Nov. 30, 2013
By Stephen Trembley
By Stephen Trembley
FRESNO, Calif. --- The resiliency and grit of the Fresno State men's basketball team was tested, but the Bulldogs found a way to pound out a 96-86 victory over the Bakersfield Roadrunners during Day Two action of the 29th Fresno State Classic on Saturday night at the Save Mart Center.
"I thought our guys did a great job at holding themselves together," Fresno State head coach Rodney Terry said. "We controlled the tempo and the ballgame. I'm not taking anything away from Bakersfield, but the way we played tonight, we deserved to win this game, and we found a way."
To find that way, Fresno State (5-3) pounded out a 17-point lead of 58-41 with 12 minutes to play in regulation. The 'Dogs then withstood a late offensive onslaught by CSUB - punctuated by a 13-2 run in the final 34 seconds of the second half that forced overtime with the score knotted at 81-81.
Bakersfield sharp-shooter Matt Ratto drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing with seven seconds left in regulation to extend the game into the extra session.
"I told our guys, `This is what we train for. We work hard. Did it go the way we want it to in the end of regulation? No, but we got five more minutes. Let's finish this out. It's winning time right now.' Our guys were saying that coming to the huddle, and that made me a lot more composed," Terry said of his words to the team before the start of overtime.
After Bakersfield's Issiah Grayson hit a 3-pointer that made it a 84-81 lead for the Roadrunners, Fresno State responded by going on the game-deciding 6-0 stretch for an 87-84 advantage - a lead the Bulldogs never relinquished for the rest of the overtime session en route to the 10-point win.
Fresno State senior guard Allen Huddleston scored a career-high 23 points to lead six Bulldogs in double figures. Sophomore guard Cezar Guerrero added 22 points, including a 13-for-14 clip at the free throw line, and four assists.
"It was intense in the beginning," Guerrero said. "Coach Terry always tells us to keep our calm and cool and keep pursuing to get the win, and that's what we did tonight."
Marvelle Harris posted his first career double-double with 14 points and a career-best 10 rebounds, paired with five assists. Harris also converted the go-ahead free throws with 2:19 left in overtime.
As a team, the Bulldogs converted 8 of 10 from the line in overtime. For the game, Fresno State shot 52.8 percent (28-for-53) from the floor, and limited Bakersfield to just 43.7 percent (31-for-71). The 'Dogs also capitalized on 17 CSUB turnovers, which led to a 24-11 edge in points off turnovers and 21-4 advantage in transition for Fresno State.
Grayson finished with 20 points for Bakersfield, and Brandon Barnes came off the Roadrunners' bench to add another 20. Stefon Johnson had 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for CSUB.
With the 10-point overtime win, Fresno State improved to 4-1 at home and 2-0 in overtime games this season. The Bulldogs opened the year with a thrilling 98-97 overtime victory on the road at UC Irvine.
The Bulldogs close out the three-day Fresno State Classic, presented by The First Tee of Fresno, on Sunday at 2 p.m. PT in a contests against Northern Arizona, who lost 76-56 to Drake earlier in the day in other Classic action.
"It's mental over physical right now," Terry said. "The approach tomorrow is about business. Let's come back in here and have another opportunity to get better."
29th Fresno State Classic, presented by The First Tee of Fresno
Nov. 29, 2013
Bakersfield 61, Northern Arizona 50
Drake 84, Fresno State 74
Nov. 30, 2013
Drake 76, Northern Arizona 56
Fresno State 96, Bakersfield 86 (OT)
Dec. 1, 2013
11 a.m. PT - Drake vs. Bakersfield
2 p.m. PT - Northern Arizona vs. Fresno State
"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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