The second meeting of the year between the Fresno
State Bulldogs women’s basketball team (13-5, 6-1 MW) and the visiting Colorado
State Rams (7-11,1-6 MW) came down to the wire as both team sweated out a hard
fought game that ended with the Bulldogs coming out on top 57-54.
Fresno State exuded confidence from beyond the arc Saturday as a lot of their damage came from three point land knocking down 12 3-pointers on 29 attempts, finishing with 41 percent. The majority of the 3-pointers came from the trio of Candice White 3-for-8, Bree Delaney 4-for-8 and Aly Gamez 3-for-7 who’s first three of the day opened the scoring for the ‘Dogs.
Gamez had the hot hand for the Bulldogs throughout, dropping 13 points while going 5-of-9 from the field and adding three rebounds, three assists and three steals. Gamez led the team in scoring for the second time this season by scoring in double figures for the third consecutive game and on the defensive side of the ball leading the team in steals in that same three game stretch.
After a tight knit first quarter both the Bulldogs and the Rams proceeded to trade shots back and forth to start off the second quarter, ending with the Bulldogs pulling out in front after splashing in three straight 3-pointers from the hot handed Gamez and junior Jordanna Porter. The ‘Dogs were able to extend their lead going into halftime the ‘Dogs by adding a couple of jumpers during the final two minutes and shutting down Colorado State down defensively in that same to lead 33-26.
Coming out of halftime both teams continued the back and forth, but the Rams went on a three minute stretch that saw them go on a 10-point run as they were able to drive inside the lane and get a clutch 3-pointer to take the lead. Both teams hit a dry spell as the final 3:30 of the third quarter was scoreless until the Rams were able to tie the game up at 40-40 in the final two seconds of the quarter.
The ‘Dogs were once again able to regain the lead as the damage from beyond the arc continued behind a 3-pointer from White, but the Rams jumped ahead soon after by knocking down a 3-pointer of their own to go with a layup and a free throw.
The ‘Dogs took the lead once again after a clutch jumper from Gamez, who along with sophomore Genna Ogier’s pair of layups down the stretch were able to extend the Bulldogs lead to six with less than two minutes left in the contest. As the game reached the closing minute, Colorado State knocked down a jumper to shrink Fresno State’s lead to 56-52.
The final 15 seconds had the crowd in the Save Mart Center
on the edge of their feet as Utti was intentionally sent to the free throw line
to ice the game for the ‘Dogs. After only making one of her two free throws,
the Rams got the ball for what looked like would be the final possession of the
game down 57-54.
After inbounding the ball, a great defensive stand from the ‘Dogs forced the Rams to call a timeout as the struggled to find an open shooter with five seconds left on the clock. Inbounding with less than five seconds left down three, the Bulldogs decided to foul the Rams instead of allowing them to shoot a three to tie the game up. After missing the first free throw attempt, the Rams final free throw attempt was nullified by a lane violation, allowing the ‘Dogs to inbound the ball and dribble out the remaining second for their 13th win of the season in close fashion.
Fresno State is now 12-1 when leading at the half
this season and improve to a 7-1 record when the Bulldogs bench outscores their
opponent. The Bulldogs bench finished with 18 points compared to Colorado State’s
Fresno State will conclude its two-game home stand by hosting Wyoming on Wednesday as tip off is schedule for 7 p.m. at the Save Mart Center.