Dec. 21, 2012
By: Matt Burkholder
SAN FRANCISCO – The Fresno State women’s basketball team used a run late in the first half to propel them into the second half to overcome a slow start to seal its first road victory of the season, 72-63, at War Memorial Stadium.
“Having an opportunity to be in a one possession game to open the second half was huge for us after being down by as much as 14,” said head coach Raegan Pebley. “It allowed us to feel we had a shot.”
The first half was all San Francisco Dons as they opened the matchup scoring the game’s first 10 points. Rosie Moult broke the USF run with a long 2-point bucket from the right corner to get the 'Dogs going four minutes into the game. The Bulldogs chipped away and pulled within five, 18-13, at the 11:49 mark with another bucket from Moult.
The Dons answered with a 9-0 run over the next four minutes and pushed the 'Dogs to the ledge extending its lead to 14 points, 27-13, its largest lead of the game with 7:04 to play in the half.
It was at that time when the 'Dogs came roaring back with its own run, 13-4, to take the 'Dogs to the half down by two, 33-31. Alex Sheedy stripped the ball from Mel Khlok and tossed a half court pass to Raven Fox for a layup as time expired to give the 'Dogs all the momentum to close the half.
“Our defense was very aggressive and that helped us on the offensive end,” said Pebley.
The 'Dogs used a full-court press for most of the half after falling by 10 early on, the 'Dogs forced 10 turnovers in the half.
Fresno State outscored the Dons 11-4 to start the second half and grabbed its first lead of the game in the process with 17:44 to play in the second half and never relinquished it. The 'Dogs built its lead to as much as 11 with seven minutes to go as they held USF to 4-of-16 shooting from the field in the second half at that time.
San Francisco pulled within three points, 60-57, with three and half minutes to go but the 'Dogs used a pair of clutch 3-pointers from Moult and Ki-Ki Moore to push them over the top with a little more than a minute to play. The Dons were forced to foul down the stretch as they put Taylor Thompson at the line four times. Thompson went 6-of-8 from the line in the final minute to wrap up the win.
Thompson finished the game as the 'Dogs high scorer with 17 to go along with three steals, three assists and three boards.
“How we got back into the game is how we need to play all the time,” said Pebley. “We were able to sustain high energy by feeding off each other and getting to loose balls, that was quality.”
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