Bulldogs Hammer FPU 98-44
Nov. 6, 2010
FRESNO, Calif. - The 2010-11 season has the potential to be a magical one for the Fresno State women's basketball team.
There is talk of another WAC championship and hope of an unprecedented postseason run. The Bulldogs put some very early stock in the chatter Saturday night with a lopsided 98-44 win over Fresno Pacific in an exhibition game at the Save Mart Center.
The Sunbirds were overmatched from the outset and trailed by as many as 54 points. They had no answer for the Bulldogs' unrelenting defense and no response to their pedal-to-the-floor offense. And while it was merely an exhibition game, Fresno State coach Adrian Wiggins had to like what he saw.
"I'm happy with it," Wiggins said. "I thought they came out and played hard. We tried to do a lot of things and had success."
The Bulldogs set the tone early with their suffocating pressure defense, forcing the Sunbirds into three consecutive turnovers. Fresno State took those miscues to the bank, as senior guard Jaleesa Ross, one of the best shooters in the nation, knocked down a3-pointer to put the team up 10-0.
That was just the beginning. The Bulldogs continued to force the issue, and before long a manageable 10-point hole ballooned to a 36-point Fresno Pacific deficit. Starting point guard Taylor Thompson put an exclamation point on an otherwise dominant first half with a layup at the buzzer to send Fresno State into the locker room with a 54-18 halftime lead. Senior forward Hayley Munro led the way with 20 points and seven rebounds.
The one-sided victory is not entirely surprising given what the Fresno State program has become. The Bulldogs are aiming for their fourth consecutive conference title and are already garnering national attention. Fresno State, which finished 27-7 last season, received votes in USA Today's preseason coaches poll, and based on how the team performed Saturday, that recognition will continue.
The Bulldogs shot 50 percent from the floor in the first half and made life especially difficult for the Sunbirds on the defensive end, forcing 22 first-half turnovers, including 11 after the opening nine minutes. Fresno Pacific was limited to seven buckets in the first half and shot just 23.5 percent from the floor.
"Definitely more full-court pressure than last season should help us," Munro said. "We're working really hard at practice. Hopefully that will pay off."
Twelve players saw playing time for the Bulldogs, as Wiggins continually rotated talent into the game, and 11 scored. Munro, Ross (12 points, five rebounds, four steals), Thompson (11 points, five rebounds, two assists) and Bree Farley (11 points, five assists) scored in double figures.
"We Are Your Team!" Fresno State opens the regular season Friday at Santa Clara at 8:15 p.m.