Fresno State sophomore Alex Davis (left) chats with transfer Julien Lewis (right) during the ‘Dogs’ loss to the California Golden Bears Sunday at the Save Mart Center. Photo by Paul Schlesinger/The Collegian
The Fresno State men’s basketball team (1-6) dropped its fifth-straight contest, this time at the hands of the California Golden Bears (5-1) Sunday afternoon at the Save Mart Center.
In a game where the ‘Dogs trailed by as much as 15, they came from double-digit deficits several times and even had an opportunity late in the game. They got within five twice within a span of the final two minutes. However, turnovers and poor decision-making prevented Fresno State from completing the comeback.
A dunk by guard Tyrone Wallace with 12 seconds remaining sealed the 64-57 victory for the Bears.
“Cal is a really good team, and it’ll be one of the better teams in the Pac-12,” Fresno State head coach Rodney Terry said. “We did a much better job of guarding those guys in the second half compared to the first half, where they shot nearly 60 percent. We gave up a lot of middle drives and let them get into the teeth of our defense.
“They’re good at kicking up wide-open shots, they shoot the ball at a very high percentage from the arc and we let those guys get comfortable that way in the first half. We battled through, but we didn’t do a good job of executing towards the end in terms of taking care of the basketball, making the right decisions and putting yourself in position to win the game.”
After leading for the early part of the game, the Bulldogs were not able to limit Cal’s opportunities and saw their lead come to an end midway through the period. A jumper by forward David Kravish erased the 8-8 tie and from then on, Cal led the rest of the way and built a 35-27 lead by halftime.
Fresno State guard Marvelle Harris gave a solid offensive performance, netting a game-high 27 points on 9-of-17 shooting, including 19 of the Bulldogs’ 27 points in the first half.
“When we got back from Florida, I went to the gym to try to get some extra shots in before practice and tonight’s game,” Harris said. “So I think that the extra work I put in was helpful for my start.”
Wallace led the Golden Bears, sinking 7-of-12 for 19 points.
Fresno State looks to rebound Wednesday when it hosts UC Irvine (3-2) for a 7 p.m. tipoff. The ‘Dogs battled against the Anteaters in their third contest of the year last season, in which they executed a last-second 3-point shot for what was a dramatic 98-97 overtime victory.
“The growth curve for this team is still to be determined in terms of how bad they want it and attitude and approach every day,” Terry said. “From a personnel and talent standpoint, we have the pieces to compete with anybody we need to night in and night out. We’re going to have to regroup and get ready to play another quality opponent on our home court.
“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves, we just have to keep competing at a high level.”