Bulldogs Play No. 13 Cal Tough
Nov. 10, 2007
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State women's basketball team gave No. 13 Cal all it could handle in the Bulldogs home opener on Saturday at the Save Mart Center. The Bears used a late run in the final two minutes to erase four point deficit to beat the Bulldogs 83-79 in front of a crowd of 2,489 fans.
"This young group of kids that Fresno has is really going to be a great team," Cal coach Joanne Boyle said. "They are learning a new system right now and they are really working out the kinks. What they did wreaked havoc on us. It wasn't until the last two minutes of the game that we were able to pull it out. It is not like we are coming out of here feeling good about ourselves."
"I see this first nonconference season has an opportunity to see where we are at as a team," Fresno State coach Adrian Wiggins said. "I was very proud of them tonight. We did play with Cal. I feel like we are capable of playing a little better. To lose by four points and to play that poorly in the last four minutes is very encouraging."
As a team Fresno State shot 39 percent from the field and held Cal to 44 percent shooting. The Bulldog defense also forced the Bears into 20 turnovers.
"If you study Cal you'll see they shoot high 50's from the field," Wiggins said. "Their first two exhibition games they shot 60 percent. For us to hold Cal to 44 percent, I am pretty proud of that. Not too many teams will do that this year."
Cal played without All-American center Devanei Hampton but Ashley Walker came up with 31 points and 23 rebounds to lead the Bears to the victory.
For the game the lead changed hands 11 times and was tied eight times. Fresno State led 12-7 in the first four minutes following a Wilson 3-pointer. Neither team had a lead bigger than five points over the next 15 minutes of the half.
But with the score tied at 36, Amundsen and LaToya Brown each hit a 3-pointer to give Fresno State a 42-36 halftime lead. The Bulldogs opened the second half by jumping out to a 53-44 lead six minutes in following a steal and layup by Brown.
Fresno State maintained its lead until the final two minutes when the Bears took the lead at 77-76 with 1:33 to play. After a layup by Alexis Gray-Lawson, Amundsen sunk a 3-pointer with 1:06 to tie the game at 79.
"Good teams have that spurt ability," Wiggins said. "I was hoping we'd have another spurt in the second half but we just didn't quite get it."
Cal would then score the final four points of the game to seal the win. Despite the loss, Wiggins is looking forward to seeing his team improve during the first two months of the season.
"We want to be patient but also I want to be fair to the seniors," he said. "They deserve a great time. They'll have one. Our goal is to be a WAC champion. We think we have a chance to play and compete in that league at a good level. We are trying to prepare for that. Confidence wise if anything they have to believe they are not bad. I don't care what player they lose they are the No. 13 team in the country and they have good players."
"Join the State - Fresno State!" - The Fresno State women's basketball team travels to Provo, Utah to take on the reigning Mountain West Conference regular season champions BYU on Saturday, November 17 at 5 p.m. PST. Last season, the `Dogs were victorious at home against then ranked BYU. Fresno State will return to the Save Mart Center on Saturday, November 24 against Oklahoma State, a member of the Big 12 conference. Season and group tickets, along with mini plan packages, can be purchased online at gobulldogs.com, by phone at 559-278-DOGS, or in person at the Bulldog Ticket Office. Single game tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, by phone at (559)485-TIXS or at the Save Mart Center box office.