March 3, 2011
MOSCOW, Idaho - In arguably the best performance of the year on the road in the WAC, the Bulldogs pushed Idaho to the limit in a 69-66 loss at the Cowan Spectrum.
The Bulldogs showed their best offensive patience of the season during the first half, taking an early 7-0 lead that they pushed to a 13 point margin, 22-9 on a Greg Smith dunk with 10:49 left.
Freshman Bracken Funk scored six early points and Garrett Johnson had seven points. Fresno State shot over 57 percent from the floor in the half and made five steals with a tough defensive performance. Fresno State withstood a late first half rally by the Vandals but led 34-30 after 20 minutes.
Idaho took its first lead with 13:02 left after scoring four straight points and led 49-46.
Fresno State battled back to retake the lead with 7:10 remaining after Ned Golubovic drained a three point basket and Jonathan Wills converted a steal into a dunk which gave the Dogs a 55-54 margin.
Idaho answered that with six straight points before Golubovic stopped the run with his second three- pointer of the game. Fresno State tied the game 62-62 on a Smith dunk and two free throws by Golubovic.
After Idaho made a free throw to regain the lead 63-62, Garrett Johnson followed his own missed shot for a putback off the glass with 1:12 remaining to give the Dogs a 1-point lead.
The Vandals converted two free throws for a 65-64 lead with 33 seconds left.
Trailing by one, Wills missed a runner in the lane with 17 seconds to go and the Dogs were forced to foul. The Vandals hit their free throws to take a 67-64 lead and the Dogs could not recover. In all, Idaho made 16 of 20 free throw attempts.
Golubovic led the Bulldogs with 14 points, making 5 of 9 of his field goal attempts.
Smith had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Dogs, while Garrett Johnson scored 11 points. Funk and Wills each had eight points to lead a balanced scoring summary.
"We played with a purpose and executed the game plan tonight," said head coach Steve Cleveland. "I couldn't be more proud of these young men. We gave it a great effort and anyone who saw the game saw that tonight. We have to get back on our feet and bounce back. We have to travel home tomorrow and get ready for Hawai'i. We played with so much more purpose than we did last week against Boise State and that's a great sign. We still have a lot to play for. We have senior night coming up and then we get a start fresh at the WAC tournament."
The Bulldogs will fly back home Friday and prepare to host WAC rival Hawai'i on Saturday night at the Save Mart Center. It will be part of a Bulldog double-header for the women's and men's teams, who will honor their seniors in the final home games of the season. The women's game begins at 6 p.m. and the men's game will follow.
"We are Your Team!" The Dogs play their final home game of the season on Saturday night as part of a season-ending Bulldog doubleheader with the women's team. The Bulldog women will host rival Nevada at 6 p.m. followed by the men's game. Fresno State welcomes approximately 20 current NFL stars and former Bulldog greats who will be honored during halftime. The Dogs are in town to help kickoff the 2011 season ticket campaign as well as tickets for the season opener vs. Cal at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Fans can get tickets for the women's game for $6 and that ticket is good for both games if purchased prior to halftime of the women's game. In addition, five Bulldog fans will win flat screen TVs during the in-game promotional activities. Fresno State will honor five women's basketball seniors and lone Bulldog men's player, Ned Golubovic, who will be playing their final home game at the Save Mart Center.
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