March 7, 2012 By Theresa Kurtz
By Theresa Kurtz
LAS VEGAS - The Fresno State women's basketball team overcame a slow start and defeated New Mexico State University 66-58 on Wednesday evening to advance to the semifinal game of the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Tournament.
The Bulldogs (26-5, 13-1 WAC) had four scorers in double figures against the Aggies. Sophomore Ki-Ki Moore led the way with 15 points. Senior Blakely Goldberg scored 14 and freshman Alex Sheedy and senior Veronica Wilson tallied 10 points each.
"I thought we played well and had good momentum," said head coach Adrian Wiggins. "I don't think we capitalized on some of our transitions well. We worked hard together, but didn't have a very good shooting night. We battled hard and I am glad that we pulled through."
The Bulldogs opened the game by scoring seven unanswered points taking an early lead. Fresno State held NM State scoreless until 16:30 mark after Camila Rosen drained a trey.
The `Dogs forced eight turnovers, six of which were steals, early in the game and the Bulldogs converted the turnovers into their first 13 points. Fresno State scored a total of 38 points off of 29 Aggie turnovers. The Bulldogs grabbed 18 steals. All-WAC selections Taylor Thompson and Rosie Moult ended the night with six steals each.
Moult nearly missed her third double-double of the season after finishing the game with nine points nad eight rebounds.
The Aggies came within two points of the `Dogs towards the end of the first half, but a charge from Madison Parrish gave the Bulldogs the ball and momentum as the first half ended. Fresno State took a 24-20 lead into the break.
"Great effort by New Mexico State," said head coach Adrian Wiggins. "They played very well and came out with a very good game plan. As a team they surprised us by coming out with a zone we hadn't seen."
The Bulldogs were led in the first half by Sheedy, who recorded eight points. Moult, a second-team All-WAC selection, snagged a team-high six steals and four rebounds in the first half.
Fresno State started to pull ahead in the second half with the help of their senior captains. A 3-pointer from Wilson gave the Bulldogs their first double digit lead of the game 39-28 with 14:39 to play.
Senior Blakely Goldberg came out in the second half on fire scoring all 14 of her points behind 5-of-9 shooting. She made 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.
"After half time, I felt a sense of urgency," said Goldberg of her second half performance. "I started playing harder and it worked out with my shots going in."
New Mexico State chipped away at the `Dogs lead and with 5:24 left in the game the Bulldogs had a 4-point lead over the Aggies. Fresno State answered with a 6-0 run to regain a 10-point lead with 4 minutes left on the clock.
Moore finished the night with two steals tying the single season record of 91 steals in a season. The 2012 WAC Player of the Year sealed the `Dogs victory and trip to the semifinal game by making 4-fo-4 from the free throw line.
Fresno State faces the winner of the Idaho and San Jose State game on Friday, March 9 at 2:30 p.m.
"We Are Your Team!" The Bulldogs are headed to the semifinal game of the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Tournament at the Orleans Arena. Fresno State faces the winner of San Jose State and Idaho on Friday, March 9 at 2:30 p.m. Listen to all the action on ESPN 790 AM with Ralph Wood or watch on WAC Sports Network.
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