Wave.

The 25-point win is Fresno State’s biggest margin of victory since 2014. With PAC-12 opponents Arizona State traveling to Fresno on Wednesday, the ‘Dogs will look to continue their selfless ball movement and tough perimeter defense.