Jan. 22, 2014
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State women's basketball team bounced back from Wednesday's loss at Nevada by defeating co-Mountain West leader UNLV 70-52 at the Save Mart Center on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (12-7, 6-2 Mountain West) led by as many as 33 in the game and the win completes the season sweep of the Lady Rebels (8-11, 5-2 MW).
Head coach Raegan Pebley felt that this game was won in the two days of practice after the loss to Nevada.
"We really believe that our practices leading in to games is where we really prepare ourselves and get the confidence in winning," Pebley said. "I feel like we got better in our last two practices and we needed to. UNLV, first in the conference and had won five games in a row since we beat them the first time, so we feel very, very fortunate, but we also know that we worked really hard for this win."
The Bulldogs jumped right on UNLV in the first half with a collective defensive effort. UNLV hit just 7-of-25 field goal attempts in that opening half and had a six-minute stretch midway through the period where they only scored two points off of free throws.
That allowed Fresno State to open up a 24-11 lead and the Bulldogs finished the first half strong, taking a 41-18 lead at the break.
"We didn't give them very many second-chance opportunities," Pebley said was the key defensively in that first half. "We were able in that first half to just be disruptive, it didn't always turn into a steal, but were just disruptive to what their approach was. I feel that there was good attention to detail off the ball defensively."
Eight of the nine Bulldogs who played in that first half scored, but it was junior guard Robin Draper who led the way with 11 points behind three 3-pointers and a pair of free throws in the first 20 minutes of the game.
"I've been working to get more of an open shot instead of contested, but the players on our team really worked hard to move the ball around and saw me wide open," Draper said.
Even with the 23-point halftime lead, the Bulldogs came out in the second half and continued to execute. Fresno State started the second half on a 16-6 run to take that 33 point lead at the 13:37 mark. Draper, Alex Furr, Bree Farley and Taylor Thompson all hit 3-pointers in that run out of the halftime break.
Farley led the 'Dogs with 16 points in the game and she had seven rebounds with two steals.
"I'm just proud of how we played because coming off of a pretty bad loss against Nevada we didn't play our best game and didn't play the way we were preparing to play," Farley said. "I think just knowing that if we play together we can have a really good game and play against the best teams and win.
"It brings us confidence to know that if we work hard and play to our game plan and execute, we can play against the best teams."
Fresno State out-rebounded UNLV 47-34 in the game and had 17 offensive rebounds. The Bulldogs also moved the ball well and had 19 assists on 26 made field goals.
"A lot of people scored, but more importantly a lot of people got rebounds," Pebley said. "Everybody but three [of the 12 players] that played had three or more rebounds today and rebounding is a collective effort. I'm really proud of the team for that."
Thompson finished with 12 points, seven assists and four rebounds in just 27 minutes of action. In all 11 of the 12 Bulldogs that played, scored and Fresno State hit 10 3-pointers with Draper connecting on four and Farley draining three.
Now the Bulldogs, who are 3-1 in league road games this year, hit the road again this week to play at Wyoming on Wednesday.
"We're just going to be really grateful for this `W'," Pebley said,"especially before we have to go on the road to play at Wyoming, which it is really tough to go and get wins in Laramie."
"Catch the Wave" - ESPN2 790 AM is the home of the Fresno State women's basketball team.
|Email this article||Printer-friendly format|