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."
"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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