With the game tied at 53 and four seconds left in the fourth quarter, Fresno State junior guard Aly Gamez took the game into her own hands.
With the game winding down, Gamez received the ball at the top of the 3-point line and immediately called for a screen. As soon as she collected the pass, Gamez picked up her dribble, drove to the basket and unleashed a shot over the defender just before the sound of the buzzer.
The ball flew in the air for several seconds until it bounced off the glass to give the Fresno State women’s basketball team a 55-53 victory over the Colorado State Rams.
“It’s very exciting, especially when your teammates are running up to you after you make a big shot,” said Gamez on having the ball in the final seconds.
The Bulldogs were put in the position to need a game winning shot after allowing Colorado State’s Jamie Bonnarens to tie the game with a turnaround 3-pointer.
Fresno State called a timeout to draw up a play for Gamez. Bulldogs head coach Jaime White said she and her assistant knew what play would work.
“It’s a play we run every day, almost. Aly, of course being the point guard and having ran it for three years,” White said. “It was perfect to have her and Maddi involved in the screen.”
Gamez finished the game with 11 points on 11 shots, while Maddi Utti (12 points and 13 rebounds) and Kendyll Kinzer (11 points and three boards) provided support.
All five Colorado State starters combined for 51 points, but they were outscored in bench points 15-2.
Hanna and Haley Cavinder both struggled to shoot the ball on Wednesday night, making only 5 out of 25 from the field and scoring 9 combined points.
The Bulldogs got a boost from freshman forward Kendyll Kinzer in the first half, scoring 9 points off of 3-pointers.
“I know my role, I go in and shoot the ball,” Kinzer said. “So when the three is not falling for the starters, I just really hope that off the bench I can do my job.”
For Colorado State, forward Jamie Bonnarens led the way with 15 points off five 3-pointers, and Mackenzie Ellis and Andrea Brady had 11 apiece.
The Rams held the Bulldogs to their lowest point total this season with the Bulldogs in a slump, shooting 34 percent from the field and only 21 percent from beyond the arc.
Despite the loss, Rams head coach Ryun Williams said he was proud of his team’s defensive effort.
“I grade us out as exceptional, except for one area,” Williams said. “They scored 13 points in the third quarter, and 11 of them were on O-boards (offensive rebounds).”
The Bulldogs started the season 0-4 when scoring less than 70 points. But, in the last eight days they’ve been able to find ways to win without hitting the 70-point mark.
Fresno State ends it two-game home stand with back-to-back wins, as they now head to Boise to face rival Boise State (14-6, 6-2 MW).