Nov. 12, 2013
By Stephen Trembley
PITTSBURGH --- The Fresno State men's basketball team came out firing, but the 'Dogs couldn't overcome Pittsburgh's physical post presence as the Bulldogs suffered a 75-54 road loss to the Panthers on Tuesday night at Petersen Events Center.
Fresno State hit its first three shots, four of its five and later built a 13-8 lead over the ACC's Pittsburgh before the Panthers pulled away.
Bulldogs' freshman forward Paul Watson went 8-of-12 from the field to lead the team with his second-straight 18-point effort. He added five rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Cezar Guerrero also reached double figures for the 'Dogs with 10 points and dished out a career-best seven assists in the loss.
However, it was Pitt's brute physicality, strong low post play and the effectiveness of their 3-2 zone that ignited a 14-2 run. The stretch later became a 27-5 advantage - including 13 unanswered heading into halftime - and gave Pittsburgh all the momentum it needed to extend its home-court winning streak to 16 straight victories.
The Panthers' Talib Zanna returned after sitting out the season opener and had 19 points and 10 rebounds, leading Pittsburgh. Cameron Wright added a career high-tying 13 points and added six rebounds for the Panthers, who dominated the paint and the glass.
Despite Fresno State's struggles in the paint, the Bulldogs' perimeter defense stymied Pittsburgh long-range game - holding the Panthers to 0-for-11 from beyond the 3-point arc.
With the win, Pitt (2-0) improved to 182-22 in its 12th season at the Petersen Events Center, including a 103-3 mark versus non-conference opponents.
Fresno State (1-1) returns to the San Joaquin Valley for its sold-out home opener on Saturday at 7 p.m. PT versus Cal State Northridge.
"Catch the Wave!" - 2013-14 Fresno State men's basketball season 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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