March 9, 2012 By Theresa Kurtz
By Theresa Kurtz
LAS VEGAS - The Fresno State women's basketball team shook off Wednesday's sluggish start and came out on fire against Idaho. The Bulldogs (27-5, 13-1 WAC) defeated the Vandals 80-55 in the semifinal matchup of the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Tournament.
"I'm very proud of our team's effort," said head coach Adrian Wiggins. "We gained a lot of confidence from the lead we built. We knew we had to step up the pressure and did that."
The Bulldogs opened the game by scoring 20 unanswered points. Fresno State held the Vandals scoreless for the first 10 minutes of the game. Defensively, the `Dogs limited Idaho to 13.6 percent shooting in the first half.
"We had a lot of respect for Idaho's shooting ability," said Wiggins. "We were able to limit that."
The Bulldogs returned to their style of basketball by controlling the tempo and playing tough defense forcing turnovers. In the first half, the `Dogs forced 14 turnovers, seven of which were steals, for 24 points.
"As a team, our pace was there," said Ki-Ki Moore of the `Dogs style of play. "When we play our style of basketball at our pace, we play very well."
At the half, Fresno State led Idaho 33-14. The last time the `Dogs allowed less than 15 points in a half were earlier this season against Hawai'i. The Rainbow Wahine was limited to 13 points.
Moore proved why she was selected as the 2012 WAC Player of the Year. Moore led the `Dogs with 19 points making 8-of-13 and grabbing six rebounds. She also recorded two steals setting a new single season record for steals with 93 on the year.
The momentum carried over into the second half as the `Dogs opened with an 11-2 run. Idaho ended the game shooting 30.8 percent and turned the ball over 19 times, which led to 21 points for Fresno State.
"Our pace and defensive intensity were a lot better today," added junior Rosie Moult.
Moult, a second-team All-WAC selection, scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds. She was one rebound shy of her third double-double of the season. Moult's nine boards was a game-high for the Bulldogs.
"Rosie can shoot three's very well and is a good shooter for us," said Wiggins. "But what makes her so great is her ability to play defense and guard the best player on the court."
Fresno State's lead grew to 30 over the Vandals with the help of five second half three's. The Bulldogs made 5-of-9 from beyond the arc in the second half. Freshman Madison Parrish shot 50 percent from 3-point range making 3-of-6 attempts and finished the afternoon with nine points.
The `Dogs had two more score in double figures. Senior Blakely Goldberg and sophomore Bree Farley, who had 12 and 10, respectively. Farley also shot 50 percent from behind the arc, she drained two three's.
The Bulldogs finished a clean sweep of the Vandals and own an eight-game winning streak over Idaho.
Fresno State plays Louisiana Tech in the WAC championship game on Saturday, March 10 at 3 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 1430 with Ralph Wood and on WAC Sports Network with Guy Haberman and Bob Donewald.
"We Are Your Team!" The Bulldogs faces Louisiana Tech in the 2012 WAC Tournament Championship game on Saturday, March 10 at 3 p.m. Listen to all the action on ESPN 1430 AM with Ralph Wood or watch on WAC Sports Network.
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