‘Dogs come up short against #7 San Diego State

Forward Orlando Robinson in full court pressure on Aztec Aguek Arop to force a turnover on January 14, 2020 at the Save Mart Center. (The Collegian/ Armando Carreno)

The Fresno State men’s basketball team struggled to shoot the ball as it lost 64-55 to San Diego State on Tuesday night. 

The Aztecs are the highest-ranked team at No. 7 to come play at the Save Mart Center. Senior guard New Williams said he enjoyed the atmosphere in the arena.

“We have a great fan base, and we appreciated the Red Wave,” Williams said. “We had a good crowd tonight, so the atmosphere was pretty good.”

Both teams’ defensive prowess was on display as they both struggled to put points on the board in the first half. 

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 9-4 lead as forward Orlando Robinson connected on two free throws and a layup underneath the rim. The Aztecs answered back with a 9-2 run to take the lead after their star guard, Malachi Flynn, drained a 3-pointer. 

For the remainder of the first half, Fresno State traded baskets with San Diego State as guard Jordan Campbell and Robinson kept them afloat early.

With five minutes left before halftime, the Bulldogs settled for long jump shots and the Aztecs pulled ahead with a 7-0 run to lead 21-26. Fresno State shot 28.6% from the field in the first half – its third-worst shooting half this season.

In the second half, Fresno State remained cold, while San Diego State heated up. The Bulldogs couldn’t capitalize on the Aztecs’ turnovers and poor shots early as they fell behind 35-45. 

The Bulldogs would then make their greatest push in the half, cutting the lead to six. At a critical juncture of the game, senior guard Noah Blackwell traveled and the Aztecs capitalized quickly, hitting free throws and scoring easy layups to seal the game. 

‘Dogs head coach Justin Hutson said the team played hard, but injuries made it harder to adjust on the fly.

“When you’ve had so many injuries like we’ve had and guys in and out of the lineup, you’re playing different rotations,” Hutson said. “It’s not gonna be very easy to flow.”

Fresno State finished the game shooting 36.4% from the field and 29.4% from behind the arc. Robinson was the Bulldogs’ leading scorer with 18 points and six rebounds. 

“All of the games are helping us,” Hutson said. “Every time they go out there and play, they’re getting more experience. We’d like to get that experience winning, but we’re not. But we’re getting some experience.

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