By Stephen Trembley
By Stephen Trembley
FRESNO, Calif. --- The Fresno State men's basketball team relied on aggressive attacking penetration and a swarming defense to tame the Pacific Tigers 66-61 during Friday night's home opener at the Save Mart Center.
"We're going to have games like this all year and we'll grind it out," Fresno State head coach Rodney Terry said. "That's what we are, grinders. Our program is built on defense and taking a lot of pride and trying to get stops, and going down and executing well and understanding what we're trying to get done from an offensive stand point. It's going to be a 40-minute game and go until the whistle blows it off."
Fresno State's Kevin Foster posted his fourth career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead four Bulldogs in double figures. Allen Huddleston (13 points), Kevin Olekaibe (11 points) and Tyler Johnson (10 points) also surpassed the double-digit mark to lead the 'Dogs to their second straight victory.
|Post-Game Press Conference|
|Head Coach Rodney Terry
With the win, the 'Dogs improved to 10-0 all-time in home openers at the Save Mart Center.
After the teams played to a 34-34 halftime tie, Fresno State moved out to a 50-44 lead when freshman Marvelle Harris drained a 3-pointer with 14:52 to play. The Tigers took the lead at 57-56 on a basket by Ross Rivera with 4:36 to go.
The score returned to a tie with just over three minutes to play at 58-58 before the Bulldogs finished on an 8-3 run for the 66-61 victory.
"I thought our defense and intensity was much, much better in the second half," Terry noted. "Our guys came out with more of a mindset that we were going to sit down and really guard right now and not let these guys come in and execute their offense."
The game-winning surge began when Jerry Brown hit a 19-foot 2-point bucket from the left corner with 2:59 left and also included a big 3-pointer off the hands of Huddleston from the top of the key with 1:11 to play.
In the first half, Fresno State overcame a 24-15 deficit with 8:34 remaining before the break by going on an 8-0 run.
Fresno State heads back on the road for a Monday night game at Cal Poly (1-1), with tip off set for 7 p.m. PT and can be heard live through the San Joaquin Valley on KMJ 580 AM.
"Discover Fresno State Athletics!" --- Fresno State men's basketball non-conference single game tickets can be bought through Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com)
and at the Save Mart Center Box Office starting at $17 for adults and $9 for youth, except for contests versus San Diego Christian and Sonoma State, which are priced at $7 for adults and $5 for youth (ages 2-12). The flagship radio stations for Fresno State men's basketball are KMJ 580 AM (English) and ESPN Deportes 1600 AM (Spanish).
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