Looking for its 14th win of the season, the Fresno State men’s basketball team was ready to hype up home fans. This time the ‘Dogs hosted the San Diego State Aztecs, who were looking to steal a road win in a crucial conference game.
The Bulldogs defeated the Aztecs 66-62, for their 14th win of the season, fifth win in the Mountain West conference and fifth win in their last six games.
After scoring first in the game, the Bulldogs seemed overwhelmed by the Aztecs who quickly gained a sizable lead.
Fresno State would struggle to keep up during the first half as the Aztecs took a 20-point lead. The Bulldogs cut some of the deficit at the end of the first half and went to halftime with the score 26-38 in favor of San Diego State.
In the first half for the Bulldogs, Braxton Higgins had six points, with three rebounds and three assists; Nate Grimes had seven points, nine rebounds and Deshon Taylor had only six points with no assists or rebounds.
The Bulldogs came out in the second half with more confidence, which showed in their plays as they began hitting more three pointer and getting more rebounds.
On the other hand, the Aztecs seemed to have lost their momentum from the first half, which now seemed to be on the Bulldogs’ side. For the most part, it was Fresno State making better plays and adjusting its style that managed to keep the Aztecs’ offense quiet.
Halfway through the second half, the Bulldogs tied and eventually took the lead from San Diego State, which seemed outmatched on both sides of the ball.
The game would end with the Bulldogs taking the win 66-62 in a tough Mountain West conference matchup that gave fans at the Save Mart Center something to cheer about.
Leading the Bulldogs in the second half, Higgins had 14 points, five rebounds and two assists; Sam Bittner had 13 points, two rebounds and one assist and Grimes had six points, six rebounds and one assist.
Head Coach Justin Hutson commented to Fresno State Athletics after the game about how the Aztecs energy affected them and how the team dealt with injuries on the squad.
“We knew San Diego State was going to come in very energetic for a lot of different reasons. We missed some easy shots and they made some hard ones. I had confidence in our guys,” Hutson said. “We had to play a couple of lineups that we haven’t played with much before. With a short turnaround, there wasn’t much time that we could work on it.”