March 11, 2014
|Head Coach Raegan Pebley |
|Senior G Bree Farley
By Jason Clay
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The Fresno State women's basketball team jumped on UNLV right from the get-go, opening up a 17-point lead in the first nine minutes and went on to win 80-65 Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Reese's Mountain West Championships being played here at the Thomas & Mack Center.
The win was the 20th of the season for the Bulldogs, who have now won 20 or more games seven years in a row. This victory was also the sixth-straight for Fresno State (20-10) this season.
"I love how we started the game," head coach Reagan Pebley said. "I think that helped a lot because we created a cushion. UNLV is a very good team. We knew they were going to go on a run, if not more than one run. That cushion helped secure a little bit of our lead when they did."
Five Bulldogs scored in double figures - the most in double figures all season - with four of the five going for 15 or more points. Senior Bree Farley, the conference's reigning player of the week and second-team All-Mountain West selection, led the Bulldogs with 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting and she was 3-of-5 on 3-point attempts.
This was the first game of the tournament that was decided by double-digits, as the first five games were all decided by seven points or less.
"We didn't want to let UNLV in from the word go," Farley said. " We came out pretty fired up and ready to go. We were really focused. I think we just took shots that were good for our team. It was nice that we hit them."
The Bulldogs hit 10 three's in the game and shot 44.3 percent while holding UNLV to 30.8 percent shooting and just two 3-pointers on the night.
The Bulldogs, behind two threes apiece from Farley and Alex Furr, opened up a 24-7 lead in the first eight and a half minutes. They would go on to lead by as many as 20 points midway through the second half in the convincing victory to open up the conference tournament.
"I think we are playing with a lot of momentum, more momentum than we've had all season," Pebley said. "I have fun watching this team play. I've had a lot of fun coaching this team. They're coachable. They play hard for each other. You just see them coming up, and sometimes it's just finding a way."
Moriah Faulk, Alex Sheedy and Taylor Thompson all chipped in with 15 points apiece while Furr finished with 11 on 3-of-3 shooting from behind the 3-point arc and a pair of free throws. Thompson added six rebounds, five assists and three steals on the night.
The Bulldogs as a team moved the ball well, recording 20 assists on their 27 made field goals. Farley added five assists to tie with Thompson for the game-high.
Fresno State will take on the winner of No. 3 seed Nevada/No. 6 seed San Diego State in Friday's semifinals at 2:30 p.m. PT. The Bulldogs split the season series with the Wolf Pack and also split the season series against the Aztecs.
Six of Fresno State's first 12 field goals in the game were 3-pointers.
The Bulldogs held UNLV to 3-of-17 shooting in the first eight and a half minutes of the game.
11 of UNLV's 13 points in the last eight minutes of the first half came at the free-throw line, as the Bulldogs were called for 10 first-half fouls. UNLV was 11-of-14 in the half at the charity stripe, while Fresno State did not attempt a first-half free throw, but it attempted 20 in the second half.
Alex Sheedy, after not scoring in the first half, scored six of Fresno State's first eight points of the second half. She finished the game with 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting.
Five different Bulldogs scored in double figures. This is the first time all year 'Dogs have had five in double figures.
This is the seventh time this season the Bulldogs have hit 10 or more 3-pointers in a game.
Fresno State improves to 4-0 all-time in the Mountain West tournament. Additionally, the Bulldogs have now won 10 consecutive conference tournament games dating back to its time as a member of the Western Athletic Conference.
"Catch the Wave" - ESPN2 790 AM is the home of the Fresno State women's basketball team.
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