Where is the love for Fresno State women’s basketball?

Fresno State women's basketball celebrating Maddi Utti's 1,000th point of her collegiate career. (Armando Carreno/The Collegian)

Aly Gamez got the ball at the top of the three-point arc with four seconds left in the game against Colorado State. She screamed for a pick to get a switch and immediately drove in for a floater. As the ball bounced in, her team rushed over to embrace her. 

The team screamed with excitement, but the response from the crowd was lackluster.

Fans should be celebrating the performance of each player on the women’s basketball team.

The Cavinder twins, Haley and Hanna, are making a statement as freshmen with their performance on the court. In their freshman year, Hanna has scored 20-plus points in seven games while Haley has done so in nine games. Also, combining both of their point averages makes the Cavinder twins the highest-scoring duo in the nation (32 points). Behind them are the Wallen twins from the University of Northern Alabama with a combined average of 28 points.

Junior Maddi Utti, earlier this season, broke the 1,000-point mark of her collegiate career. This season has meant so much for Utti, and her passion for the game has translated well onto the court. After breaking the 1,000 mark, Utti fought back shedding tears during the post-game conference saying she “did not expect this at all” coming into her freshman year.

When you add on Utti in the mix with the Cavinder twins, the Fresno State women’s basketball team becomes one of only three programs in the nation to have three players to average 15 points a game. The only other programs are No. 3 Oregon and No. 5 University of Connecticut. 

Now, all these students are playing their hearts out and without question are eyeing victory in the Mountain West Championship tournament, but why did it feel like there was no effort to get students and the community to the games?

Fresno State Athletics marketing has not done enough to fill the seats inside the Save Mart Center. As of recently, Fresno State Athletics marketing is making up ground to get people to come to watch this incredible women’s basketball run. However, it’s too late. 

For comparison, leading up to the men’s basketball game against Colorado State, the marketing team was heavily pushing students to come to the game with social media posts on Instagram and Twitter. Alongside the social media presence, the promotion of a giveaway free t-shirts, airpods and pizza enticed students.

The promotion worked. The student section was packed and was one of the biggest turnouts I’ve seen this season. This promotion should have been done for the women’s team first back in January. 

The Bulldogs have risen from underdogs to top dogs. Fresno State is undefeated in conference play and the seats are empty. This team is exciting to watch, and they deserved bigger crowds earlier on in the season. 

Imagine what could have been if there was a great community turnout or a rowdy student section during the women’s earlier in the season?

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