FRESNO, Calif. - There are no excuses. Period.
Bulldogs head coach Rodney Terry didn't like the execution or the collective effort shown in Fresno State's disappointing 65-46 loss to Cal Poly on Saturday night at the Save Mart Center.
"We didn't get the job done tonight," Terry said. "We have to play hard for 40 minutes and Cal Poly did a very good job on both ends of the floor. They (the Mustangs) are an older team that knows how to do the things you need to do to win games. We can't feel sorry for ourselves or hang our heads. We have to be ready to play on Monday night."
Fresno State (4-7) struggled offensively and started pressing in the backcourt when the inside-out game wasn't in sync early.
"We have to do a better job of taking care of the basketball," Terry said. "We had eight turnovers in the first half and just started pressing. We really wanted to play inside-out, but all the credit goes to Cal Poly for executing their gameplan."
After Fresno State sophomore Jerry Brown scored the opening basket of the game to give the 'Dogs their only lead at 2-0, the Mustangs took control by pounding the boards and knocking down shot after shot, including a 40-foot buzzer beater for a 30-21 advantage at the break.
Cal Poly extended its lead to 20 midway through the second half, which the Bulldogs cut to eight in a four-minute span to trail 48-40 with 6:46 to play.
However, the Mustangs weathered the storm and cruised to the 19-point victory that kept the Big West contender's best start in a decade in tact as they improved to 8-3 on the season.
Bulldogs senior Jonathan Wills led Fresno State with a game-high 14 points and Brown added 10 points and six rebounds. Shooting guard Kevin Olekaibe, who had been limited in practice this week due to an ankle injury and entered the contest as the nation's sixth-leading sophomore scorer, played 31 minutes and netted seven points on 3-of-13 shooting.
Cal Poly was led by David Hanson and Amaurys Fermin, who each tallied 12 points, while the team shot 51 percent from the field, including a 61.9 clip in the second half.
"It's frustrating. We keep digging ourselves holes and we have to get that fixed," Wills said. "We have to be ready to play from the start. Every game is an opportunity for us and our sole focus now turns to Boise State."
Fresno State will look to snap its three-game losing streak when the 'Dogs travel to play at Boise State on Monday and Arizona State on Wednesday this week before closing the year at Pacific on Dec. 29.
"We Are Your Team!" --- Fresno State head back on the road for the Holidays when games at Boise State, Arizona State and Pacific. The Bulldogs battle in Boise with the Broncos can be viewed on The Mtn. television network, which is available exclusively on DirecTV 616. Be sure to follow Terry's Tweets from the road trip on Twitter (@RodneyTerry). The next chance to see the 'Dogs in the Save Mart Center is Jan. 2 when BSU visits town for the first game of 2012.
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