Dec. 14, 2013
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
FRESNO, Calif.- Sophomore guard Moriah Faulk scored a career-high 27 points off the bench to lift the Fresno State women's basketball team to its third-straight win with a 76-67 victory over Portland on Saturday at the Save Mart Center.
The 'Dogs are now 3-0 during its five-game home stand and improve to 6-3 overall on the season with the win over the Pilots (5-4).
"We are really proud of this win because Portland is a great team," head coach Raegan Pebley said. "We had to work hard for this, we had to persevere through some adversity and I'm really, really proud of how our team responded."
Fresno State had rough starts to both the first and second half's, but each time Faulk came off the bench to inject the Bulldogs with some energy.
She finished the game hitting 8-of-17 shots, including a career-high five three pointers and collected a team-best eight rebounds.
"I was just letting it fly," Faulk said. "I wasn't really hitting [any shots] in warm-ups, but I give all the credit to my teammates. They were really opening up those shots for me with their drives and penetration."
Thompson was the main distributor on Saturday and she finished with a season-high eight assists while knocking down all eight of her free-throw attempts, which helped fend off the Pilot comeback attempt at the end.
"I knew that my shot wasn't falling personally and that's fine because we had Mo step up, [Alex] Sheedy step up, Bree [Farley] step up," Thompson said. "All of our other shooters were hitting so my goal was to find them and get them the ball."
Alex Sheedy scored 15 points, 10 of which came in the second half. Her biggest shot of the game was her third and final 3-pointer, which she nailed from the baseline with 47 seconds remaining after Portland cut what was an eight-point Fresno State lead three minutes earlier down to three.
"I think Sheedy's at the end was a big three," Pebley said was the most important of the 12 3-pointers the Bulldogs hit in the game. "That just helped take the wind out of their sails and is good for her confidence as well."
Senior guard Bree Farley added 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting and was big in the first half with 10 points. Her and Faulk, who scored 17 points in the first half, helped the Bulldogs jump out to a 41-29 lead at the break.
Much like they did in the first half when they had an early 9-0 run, the Pilots came out in the second half and cut that 12-point Bulldog lead right down.
Imploring a 2-3 zone, Portland opened the second half by forcing the Bulldogs to turn the ball over three times in the first two minutes and the Pilots hit seven of their first eight shots out of the break.
By the 13:32 mark of the second half, Fresno State's lead was down to one, 47-46 following a layup from Kari Luttinen. Luttinen also added a 3-pointer in that run that erased the Bulldogs' 12-point halftime lead and she finished the game with 17 points.
But much like she in the first half, Faulk answered for the 'Dogs and drained three's on back-to-back possessions to spark an 8-0 Bulldog run. Fresno State held three different nine-point leads until the final minute when Portland got the game close again.
Sheedy's 3-pointer and clutch free-throw shooting from Thompson fended off the feisty Pilot squad to secure the win.
Fresno State is now off until hosting San Francisco on Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Save Mart Center for game No. 4 of the five-game home stand throughout the month of December.
"Catch the Wave" - ESPN2 790 AM is the home of the Fresno State women's basketball team.
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