19-point performances propel ’Dogs to semifinals

Fresno State junior center Bego Faz Davalos (#4) jumps for the ball during tipoff against Wyoming on Feb. 8, 2017 at the Save Mart Center. (Christian Ortuno/ The Collegian)

The Fresno State women’s basketball team needed no luck in Las Vegas as standout performances by sophomore guard Candice White and junior center Bego Faz Davalos allowed the ’Dogs to corral the Wyoming Cowgirls, 58-48 ,on Tuesday evening at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The Bulldogs made history in Tuesday’s game as it was the first time in women’s basketball conference history that the No. 7 seed beat the No. 2 seed.

Faz Davalos, who was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season earlier in the week, posted her 19th double-double of the season with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and a block and a steal.

Faz Davalos credited her performance to her teammates pushing her and never letting her down.

“My teammates had my back the entire game and I’m so happy,” Faz Davalos said.

White, an All-Mountain West Honorable Mention, also scored 19 points and had three steals for the Bulldogs. The guard was 3-for-3 from behind the arch and shot 80 percent from the free-throw line.

Senior forward Emilie Volk contributed seven points, seven rebounds and led the team in assists with five on the night.

“I thought our full-court pressure was great,” head coach Jaime White said. “I thought Candice had a great game. Bego started again great tonight. Just good team basketball.”

The ’Dogs never forfeited the lead to the Cowgirls, leading by as much as 24 early in the final quarter. As the fourth period wound down, Wyoming was within six points of Fresno State, but six free throws and a steal in the final minute allowed the ’Dogs to edge the Cowgirls for the second time in three meetings this season.

On the Cowgirls closing the Bulldogs lead, Faz Davalos said she started to become a little worried, but had faith in herself and her teammates.

“It was amazing how my seniors stayed calm,” Faz Davalos said. “They were like ‘No, we got this, we worked for it and we want to win this.’”

The third year-head coach said the team is appreciative and excited to be in the semifinals of the conference tournament.

“I think for us it’s an opportunity to get better, every quarter, every minute and to advance,” White said.

The Bulldogs will play No. 3 UNLV in the semifinals on Wednesday, March 8 at 9 p.m.

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