Feb. 17, 2011
BOISE, Id. - It took the Fresno State women's basketball team all of nine seconds to set the tone of Thursday night's game at Boise State.
The Bulldogs forced a turnover on the Broncos' first possession and were off to the races for the rest of the night, rolling to a 75-57 victory at Taco Bell Arena. Fresno State has now won three consecutive games and remains in second place in the WAC race with five regular-season games remaining.
Senior guard Jaleesa Ross led the Bulldogs with 18 points and seven assists, while senior forward Marnique Arnold added 14 and four rebounds. That said, this was a defense-generated victory from start to finish.
Fresno State (18-7, 9-2 WAC) buckled down immediately and never let up, forcing a whopping 31 turnovers and turning Boise State's many errors into 27 points. Sophomore forward Rosie Moult came up with a steal and pushed the ball ahead to Ross, who scored with ease to give the Bulldogs a 50-34 advantage early in the second half.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 22 points, while the Broncos (11-15, 2-10) suffered their eighth consecutive loss. Boise State's 31 turnovers were a season high.
With the win, seniors Emma Andrews, Taja Edwards, Hayley Munro, Arnold and Ross recorded the 90th victory of their storied careers, tying the 2007 class for the most wins in program history. A victory Monday at New Mexico State would put the 2011 class in a league by itself as the winningest group in Fresno State history.
The Bulldogs flustered Boise State from the outset, forcing the Broncos into committing nine turnovers in the first 12 minutes of the game. Fresno State capitalized on their miscues, as Munro knocked down a 3-pointer off a turnover for a 27-15 lead with 7:40 to go in the first half.
Boise State had a staggering 17 turnovers in the first half. Freshman point guard Taylor Thompson finished with six steals for Fresno State.
The Broncos closed to within seven (34-27) following a 3-pointer by Cinnamon Lister with 3:12 remaining in the half, but the Bulldogs responded in a big way. More specifically, Ross responded in a big way, scoring eight consecutive points and giving Fresno State a 42-27 lead at the half.
"We Are Your Team!" - Fresno State will now turn its attention toward New Mexico State. The Bulldogs travel to Las Cruces, N.M., to make up last month's game, which was postponed due to rolling blackouts in the region. Gametime is Monday at 5 p.m.
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