GAME NOTES: The Fresno State Bulldogs try to extend their win streak to three
in a row on Sunday as they tangle with the Washington State Cougars in non-
conference action at Beasley Coliseum.
The Bulldogs, who already have more wins on the road than they do at home,
held a third straight opponent under 60 points on Thursday, the fifth foe
overall on the season, as they toppled San Diego Christian in an 84-49 final
at home. The 84 points for FSU were the most this season and marked only the
second time the program has gone over 70 in a game in 2012-13.
As for the Cougars, they've been enigmatic to say the least, losing three
straight games at one juncture and then coming back to record wins in three
consecutive outings. Most recently the team locked up with instate rival and
nationally-ranked Gonzaga on Wednesday at home and suffered a 71-69 setback in
the final seconds. With the defeat WSU is now 5-1 at home and just one game
overall .500 overall on the campaign.
The Cougars lead the all-time series by a count of 8-3, capturing a 66-55
victory in Fresno in the most recent meeting two seasons ago at the Save mart
The Bulldogs scored the first points of the game against San Diego Christian a
few days ago and never looked back, continuing to build upon their lead until
they cruised to the 35-point victory. A total of 10 players scored for Fresno
State, but none more than Allen Huddleston who tallied 13 points. Jerry Brown
came up a rebound shy of a double-double as he logged 12 points, nine boards
and four steals, followed by Tyler Johnson and Marvelle Harris with 11 points
apiece. FSU dominated in the paint by holding a 38-23 rebounding advantage and
outscoring the visitors by a 36-14 margin close to the basket. It also helped
that the defense for the Bulldogs forced 27 turnovers, thanks in part to a
staggering 18 steals. Because of the defensive effort in the last outing,
Fresno State is now averaging eight thefts per game and is forcing foes into
more than 15 turnovers per contest. The squad is limiting the competition
to only 55.9 ppg which is a huge help since the offense is generating just
62.1 ppg and Huddleston is the lone double-digit scorer at 12.5 ppg.
Up against the 10th-ranked team in the country a few nights go, the Cougars
had a chance to come away with the upset win, but the squad couldn't complete
the task even as Brock Motum scored a team-best 23 points on 5-of-7 shooting
behind the 3-point line. DaVonte Lacy accounted for another 22 points off the
bench as he connected on 4-of-9 shots on the perimeter, which means the rest
of the team combined to make a mere 1-of-11 on the outside. Washington State
didn't do itself any favors by turning the ball over 15 times and shooting
only 11-of-18 at the charity stripe. Motum, one of the top performers in the
Pac-12 Conference, leads the team in scoring and rebounding with averages of
19.3 points and 6.7 boards per outing. His 12 blocked shots also are tops on
the unit through nine games. Lacy has missed four outings, but it is becoming
clear that his 11.2 ppg are crucial to the squad's success moving forward
since they are producing only 64.7 ppg.
Now that FSU's Kevin Olekaibe is no longer firing up shots from all over the
floor, the Bulldogs are playing much better basketball, particularly at the
defensive end, and that should keep the visitors in contention on Sunday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Fresno State 68, Washington State 66