Women's Basketball Announces 2012-13 Schedule
Sept. 21, 2012
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
The `Dogs are set to play 14 contests at the Save Mart Center, highlighted by early season non-conference bouts at home against Pac-12 schools USC and Washington State. The `Dogs will begin its inaugural Mountain West schedule on the road at San Diego State, Jan. 9.
The Bulldogs open the season on Nov. 9 at Stanford, a Final Four team in 2011 that the `Dogs fell to at the Save Mart Center last year. Three days later, Nov. 12, Fresno State hosts Cal-Maritime for its home opener and first-ever pairing between the two schools.
"What an opener," Pebley said. "Having the opportunity to face a team that has a habit of being a force in the Final Four, and to do it on their opening night as well, is a huge challenge. Our effort, our focus and preparation in practice will need to replicate that, which we will need to compete with Stanford."
Fresno State will be tested early as it faces four Pac-12 teams in the first 10 games of the season - two on the road and two at home. Within its six-game non-conference slate at home, Washington State visits Nov. 30 and six days later the `Dogs host USC.
"We love the challenge of having four of our non-conference games against Pac-12 opponents," Pebley said. "What a great opportunity for our team to prepare for the Mountain West and for our fans here in the Save Mart Center. We will continue to try and schedule teams that are from great women's basketball conferences as well as teams that traditionally compete in the post season. In order to beat the best, we must go out and play the best."
The Bulldogs square off against Cal State Northridge, Dec. 8, at home before hitting the road for a six-game road trip over Christmas break. It starts with a trip to the Pacific Northwest, where the 'Dogs face Portland on Dec. 14 and Oregon on Dec. 16. Last season, Fresno State hit 17 3-pointers in an 81-71 victory over the Ducks at the Save Mart Center.
"One of the obvious challenges that our non-conference schedule presents is the stretch of six games in a row on the road," Pebley said. "Winning on the road requires defense, preparation and mental toughness. This road swing happens just as we head into conference and we will use it as an opportunity to truly prepare our team for the battle it is on the road in the MW. Road games will be very different in the Mountain West than it was when we were in the WAC."
Fresno State's other visits before returning home are to San Francisco (Dec. 21), Santa Clara (Dec. 29) and Cal State-Bakersfield (Jan. 3).
The `Dogs conclude their road swing by kicking off Mountain West play at San Diego State on Jan. 9. Fresno State is 21-2 in conference road games over the past three seasons and 32-10 overall on the road since the 2009-10 season.
The Mountain West format of conference games lies on Wednesday and Saturday's, unless the day has been altered to accommodate a television broadcast.
"I personally love the Wednesday-Saturday mirrored format," Pebley said. "I think it gives teams more time to recover and prepare in between games. I think it also provides consistency for our fans to know who Fresno State men's and women's teams are playing and there will always be a game in town for them to attend."
The Bulldogs will welcome New Mexico to their gym on Jan. 12 after being away from the Save Mart Center for more than a month. The last time the Lobos faced the Bulldogs was in 1999 before New Mexico left the WAC for the Mountain West.
Fresno State hits the road once more for games against Wyoming (Jan. 16) and Nevada (Jan. 19), as three of its first four Mountain West matchups are on the road. The Bulldogs return home to face Boise State on Jan. 23. The `Dogs currently own a six-game winning streak against the Broncos dating back to Jan. 5, 2009.
CBS Sports Network will feature the Bulldogs on two national telecasts, beginning with the Jan. 27 game at Colorado State and a home contest against San Diego State on Feb. 9 at the Save Mart Center.
"CBS-SN getting behind Mountain West women's basketball is tremendous," Pebley added. "Mountain West women's basketball is a great product and the student-athletes in this league are something to watch. With our two games on their network we will have a chance to expose more people to Fresno State women's basketball."
The Bulldogs have a favorable end to the season, as they play four of their final six games at home and it all starts with Wyoming on Feb. 16. Also visiting Fresno will be Nevada (Feb. 20), Colorado State (Feb. 27) and the season finale against UNLV (March 9).
"I always feel it is best when you can finish your conference play at home," Pebley said. "It gives you a chance to try and create some momentum heading into the tournament as well as keep your players out of hotels and in class. We were extended a great chance to do that with having two of our last three Mountain West games at home."
The 2013 Reese's Mountain West Basketball Championships will take place at the Thomas and Mack Center from March 12-16 in Las Vegas, Nev.
"Discover Fresno State Athletics" - Log on to GoBulldogs.com for up-to-date information on the Fresno State women's basketball team. Stay connected with the Bulldogs on Facebook (fresnostateathletics) and Twitter (@FSAthletics).