Fresno State guard Stephanie Rovetti defends UC Riverside guard Brittany Crain during the ‘Dogs’ 73-61 victory Thursday at the Save Mart Center. Photo by Darlene Wendels/The Collegian
There were many things going the Fresno State women’s basketball team’s way, as it beat the UC Riverside Highlanders 73-61 Thursday at the Save Mart Center.
Robin Draper and Alex Furr opened the game with back-to-back 3-pointers for the Bulldogs. It was a sign of things to come from deep, as the Bulldogs shot a 53 percent clip from 3-point range.
Senior and leading scorer Alex Sheedy came off the bench over seven minutes into the game on Wednesday, with Fresno State holding an early 12-7 lead. She had missed practice this week with the flu, but made up for lost time, scoring 13 of the Bulldogs’ next 16 points in a 4-minute span alone. Sheedy’s spark gave the ‘Dogs their biggest lead to that point with a 13-point margin.
“I just felt like I needed to come in and make a good impact, not just pity myself,” Sheedy said. “I was really happy that I was able to do that right away.
“I was ready today and I was ready to get back. It was nice to get back on the court and play with my teammates again.”
The Highlanders posted a 10-3 run, but the Bulldogs’ shooting from 3-point range kept them in front. Fresno State led 33-26 with one last possession of the half. Junior guard Alex Furr pulled off a step-back jump shot from well beyond the 22-foot, 1.75-inch distance that the professionals shoot 3-pointers from.
Furr’s shot was nothing but net as the buzzer signalled halftime.
In all, Fresno State made 7-of-14 3-point attempts in the first half. UC Riverside was 0-for-6 from that distance.
The Bulldogs carried Furr’s momentum into the second half. Draper connected on another 3-pointer leading to an 8-2 run to open the second half, extending the lead to 15. Riverside closed the lead to seven points, but the Bulldogs went on an 18-5 run to push the lead to 18 points.
Sheedy led the Bulldogs with a double-double on 21 points and 11 rebounds in only 16 minutes of play. Alex Furr had 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range and Robin Draper also finished in double figures with 11 points. Center Bego Faz Davalos led the team in rebounds with 12.
UC Riverside guard Brittany Crain entered Thursday’s game leading the nation in scoring with an average 29 points per game. Crain managed only 10 points against the Bulldogs, making 4-of-15 attempts from the field.
“We really had a focus of where she was at,” Fresno State head coach Jamie White said. “We started Stephanie Rovetti. Steph got the call and definitely came through for us. I thought she gave [Crain] fits early. She was everywhere that she was and we just said faceguard. If [Crain] doesn’t have the ball, don’t let her get it, if she does get the ball, use your fouls.”
Crain wasn’t the only one struggling. The Highlanders made only 36 percent of their field goal attempts compared to 41 percent for Fresno State. The Bulldogs also made a total of 10-of-19 3-point shots on the night, while UCR made only 2-of-16 attempts.
Fresno State improves to 4-2 on the season. The Bulldogs have a quick turnaround, playing on Saturday morning at George Washington at 11 a.m. PT. It will be a one-game road trip before the Bulldogs return for three straight home games.