Feb. 16, 2013
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State women's basketball team maintained pace in the Mountain West race by defeating Wyoming and denying the Cowgirls their 20th victory of the season with Saturday's 61-47 win at the Save Mart Center.
After losing by 25 to San Diego State one week ago at home to fall into a second-place tie with the Cowgirls in the MW standings, Fresno State won at New Mexico on Wednesday thanks to their defense. On Saturday against Wyoming, the Bulldogs (17-7, 9-2 MW) were clicking on both ends of the floor as they coasted in the game where they led by as many as 21.
"What we had to do was not allow Wyoming to play to its strengths and they are one of the most efficient teams we have played all season with their half-court offense," said head coach Raegan Pebley. "They are at their best when they can play in their half-court offensively and can force you to play in a half court.
"Our game plan tonight was to do everything we could to force them to play faster than they wanted to and give us a chance to play a bit faster as well. We had quite a bit of success with that."
Fresno State found a lot of success forcing the pace, particularly with their full-court pressure defense. Wyoming struggled to get into its offense and the Bulldogs forced the Cowgirls (19-5, 8-3 MW) into 24 turnovers with their press.
The Cowgirls only shot 34.7 percent on the day while the 'Dogs were on cue at 42.4 percent shooting.
Junior Bree Farley, who had 11 points and eight rebounds, attributed the offensive success to their defense.
"I think tonight was our first night in quite a while that we really brought energy and effort out for a full 40 minutes," Farley said. "I think they really struggled with the pressure and we were hoping that would be the case. When you get offensive reward and points out of it, it makes it a lot easier to [sustain that effort] because it is fun basketball and that's what we want to play."
Ki-Ki Moore led the Bulldogs with 20 points, four assists and she had five of Fresno State's 12 steals in the game. Alex Sheedy pitched in with 16 points and seven rebounds, helping the Bulldogs clean up on the glass.
In the first meeting with Wyoming, the Cowgirls out-boarded the 'Dogs 37-20 and had 21 second-chance points off of 14 offensive rebounds. In Saturday's rematch, the Bulldogs out-rebounded the Cowgirls 37-34 and only gave up eight second-chance points.
"We made a more conscious effort and we really focused on trying to get that done because we thought that was going to put us in a better possession to win the game," Sheedy said of the Bulldogs' collective effort on the boards.
With two wins during this challenging week, the Bulldogs now remain at home to host Nevada coming up on Wednesday. Fresno State has five games left before the conference tournament and three of those are at home.
"It's huge that we get to have to games in a row at home, which is the first time in conference that we've been able to do that," Pebley said. "After that we go back on the road, but then we get to be home again. We've got a great opportunity here and that's all that it is. We have to grasp it, we've got to take it into our control and we've got to have great practices like we did [Friday] to build the momentum going into the conference tournament .
"We need a few things to happen that are out of our control to win a conference regular season championship, but those things really could happen. We have to still take care of what we can control and that's game-by-game."
"Discover Fresno State Athletics" - ESPN2 790 AM is the home of the Fresno State women's basketball team.
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