Jan. 1, 2014
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Alex Sheedy scored a season-high 20 points, 14 coming in the second half that she took over to lead Fresno State in a 79-63 win at UNLV in the Mountain West opener on Wednesday inside the Cox Pavilion.
Fresno State (7-5, 1-0 MW) built a 43-28 lead at the half by outscoring UNLV (3-10, 0-1 MW) 16-6 in the final nine minutes of the opening period. The Lady Rebels cut that down to 11 right out of halftime before Sheedy killed UNLV's momentum by scoring 11 points in a 17-5 run that pushed Fresno State's lead to up to 23 points.
"We just started reading the defense better," Sheedy said. "We knew that we had to attack the basket and we knew that we could get a lot of slips with the way they were playing defense and I think we tried to exploit that."
The win ends a two-game losing streak for the Bulldogs, who now have a 30-3 record in the month of January since 2010.
"To start conference off with a road win is something we will value," head coach Raegan Pebley said. "We had a great team effort and focus to get this victory. In our conference this approach to each competition, home or away, will be critical."
Sheedy finished the game going 7-for-17 from the field to go along with five rebounds and two assists.
"Good offense can come from a player continuing to commit to the defensive end and rebounding. Sheedy has shown a lot of toughness in her progression in her role this season," Pebley said. "Equally, her teammates have continued to put her in position to get quality shots."
In a great team defensive effort, the Bulldogs forced 25 turnovers for their fifth game this season forcing over 20 turnovers.
Fresno State saw four of its five starters score in double figures. Senior guard Bree Farley had 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and a career-high seven steals. The Bulldogs had 15 steals in all Wednesday.
Robin Draper added 13 points thanks in part to her three 3-pointers and Taylor Thompson finished with 11 points and six assists.
The one starter who did not score in double figures was center Jacinta Vandenberg. Vandenberg played an all-around impressive game still, scoring eight points, collecting nine rebounds and blocking a career-high five shots.
Fresno State shot 50.9 percent as a team, scored 40 points in the paint and had 31 points off of turnovers.
The Bulldogs now return home to host Boise State on Saturday at the Save Mart Center. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.
"Catch the Wave" - ESPN2 790 AM is the home of the Fresno State women's basketball team.
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