Jan. 16, 2014
Game #17 Jan. 18, 2014 1 p.m. PT
The Pit (18,018) Albuquerque, N.M.
Fresno State (10-6, 4-1 MW) at New Mexico (7-8, 2-2 MW)
Series record: New Mexico leads 7-6
Last Meeting: Fresno State 51, New Mexico 50 (2/13/13 Albuquerque, N.M.)
Live Stats: GoBulldogs.com
TV: Mountain West Network
Fresno State looks to bounce back from its first conference loss of the season when it travels to Albuquerque, N.M. to face the New Mexico Lobos on Saturday at 1 p.m. PT in The Pit.
The Bulldogs are coming off a heartbreaking home loss to San Diego State on Wednesday. After trailing for the last nine minutes of the game, Fresno State took a one-point lead with 18 seconds remaining on two free throws by guard Taylor Thompson.
San Diego State's Danesha Long was able to hit a contested 15-foot jumper with seven seconds remaining to give the Aztecs the win and hand Fresno State its first conference loss in five games.
That loss was just the fourth for the Bulldogs in the month of January in the last five seasons, as Fresno State now is 33-4 in January games since 2010.
The Bulldogs are 2-0 on the road this year in Mountain West play with wins at UNLV and Air Force. UNLV just defeated New Mexico at home on Wednesday, 78-56.
Fresno State is 8-2 overall in league road games since joining the Mountain West last year and defeated the Lobos on the road last season 51-50. UNM, which as of all games through Jan. 13, ranks 11th nationally by averaging 5,729 fans per home game this season. The Pit is one of the hardest arenas to play in and it should be extra packed on Saturday as UNM is hosting a `Pack the House' event for the game.
In last seasons win at the Pit, the game that featured 10 lead changes in the final 11 minutes. Bree Farley's And-one with 55 seconds remaining proved to be enough as the Bulldogs handed New Mexico its fourth-straight home loss.
► New Mexico leads the all-time series with the Bulldogs 7-6, but Fresno State swept the two games between the schools last year. The 'Dogs won 51-50 in their lone trip to The Pit last season, which was their first win at UNM in six tries.
► Junior guard Taylor Thompson, who last week became the 20th player in school history to score over 1,000 points in a career, tied the school record for steals in Wednesday's loss to San Diego State. She has 275 career steals, tying Rosie Moult who set a new school record last season. Thompson's next steal will give her the record all to herself. Her 34 steals this year are the third-most by any player in the Mountain West.
► Fresno State shot just 36.4 percent in Wednesday's loss to SDSU, which was due to a second-half 6-for-27 shooting performance. It was the first time in conference play that the Bulldogs shot below 40 percent, as they were shooting 45.5 percent in their first four MW games of the season. In two league road games, Fresno State is connecting on 47.2 percent of its shots and is averaging seven 3-pointers a game.
► This game features the top two scoring defense teams in the MW.
Scouting New Mexico (7-8, 2-2 MW)
New Mexico, who was picked to finish fourth in the MW Preseason Poll, is off to a 7-8 start to the season and is 2-2 in league play. The Lobos have a 6-3 home record and are 2-0 at home in MW play with double-digit victories over Wyoming and San Jose State. For the season, UNM is shooting 38.3 percent and is led by guards Antiesha Brown and Sara Halasz who average 12.9 and 11.3 points per game, respectively. The Lobos rank second in the Mountain West in scoring defense behind the Bulldogs, allowing just 63.9 points per game. They are also the league's top rebounding team with a +4.5 rebounding margin this year.
Series History with New Mexico
Saturday's game will be the 14th in the series between Fresno State and New Mexico with the Lobos holding a one-game edge, 7-6. UNM took 5-of-6 games from the Bulldogs from 1995-99 when both schools were members of the WAC. The two teams then did not meet again until last season when Fresno State joined the Mountain West. The Bulldogs took both games from the Lobos last year, winning 69-65 at home on Jan. 12 and 51-50 in Albuquerque on Feb. 13. That win at The Pit last year was Fresno State's first in six tries.
Alex Sheedy matched her career-high in Wednesday's loss by scoring 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting against the Aztecs. In four career games now against SDSU, she is averaging 17.5 points against them.
Bree Farley's five 3-pointers that she made vs. SDSU matched the season-high for any player on the team and tied her personal best that she set last year in a win at Colorado State. Moriah Faulk also sank five trey's vs. Portland back on Dec. 14.
Fresno State's 31 attempted 3-pointers vs. SDSU matched its season-high. The Bulldogs also took 31 three's vs. Santa Clara on Dec. 8. Fresno State hit 13 three's vs. the Aztecs, which is the most since hitting 15 against UNLV on March 9, 2013. The Bulldogs are the Mountain West's top 3-point shooting team in both terms of three's made (131) and 3-point field goal percentage (.351).
Moriah Faulk scored 16 points in Wednesday's loss, ending a six-game drought not scoring in double-figures. She had scored 10-plus points in five-straight games from Nov. 30 through Dec. 14, but until breaking out of her slump on Wednesday, went those six games in between where she averaged just 5.2 points on 29.3 percent shooting.
Senior guard Taylor Thompson has played all 40 minutes in three of her last four games. In playing 40 minutes vs. SDSU on Wednesday, she recorded her third-career double-double with 12 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. She is averaging 15.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and has 20 assists against just six turnovers in five Mountain West games. She ranks fifth in the conference in scoring, counting only league games.
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