Aug. 16, 2014
By Stephen Trembley
SYDNEY, Australia -- Facing an 11-point second-half deficit, the Fresno State women's basketball team rallied for a 63-62 win over the Norths Bears at North Sydney Indoor Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon in Australia.
"It's a good team win," first-year Fresno State head coach Jaime White said. "We played a lot of young and new kids. I thought they did a great job of staying focusing and continuing to do what we are asking them to do."
The Bulldogs' surge resulted in a 10-2 run to close the game with the game-winning effort produced by freshman center Bego Faz Davalos, who grabbed her own rebound off a missed free throw in the final minute. She immediately attacked the basket hard off the line, banked in the tying lay-up, got fouled and swished the game-winning free throw with 20.8 seconds to play.
"When I got the rebound and then I made (the basket and) the free throw, I was so nervous and so excited because my team was really screaming and they were excited too," Faz Davalos said. "We won this game together. If our team was not there for each other, we would not have been able to get this win."
The Fresno State defense came up big with the final stop and the `Dogs celebrated as the final buzzer sounded.
For first-year Fresno State head coach Jaime White, the "out-of-body" rally had her beaming at her team's resolve.
"It seems a little bit out of body because of how the game went," White said. "We trailed most of the game, I thought we did a good job in transition there at the end and Bego obviously hit a big free throw. We are excited about Bego and are excited about what she means to our program."
The tone was set early on as senior point guard Stephanie Rovetti made her first start of the Bulldogs' Australian Tour and worked the glass like a seasoned post player with seven of her eight rebounds coming in the first quarter of the game.
"Stephanie did a good job of bringing the ball down," White said. "We did well in transition when it was there and pulling it out and getting into our offense when it wasn't."
Rovetti helped orchestrate the offensive game plan that fueled senior Alex Sheedy to a game-high 26 points to go with 10 rebounds for her first double-double during the preseason tour.
Faz Davalos came off the bench and showed a resilient fight late in the game - finishing with 10 points and eight rebounds. Senior guard Alex Furr drained three 3-pointers and added another field goal for 11 points. Freshmen Bayli McClard added seven points and six rebounds, and Emilie Volk grabbed five rebounds as part of a solid defensive effort.
"Bayli has size that she can play multiple positions and she also defended really well," White said. "In the second half, I thought we played our zone defense really well, got in the passing lanes and were just relentless on the boards."
Each time the Bears made a push to pull away, the Bulldogs struck back and stayed within striking distance.
The win marked the first for Fresno State during its tour of Australia, that has produced 10 Bulldogs over the past decade. The `Dogs play their final game of the trip on Monday night at 7 p.m. in Cairns, Australia, which equals a 2 a.m. PT tip off for those following in Fresno.
"Be Bold." -- To stay connected with the #DogsDownUnder, be sure to follow @FresnoStateWBB on Twitter and continue visiting www.GoBulldogs.com for updates direct from Australia.
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