The Fresno State women's basketball team will face Liberty in the first round of the Seton Hall Thanksgiving Classic on Friday.
Nov. 27, 2013
Fresno State Game Notes
Seton Hall Tournament
Game #5 Nov. 29, 2013 11:00 a.m. PT
Fresno State vs. Liberty
Game #6 Nov. 30, 2013 9:00 or 11:30 a.m. PT
Fresno State vs. Seton Hall or Savannah State
Walsh Gymnasium (2,600) South Orange, N.J.
Live Stats: gobulldogs.com
The Fresno State women's basketball team opens play in the Seton Hall Tournament facing Liberty on Nov. 29. Depending on the results of the first round, the Bulldogs will either face Seton Hall or Savannah State on Nov. 30.
The Bulldogs will compete for the first time in at Walsh Gymnasium in South Orange, N.J. with a tip-off time of 11:00 a.m. PT. This will be the first-ever matchup between the schools. Like the Bulldogs, Liberty made the NCAA Tournament last season after winning the Big South Championship.
This is the farthest east the Bulldogs have played since 2010 when Fresno State competed in the St. Johns Holiday Tournament in New York, N.Y. on Dec 18-19.
Fresno State enters the game with a 2-2 record, having lost to Washington State last weekend (92-79).
Senior guard Taylor Thompson leads the 'Dogs averaging 14 points per game after scoring a career- high 25 points at Washington State on Nov. 22.
The Bulldogs shot a season-best 43.6 percent from the field in the 68-57 road victory over Fullerton. Jacinta Vandenberg led the Bulldogs, shooting 62.5 percent with 15 points while three other Bulldogs scored in double figures- Alex Sheedy (14), Taylor Thompson (14) and Robin Draper (11).
Fresno State, which ranked third in the nation last year with 12.9 steals per game, has 35 steals and forced 70 turnovers in its first four games this season.
► Senior guard Taylor Thompson is coming off a career-high 25 points, she made 4-of-8 3-pointers and was 9-of-10 at the free-throw line in the loss to Washington State.
► With 13 steals in her first four games this year, Thompson has moved into second place for the most steals in school history and needs 26 more to break the school record of 275 that Rosie Moult set last season.
►Senior guard Bree Farley scored in double-digits just twice last season and has only four times in her first three years in the program. So far this year, she has scored in the double-digits three times, most recently scoring 18 points against Washington State while shooting 46.5 percent from the field this season.
►In two road games this year the Bulldogs are shooting 42.6 percent from the field and 39.6 percent from 3-point land. That is a significant improvement from last season when the 'Dogs shot 37.4 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from the three in seven non-conference road games last year.
After opening its season with four-straight losses, Liberty is coming off its first win on the year over Kutztown (72-56) on Nov. 25. The Flames average 61.8 points per game, shooting 37.6 percent from the field and have made 28 three's on 97 attempts. They have out-rebounded their opponents by an average of 13.4 per game. Top scorer for the Flames, Ashley Rininger, has averaged 14.5 points per game, she is also averaging 10.6 rebounds per game.
Seton Hall and Savannah State
Depending on the results of the first round of the tournament, Fresno State will either face Seton Hall or Savannah State on Saturday Nov. 30. Seton Hall (4-1), who is undefeated at home this season, is coming off a home win over Wagner (86-61). Savannah State (3-3) is coming off a 81-63 road loss to Mississippi State.
This will be freshman Courtney Gaze's first time competing at Seton Hall, though her family is no stranger to the school. Her father Andrew Gaze played basketball at Seton Hall and was a member of the 1989 NCAA West Regional Championship team who finished its season with a 31-7 record.
Faulk Off to a Strong Start
After sitting out her first season at Fresno State, sophomore transfer Moriah Faulk has had a strong start to her career as a Bulldog. After gaining four starts to start the season, Faulk has totaled 15 assists and 27 points, shooting 35.5 percent from the field. Her assist/turnover ratio of 2.5 ranks second in the Mountain West.
Home for December
At the conclusion of the Seton Hall tournament the Bulldogs return to the Save Mart Center for the month of December, as they host five straight home games before opening conference play at UNLV on Jan. 1, 2014.
Washington State Recap
After leading the first 30 minutes of the game, the Fresno State women's basketball team fell to Washington State (92-79) at Beasley Coliseum on Nov. 22. Despite scoring a season-high 79 points, the Bulldogs (2-2) were unable to hold off Washington State who was led by Tia Presley's career-high 37 points. Senior Taylor Thompson highlighted the Bulldogs in the loss, scoring a career-high 25 points while shooting 6-of-10 from the field and 9-of-10 at the free-throw line. Farley scored in the double figures for the third time this season, recording a season-high 18 points while junior Alex Sheedy also set her season-high mark with 17 points and a team-best seven rebounds.
Picked to Win the Mountain West
The Fresno State women's basketball team was picked to win the 2013-14 Mountain West women's basketball title in the preseason poll that was released on Oct. 15. Fresno State, the 2013 MW tournament champion, received 17 first-place votes and 238 total points. Wyoming was picked second with four first-place votes and 212 points, ahead of 2013 regular-season champion San Diego State. The Aztecs garnered two first-place votes and 196 points. New Mexico placed fourth with 185 points, while UNLV earned two first-place votes and 170 points for fifth place. Conference newcomer Utah State (136 points) edged out Colorado State (130 points) for sixth place. Boise State was picked eighth (96 points), followed by MW newcomer San José State (76 points) in ninth, Nevada in 10th (62 points) and Air Force in 11th (28 points).
Senior Taylor Thompson was one of five players to be named to the MW women's basketball preseason all-conference team. As the sole Bulldog on the preseason squad, Thompson enters her senior year after averaging 10.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists as a junior.
As the two sole seniors this season, Taylor Thompson and Bree Farley look to bring a wealth of experience to the squad this year. As a fifth-year senior, Thompson has 97 starts during her career, while Farley is returning to the squad as a captain after her junior year. After a 24-win season and a year under their belts knowing what the coaching staff expects from the team out on the court, Farley and Thompson have the team focused on another big year in their final seasons at Fresno State.
Pebley Enters Second Season
After winning the 2013 Reese's Mountain West Basketball Championship in her first year as head coach, Reagan Pebley enters her second year at the helm of the Fresno State women's basketball program. As the ninth head coach in program history Pebley brings 10 years of coaching experience to the Bulldogs in their second year in the Mountain West. After leading Utah State to a record 21 wins in 2012, Pebley was named one of eight finalists for the 2012 WBCA National Coach of the Year award.
2012-13 Season in Review
Fresno State won the 2013 Reese's Mountain West Basketball Championship in its first season in the league and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth-straight season. The Bulldogs went 24-9 overall in their first season under head coach Raegan Pebley. The 'Dogs return three starters and eight letterwinners this season and welcome seven newcomers to their squad for their 2013-14 campaign.
"Catch the Wave" - ESPN2 790 AM is the home of the Fresno State women's basketball team.