Looking to have better luck at home than on the road, the Fresno State women’s basketball team returned to the Save Mart Center after losing away at Portland on Sunday afternoon. Facing the BYU Cougars for the first time since 2008, the Bulldogs were looking to stay undefeated at home.
However, the Cougars proved too much for the ‘Dogs, giving them their first home loss of the season 71-65.
The Bulldogs started the game going toe-to-toe with the Cougars and at one point in the quarter, even tying the score 9-9. However, BYU scored 10 unanswered points to finish the first quarter 19-9 in favor of the Cougars.
Fresno State struggled to put up points, and BYU took advantage, taking the lead and the momentum away from the Bulldogs.
For the second quarter, the Bulldogs found some rhythm and kept up with the Cougars throughout. The Bulldogs had good runs that helped them stay within nine points of the
Cougars, however, BYU scored the last four points of the half, leaving the Bulldogs down by 12 points.
The second quarter for the Bulldogs was competitive, and they showed that they could keep up with a team that outmatched them in size, ending the first half of the game 36-24.
After halftime, BYU carried its momentum into the third quarter and completely dominated the Bulldogs, going on a nine-point run halfway through the quarter.
The ‘Dogs managed to generate some points just before the end of the period, thanks to a 3-point basket by guard Haley Cavinder. With a 16 point deficit, the Bulldogs ended the third quarter with the score of 55-39.
In the fourth quarter, BYU kept up its domination over the Bulldogs and increased its lead to 18 points. At this point, the Bulldogs went on a 12-point unanswered run against the Cougars, thanks in part to four 3-point shots made by Cavinder and forward Kendyll Kinzer.
Fresno State made a final push to tie it before the end of the game and came within five points of the Cougars. But BYU’s lead was too much for the Bulldogs, who just couldn’t finish the comeback.
With the final score of 71-65 in favor of the Cougars, the Bulldogs lost their second game in a row and moved to 3-5 in the season. This is the first loss at home for the Bulldogs, who will be back at home on Sunday against Northern Arizona.
After the game, head coach Jaime White praised the Cougars for having a great team and said that facing this type of teams helps the ‘Dogs get ready for teams they will face later in the season.
“We just weren’t big, and we had to rotate with size, but we had everybody on our bench coming off and playing hard,” White said. “We gave up 20 offensive rebounds, and we just can’t do that, and we can’t do that because we don’t have the size … But for the most part, I thought we learned some good stuff tonight.”