Thanks to a gritty defensive performance, the Fresno State women’s basketball team defeated CSU Bakersfield 57-52 Wednesday at Save Mart Center.
Fresno State senior guard Shauqunna Collins drives past a CSUB defender during Wednesday’s 57-52 win over CSU Bakersfield at Save Mart Center. (Khone Saysamongdy/The Collegian)
“I thought we did a good job [defensively], we ran a lot of zone and not even our aggressive zone but more our saggy zone,” Fresno State head coach Jaime White said. “We knew they could drive and were going to attack. We did a good job holding our ground and stopping the gaps.”
The Bulldogs forced 22 turnovers in the game and held the Roadrunners to 37 percent shooting offensively.
Out of the gate, both teams struggled offensively with neither team shooting above 28 percent for the first five minutes of the game. Thanks in large part to the ‘Dogs’ ability to get to the free-throw line and having five different players score points, they found themselves with a 14-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Roadrunners came out firing in the second quarter and tied the game at 24. But a steal and four straight points from sophomore center Bego Faz Davalos sparked a 6-0 run to end the half and give the ‘Dogs a 30-24 lead.
Faz Davalos recorded her seventh career double-double, her fourth this year in just seven games. She recorded 13 points and snatched down 12 rebounds, including five offensive boards.
“Well I think it was because my teammates gave me great passes,” Faz Davalos said. “I just tried to finish it because they were really aggressive inside,”
Both teams continued to struggle out of the break. The ‘Dogs built their biggest lead of the game following a 3-point play from Faz Davalos, increasing the Bulldog lead to 35-27. The Roadrunners, however, finished the quarter on an 8-2 run to cut the Bulldog lead to two going into the final quarter.
The Roadrunners continued their run into the fourth and tied the game up at 44 with just over four minutes left in regulation. Faz Davalos and senior guard Brittany Aikens added a bucket apiece, helping the ‘Dogs regain a four-point lead. Freshman Breanne Knishka nailed four free throws down the stretch, and senior guard Moriah Faulk added a three to help the ‘Dogs secure the five-point victory.
The Bulldogs were led by Faulk, who matched her season-high with a game-high 16 points to go with her nine rebounds and three assists.
“I am happy that we got the win,” Faulk said. “We knew this was going to be a tough game for us, so being able to score for my teammates and help get the win felt great.”
Knishka added nine points of her own, and Aikens came off the bench to contribute eight points on 3-for-7 shooting.
The ‘Dogs outscored Bakersfield 32-18 in the paint and 14-4 in second-chance points on their way to get redemption following last year’s 20-point loss to the Roadrunners in Bakersfield.
“It was a hard game,” White said. ‘We knew Bakersfield was going to bring everything they had, and they did a good job. We really buckled down the last five minutes of the game and came away with the win.”