Jan. 15, 2014
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
FRESNO, Calif. - San Diego State guard Danesha Long hit a contested jumper with seven seconds remaining to give the Aztecs a 70-69 victory over the Fresno State women's basketball team on Wednesday at the Save Mart Center.
This was Fresno State's first conference loss of the season, as the 'Dogs fell to 10-6 overall and 4-1 in Mountain West play. SDSU improved to 5-9 overall and 2-2 in the league with the win.
"We're both very competitive with each other as programs and I think they are an excellent team with an incredible post presence inside," head coach Raegan Pebley said. "I'm just really, really proud of our team and how they battled. They did it the Bulldog way that we ask for them to do it and just always represent their institution with a lot of grace."
Long's jumper came just after Fresno State took a 69-68 lead on two free throws by Taylor Thompson with 18 seconds remaining. After a steal, the 275th of her career that tied the school record, Thompson was fouled at half court and the drained both of her double-bonus shots at the line to give Fresno State its lead since the 9:48 mark of the second half.
After a timeout, Aztec guard Ariell Bostick found Long on the right wing, who despite having two Bulldogs right on her, rose above and drained the 15-foot game winner.
"She hit a really tough shot," Pebley said of Long's game winning bucket. "It was a close out read, she got the catch on the 3-point line and attacked our feet, we had baseline help that rotated and she hit it contested. She hit a tough shot."
The Bulldogs, behind eight first-half 3-pointers and a 50 percent field goal percentage, held a 42-35 halftime lead.
After the break, Fresno State cooled off and missed its first nine shots while San Diego State remained hot and dumped the ball inside where they finished the game with 42 points in the paint to Fresno State's 12.
The Aztecs ended up shooting 50 percent for the game and were led by center Cierra Warren, who had 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting and 10 rebounds. SDSU's ability to get buckets at the basket allowed them to maintain a slight lead on the Bulldogs from inside the 10-minute mark until the closing minute.
Even with the shots not falling like they were in the first half, Fresno State kept itself in it despite that 22.2 percent second-half field goal percentage.
"We shot the lights out in the first half, so you are going to hit some point where you got to keep fighting through that and stay confident," Pebley said.
Thompson finished the game with 12 points and 11 rebounds for her third career double-double. She also added four assists and two steals that helped her tie Rosie Moult's school record for most steals in a career.
Sheedy and Faulk both hit key 3-pointers in the final two minutes of the game that helped Fresno State cut down what was a four-point SDSU lead at the 3:34 mark.
Even with the tough loss at home, Pebley was happy with how her team competed and remained poised down the stretch. She felt that this game will serve as a good learning point moving forward throughout the rest of conference play.
"Every game is an opportunity for us to grow and get better," she said. "I think this was a good experience for us. I think this conference for us is playing out like we expected, it is cutthroat. Any team can beat any team top to bottom and I think you just got to stay focused game by game."
"Catch the Wave" - ESPN2 790 AM is the home of the Fresno State women's basketball team.
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