Rolling over UC Riverside
Greg Smith scored 23 points and had a career-high 14 rebounds to lead the Dogs.

Greg Smith scored 23 points and had a career-high 14 rebounds to lead the Dogs.

Feb. 19, 2011

FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State had never lost a basketball game to UC Riverside and this young Bulldog team wasn't about to let it happen this year.

After a tightly contested first half and the Highlanders taking a brief lead early in the second half, Fresno State went on a 24-3 run and cruised to a 68-49 victory in front of 7,499 fans at the Save Mart Center.

Sophomore center Greg Smith, in one of his best performances of his career, scored 23 points and hauled in 14 rebounds to lead the Dogs. He made 8 of 14 field goal attempts in the game. He joined Jonathan Wills, who matched his career-high with 8 points and led the Dogs with four assists, and freshman guard Tyler Johnson who had a career-best seven rebounds to go with seven points.

The Bulldog led by six points at halftime 29-23 but that lead slipped away to a 34-32 UCR lead early in the second half. Fresno State followed that with an 8-0 run, which was followed by shutting the Highlanders out for over four minutes and another 10-0 run, the Dogs steamrolled to victory.

Fresno State had 16 more rebounds than the Highlanders in the game, 42-26.

"All in all this was a game we needed to win and it was good to be able to take control in the second half," said head coach Steve Cleveland. "It was great to see Tyler Johnson and Jonathan Wills play so well tonight. Jonathan is going to start for us the rest of the year. He gives is a good defensive presence. This game and the Cal State Bakersfield games would have better served us early in the season because we could have used them as confidence builders for this young team but right now we have to focus on the three WAC games we have left and the first one on Thursday against Boise State."



Bulldog Notes
  • This was the first meeting between the two schools since the 2001 season. The Dogs are 4-0 all-time vs. the Highlanders.
  • Jonathan Wills scored a three point basket to start the scoring. Wills started for the first time since San Diego game on Dec. 7. He started the first seven games of the season and matched his career high with eight points.
  • The Bulldogs played without junior guard Tim Steed, the squad's third-leading scorer, who will miss the next two games with a suspension for violation of Athletic Department policy.
  • In other WAC BracketBusters games Saturday, No. 24 Utah State (25-3) won at No. 23 Saint Mary's (22-6) 75-65; La Tech (12-16) defeated Georgia State (11-16) 51-45; Hawai'i (15-10) won at UC Davis (9-17) 83-69; Nevada (11-15) won at UC Irvine (11-17) 74-63; Northern Colorado (15-10) won at New Mexico State (14-13) 82-80; Boise State (15-11) won at UC Santa Barbara (14-11) 78-76 in overtime; Idaho (15-10) won at Montana State (11-16) 65-50.
  • Greg Smith had his fifth double-double of the season with 23 points and 14 rebounds. His rebound total was a career-high and he was two points shy of his career scoring high. It was his highest scoring output of this season.

    "We are Your Team!" Fresno State returns to WAC action on Thursday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. Click the tickets icon at the top of the page for more information.

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