Bulldogs to Host UC Merced, USC to Open Season

Nov. 6, 2013

By Jason Clay

FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State women's basketball team opens the 2013-14 regular season with back-to-back home games over the weekend at the Save Mart Center.

The Bulldogs begin with Friday's season-opening game against UC Merced at 7 p.m. and on Sunday host USC at 2 p.m. This will be the first-ever game between the Bulldogs and Bobcats while Sunday's game vs. USC will be the 11th in the series, which is tied at five wins for each school.

Both contests will be broadcast live on ESPN2 790 AM with Christian Lukens calling the action.

After playing its lone exhibition game last Sunday - a 81-42 victory over Notre Dame De Namur - head coach Raegan Pebley and her team has been preparing for a quick turnaround and two games in three days over the weekend.

"We go Friday against UC Merced and then real quick, one day in between, we got a great team in USC with a new head coach and a very veteran and talented squad," Pebley said. "We only have a few practices to get ourselves ready for those two opportunities."

This is the first time since the 2007-08 season that the Bulldogs open the year at home and the first season since 2001-02 that they have back-to-back home games to begin a season.

Last year Fresno State traveled to No. 4 Stanford and played the Cardinal tough in a 72-61 season-opening loss. That was one of five Pac-12 teams the Bulldogs played last year. This season, Fresno State is slated to face three Pac-12 opponents.

Fresno State defeated USC 65-60 at the Save Mart Center last season behind Taylor Thompson's 20-point performance.

Thompson is back this season to lead the Bulldogs, along with fellow senior Bree Farley. Thompson was selected to the preseason All-Mountain West team.



In the exhibition win over Notre Dame De Namur, Fresno State went deep into its bench and the Bulldogs will look to develop depth early in the season.

The Bulldogs ranked No. 3 in the nation last year with 12.9 steals per game and in the exhibition win Fresno State recorded 16 steals and forced 25 turnovers.

"Catch the Wave" - ESPN2 790 AM is the home of the Fresno State women's basketball team.

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