'Dogs Fall to USC 63-54 on Sunday

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Nov. 10, 2013

By Jason Clay

FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State women's basketball team fell at home to USC on Sunday, losing 63-54 at the Save Mart Center.

The Bulldogs (1-1) shot just 31.7 percent in the loss and saw the Trojans get 10 more points than the 'Dogs at the free-thrown line. USC attempted 14 more free throws than Fresno State did in the game, as the Bulldogs were called for 23 fouls.

"USC I think played aggressively and to their talent level," head coach Raegan Pebley said. "They put us on our heels for I feel like much of the game. In the end they won that game from the foul line and from second-chance opportunities.

"We need to do a much better job of continuing to play aggressive defensively without fouling, but also, defense isn't defense without rebounding."

The Bulldogs were out-rebounded 46-38 in the game. Trojan forward Cassie Harberts led USC with a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Fresno State was led by senior guard Bree Farley, who scored 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Forward Alex Sheedy recorded her third career double-double, scoring 10 points and collecting a team-high 12 rebounds.

After being down by one at halftime, the Bulldogs came out of the locker room and went on a 12-7 run in the first five minutes of the second half. A 3-pointer from Moriah Faulk at 15:08 capped off the run and gave the Bulldogs a 36-30 lead.

The Trojans answered with a 12-5 run to take a 41-42 lead with 10:37 to play and they did not trail again the rest of the game.

"I think we work well together, it's just a matter of getting that consistency for 40 minutes," Farley said. "I don't think we've been close to really finishing a game off where we are playing together and executing how the coaches would like us to be."

Fresno State only shot 31.7 percent in the game, much of the shooting troubles coming in the first half when the 'Dogs hit just 7-of-32 attempts.

"We want our defense to fuel our offense, not vice versa," Pebley said. "I know this team can score, we shot awful tonight and I feel like it was a very uncharacteristic shooting night for us. But on those nights you got to have some great defense to fuel you offensively."

The Bulldogs forced 19 turnovers in the game and senior guard Taylor Thompson led the defensive charge with five steals. Thompson also added 11 points and seven rebounds.

USC would go up 53-40 with 7:22 to play, but layups from Farley and Sheedy and then a 3-pointer from Robin Draper allowed the 'Dogs to cut the lead down to two, 52-50 with 4:43 to play.

Foul trouble down the stretch and USC's ability to connect on its free-throw attempts kept Fresno State from coming back to win the game.

Trojan guard Ariya Crook was 9-of-12 from the free-throw line in the game and was 7-for-9 at the stripe in the final four minutes to help USC seal the win.

After two home games to open the season, the Bulldogs are now off until next Saturday when they travel to Cal State Fullerton.

"We're going to continue to build our confidence up, that we are a good shooting team and we're going to hit those shots," Pebley said.

"Catch the Wave" - ESPN2 790 AM is the home of the Fresno State women's basketball team.



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