Aug 15, 2020

Win keeps ’Dogs on top

Junior LaShaunte Stephens drives to the basket during Fresno State’s 69-52 victory over Utah State Sunday at the Save Mart Center.
Andrew Riggs / The Collegian

To view a photo gallery of Sunday’s game, click here.
Fresno State handed the Utah State Aggies its fifth loss in a row with a 69-52 victory, led by freshman Jalessa Ross’ career-high 24 points.

“People need to learn; don’t leave Jalessa wide open,” senior center Erica Henry said.

It was an all around career night for Ross. She finished with career-highs in three-pointers made, three-pointers attempted and field goals attempted. Ross shot 50 percent from outside the arc and brought down nine rebounds.

Ross wasn’t alone from the perimeter. The ‘Dogs hit a season high 13 three-pointers from the field.

Henry attributed all the open shots to Fresno State’s penetrate-and-pass style of offense that kept Utah State out of position for open Fresno State shooters.

Freshman Marnique Arnold looks for an open teammate during the Bulldogs’ 69-52 victory over the Utah State Aggies Sunday. Fresno State has won 12 of its last 13 games. The Bulldogs will take on the Idaho Vandals, Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Save Mart Center.
Andrew Riggs / The Collegian

“A lot of teams in the WAC collapse,” Henry said. “We get a lot of open threes that way.”

Senior Tierre Wilson said she has enjoyed the defensive collapses this year. It allows her to kick out to potent three point shooters such as freshman Bailey Admundsen and Ross.

“I’m lovin’ it, to tell you the truth,” Wilson said.

Unselfish play from the ‘Dogs led to 22 assists. Freshman Hayley Munro had a game high of six assists.

She added to her solid all-around night, contributing 11 points and six rebounds.

Munro even ran the team from the top as one of the many different offensive line-ups in coach Adrian Wiggins’ very deep Fresno State bench.

On the defensive side of the ball, the ‘Dogs looked conservative. Wiggins and his staff decided to play the screens soft, as a part of the game plan going into the game.

Soft screen play allowed senior Utah State center Jenny Gross to score 16 points.

Though the Bulldogs’ screen play was soft, they played though perimeter defense, causing the Aggies to shoot 12.5 percent from beyond the arc.

The ‘Dogs are first place in conference play with a 9-1 record.

Boise State is right behind the Bulldogs with a 9-2 record.

The Broncos ended the Bulldogs’ nine-game winning streak last week.

Even with pressure from Boise State coming from the rear, Wilson says that the team is staying focused.

“We’re not really worried about what Boise is doing,” Wilson said. “If it’s meant to be, we’ll meet them again in the WAC [tournament]. We’re waiting for them.”

The team’s quest for a WAC title continues on Valentine’s Day when the ‘Dogs host the 1-9 Idaho Vandals at home in a televised showdown of the best and worst teams in the WAC.

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