LOS ANGELES — The Fresno State women’s basketball team fell to 0-7 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with a first-round loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers 74-55 at the Pauley Pavilion.
“I’m really proud of our team,” said Fresno State head coach Raegan Pebley, “how they prepared, the mentality they came into this game with and definitely the fight that they showed.”
Fresno State guard Taylor Thompson had 14 points and nine rebounds in the game. Four Bulldogs – Bree Farley, junior guard Alex Furr, forward Alex Sheedy and sophomore Moriah Faulk – added eight points apiece.
For seniors Thompson and Farley, the loss isn’t something that will define their careers, Pebley said. Instead, it will be their impact, influence, and difference they have made in their time at Fresno State.
“Our staff just feels so blessed to have coached them over the years,” Pebley said.
The game began with the Bulldogs and Huskers sticking close to each other. With the game tied at 8, both teams played heavy defense and prevented another basket for the next 3:15. During that stretch, Fresno State missed six shot attempts and Nebraska missed five.
Despite poor shooting in the first half, Fresno State increased its drive to the basket in the second to total 35.6 percent. Nebraska, on the other hand, remained consistent: 35.5 percent in the first and 38.2 percent in the second to end the game with a 36.8 shooting percentage.
“Coach talks all the time about how this is a game of runs,” Thompson said. “They got a run, we went on a run. They’re a really good team and some of our shots just didn’t fall. I was really proud of our effort overall.”
“The game was very physical,” Pebley said. “It’s definitely a Big Ten-style of play. I thought we were able to compete as far as rebounding goes and how physicality can sometimes impact that. But [Nebraska] still outrebounded us by 11.
“I don’t think we got good looks at the rim, and when we did we didn’t convert.”
Jordan Hooper and Emily Cady had double doubles for Nebraska. Hooper had 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Cady scored 15 and tallied 11 boards.
“We went to a squeeze defense that squeezed the dribbler and stuff like that, so I think that really helped,” Hooper said. “Containment was a little bit better.”
Fresno State finishes the season at a record of 22-11.