By: Andrew Rich
By: Andrew Rich
FRESNO, Calif. -- Fresno State built a 24-point first half lead and then kept it around 20 for the rest of the way in a dominating 82-56 win over rival San José State (6-17, 0-11 MW) on Saturday night at the Save Mart Center. The Bulldogs never trailed and led for all but a minute and 17 seconds to earn their third consecutive Mountain West Conference victory.
The loss was the Spartans' largest margin of defeat this season.
"I thought our loss at Colorado State was a turning point for us as far as understanding the physicality, how hard we needed to play, the urgency, the 50/50 balls and we definitely made a lot better efforts from that point on," Fresno State head coach Rodney Terry said.
Hot shooting was the story of the first half for the `Dogs as they hit 55.9% of their shots in the opening 20 minutes, including 9 of 16 from beyond the arc. Point guard Cezar Guerrero was the catalyst for Fresno State, hitting three triples in the opening half on his way to 13 points. The sophomore from Huntington Park, Calif., matched his career-high with 23 points on 8 of 13 shooting and 5 of 9 from long distance.
Fresno State (11-13, 4-7) scored 18 points in the opening five minutes of the game to grab a quick 18-6 lead. The lead eventually ballooned to 41-17 with 6:21 to play in the first half.
The Bulldog defense limited the Spartans to just 30% shooting and just 28% from behind the arc.
Tyler Johnson recorded his sixth double-double of the season, scoring 15 points and pulling down a team-high 10 rebounds. Marvelle Harris also scored in double-figures, adding 16 points. He was a perfect four-for-four on three pointers.
Fresno State now takes their three-game winning streak on the road to Reno. The Bulldogs will take on Nevada at 7:00 p.m., on Wednesday at the Lawlor Events Center. The Wolf Pack knocked off Fresno State 96-86 in double overtime in the first meeting between the two this season.
"We understand that we have a lot more work to do," Johnson said. "As easy as it was to win these three straight we can drop three straight if we don't come prepared."
"Catch the Wave!" - 2013-14 Fresno State men's basketball tickets are now on sale and can be ordered online at www.gobulldogs.com or over the phone at 559-278-DOGS (3647). The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.
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