Fresno State senior guard Shauqunna Collins dribbles the ball up the court during Friday’s 65-53 victory over the Pioneers at Save Mart Center. (Darlene Wendels/The Collegian)
The Fresno State women’s basketball team topped Cal State East Bay 65-53 in a preseason exhibition matchup Friday night at Save Mart Center.
“I was very pleased with tonight’s game,” head coach Jaime White said. We have a new group and different team. For the most part, I felt good about everything.”
Led by three players in double figures, the ‘Dogs used an all-out team effort to handle the Pioneers in their lone exhibition game this season.
Thanks to a couple of turnovers on their first couple of possessions, the ‘Dogs found themselves down early in the first quarter. But thanks to nine points from senior guard Alex Furr, including her two three pointers, the ‘Dogs scored 16 of the last 22 points to lead 17-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Fresno State continued its hot run into the second quarter as they started off the quarter on a 13-4 run en route to their first double-digit lead. The team would hang on to that double-digit cushion after junior Kendra Martin hit her second three of the game to end the half, giving the ‘Dogs a 36-23 lead at the half.
The Bulldogs maintained the lead going into the fourth quarter the ‘Dogs found themselves with their biggest lead of the night at 17 after a 6-0 run to open up the final quarter. Cal State East Bay hung around though as they used an 11-2 run to cut the Bulldog lead down to eight with just under three minutes to go. But, the ‘Dogs scored eight of the final 12 points of the game to seal the win.
“I thought there were moments when we were going to bust out and go out on a 10-0 run,” White said. “But we let them come back.”
Leading the way for the Bulldogs was senior forward Toni Smith. With a game-high 17 points, Smith shot over 60 percent from the field as she converted on 8-of-12 shots and added three rebounds and three steals. Senior guard Shauqunna Collins contributed 13 points to go along with her three boards and five steals. Furr added 11 points including a pair of three-pointers.
The ‘Dogs shot 46.3 percent (25-54) from the field, including 6-for-15 from the three-point range and outrebounded the Pioneers 32-28.
“I thought we shot the three-pointer well, especially in the first half, which was nice to see,” White said. “I thought we could have rebounded a little better, we try to get 40 per game.”
As of this season, the NCAA has introduced quarters into women’s basketball this season. Teams will play four-10 minute quarters instead of the two-20 minute halves compared to last season.