The Fresno State women’s basketball team, as has seemed to be the case after its three Mountain West Conference losses, regrouped itself Saturday at Boise State.
Fresno State trounced Nevada on the road after its first league loss to Wyoming, nabbed a nail-biting win at New Mexico after being routed by Mountain West Conference-leading San Diego State at home and tallied a sound win against the Broncos after losing to last-place Nevada at the Save Mart Center.
That last win might have been the most reassuring conference victory for the normally efficient Bulldogs (second in field goal percentage in the Mountain West).
Fresno State made a season-low 28 percent of their shots, including going 4-of-28 behind the 3-point arc, in last Wednesday’s 60-54 loss to the Wolf Pack – the conference’s second-worst scoring team.
“It’s a great win,” junior guard Bree Farley said of Fresno State’s 83-65 win against the Broncos on Saturday night.
“A lot of it is building confidence in ourselves and in the team.
“We know we can shoot, and it’s hard when you go through some of those rough games where you don’t shoot so well. It just feels really good to have a great team performance.”
What’s the next confidence -building step for the Bulldogs as they reach the end of the regular season? A 9-16 Colorado State team that enters tonight’s game at the Save Mart Center with just two road wins in the season.
Along with shooting the 3, forcing steals and turnovers on defense and scoring on the break has been a trademark for the Bulldogs this season.
It won’t be as easy to do against the Rams, as it seemed last time, said Fresno State coach Raegan Pebley.
“We got pretty fortunate that we hit some 3s early in that game, and that helped open an early lead for us,” Pebley said. “We did get some steals; we were able to turn them over.
“We’ll definitely look to try and play to our strengths. But Colorado State is a team that has improved significantly since the last time we saw them. I don’t think we can play them exactly the same way.”
Fresno State got off to a 17-2 start in its first meeting against Colorado State (a 69-58 win), making four 3s and forcing five turnovers in that span.
Fresno State leads the Mountain West in steals (11.9 per game) and turnover margin (+3.62) in conference play.
The Bulldogs (18-8, 10-3), second in conference standings, will play at Air Force (second-last in league standings) and host UNLV before competing in their inaugural Mountain West tournament in mid-March.
“At this time of year, everyone’s really fighting hard for wins,” Pebley said.
“Every game is going to be a fight. Teams know what you do. There are no secrets. It’s tough to win in February and March, and it takes a lot of grit. We’ll do whatever it takes to pull out a W here.”
Added Farley: “We still have to take each game as it comes because it’s easy to lose a couple of those last three games. We want to put ourselves in the best position going into the tournament.”
Students attending tonight’s 7 p.m. game against Colorado State are encouraged to arrive an hour early for Bulldog Pride Zone, an event where there will be free pizza. Free T-shirts will be given to the first 100 students through the door.
Students will also be eligible for a raffle to win an autographed basketball by NBA player and former Bulldog Paul George.