Looking to extend their win streak to six games against Wyoming, Hanna Cavinder helped the Fresno State Bulldogs women’s basketball team pile up the points Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile, freshman Hanna Cavinder scored 20 and added six assists in her performance. Haley Cavinder, added 19 and the Bulldogs beat the Cowgirls 89-59.
This is the Bulldog’s fourth-highest scoring total in the season. Their highest was 111 against La Verne in early December.
Hanna Cavinder shot 7 for 11 from the field and posted her sixth 20-point game of the season, joining her sister Haley and Jalessa Ross (2007-08) for the most 20-point games in a season by a freshman in school history.
The Bulldogs started off strong, pushing the tempo and playing tough defense. Leading the Cowgirls 30-11 in the first quarter, Fresno State was efficient to start the game making 12 of 18 shots from the field and 4 of 8 from 3-point range.
Meanwhile, the Cowgirls had no answer for the suffocating defense in the first quarter. Wyoming only made 5 of 16 shots from the field and 1 of 6 from 3-point range.
‘Dogs’ head coach Jaime White said the team “really came out with urgency” in the first quarter.
“We played great in the first quarter, and 30-11 is probably a record in my books,” White said. “I thought we shot the three really well and shared the ball.”
After the first quarter, the Cowgirls continued their shooting woes and couldn’t cut the lead to single digits. They made 21 of 61 shots from the field and only 32 percent from 3-point range for four quarters.
Through all four quarters, the Bulldogs made 13 of 29 attempts from beyond the arc and put the pressure on Wyoming, scoring 12 points off fastbreak opportunities and forcing six turnovers.
Fresno State had 24 assists and only six turnovers in the game. The ‘Dogs drove in to draw defenders and then kicked the ball out to open shooters on the 3-point line.
They out rebounded the Cowgirls 46-32 and scored 16 points off second-chance opportunities.
In the third quarter, one Fresno State player etched her name in history. With 1:09 left, freshman Kendyll Kinzer grabbed a rebound and passed it to junior Maddi Utti.
There was no one stopping Utti from getting to the basket during the fast break, and all of her teammates were aware of the moment that was taking place.
As soon as Utti made the layup, her teammates jumped up and down, screaming from the bench. She had just scored 1,000 career points and became the 25th player in program history to join the 1,000-point club.
Utti was awarded the game ball in a postgame celebration as the fans in attendance showed their appreciation, and during the postgame press conference she held back tears.
“I’m pretty emotional, and coming into my freshman year I didn’t expect this at all,” Utti said. “I think the coaches put a lot of faith in me and trusted me so that’s helped a lot.”
Looking ahead, even with multiple players making history and being undefeated in the Mountain West, White is not thinking about her team’s record or position in the standings.
“There’s still a couple of games looking back that I wasn’t so excited about like the Portland game and the Santa Clara game,” White said. “We may be undefeated now, but the end result is what matters.”
The Bulldogs play their next game at home against Colorado State on Jan. 22 at 6 p.m.