Fresno State Rallies Past W. Hoops 66-60
Feb. 7, 2018
SAN DIEGO -
The San Diego State women's basketball team fell to Fresno State 66-60 at Steve Fisher Court Wednesday afternoon. The Aztecs, who led by as much as nine points late in the third quarter, let the Bulldogs finish the game on a 12-2 run to hand SDSU their fourth straight loss.
"We are in games for three quarters most the time, but we need to do a better job of finishing off the fourth quarter," Head Coach Stacie Terry said after the game. "I need to do a better job of making sure I manage the fourth quarter better to help them dig themselves out of holes."
SDSU (9-12, 3-7 MW) had three players score in double-digits, led by Geena Gomez's 14 (5-for-9 shooting). Cheyenne Greenhouse added 12 points while Te'a Adams had 10. McKynzie Fort nearly had a triple-double with eight points, 10 rebounds and a career-high nine assists.
The Aztecs struggled from the field in the first half from the field, shooting just 25 percent, but kept themselves in the game by forcing turnovers and crashing the offensive glass. After starting 2-for-11, SDSU rattled off a 6-0 run to go up 10-6 midway through the first quarter and led 13-12 at the end of the first quarter.
The Aztecs forced four turnovers in the first two minutes of the second quarter and scored six straight points in the paint to go up 21-15. That was followed by a cold stretch, where SDSU went 1-for-12, which allowed the Bulldogs to tie the game at 21-21. The Scarlet and Black then held Fresno State without a field goal in the final three minutes of the half to take a 24-23 lead in to the locker room.
Geena Gomez hit a pair of three-pointers in the opening minutes of the third quarter to give the Aztecs a 30-27 lead. Shortly after, SDSU reeled off an 8-0 run to take their largest lead of the game (38-29; 3:32 left in the 3rd).
Both teams caught fire on offense in the early stages of the fourth quarter. The Aztecs made their first five shots, with four of them coming in the paint, but the Bulldogs countered with a stretch of seven straight made buckets to take a 59-58 lead with just under five minutes remaining; they would lead for the rest of the game.
The Aztecs then struggled to take care of the ball and committed five turnovers in the game's final minutes, which led to a 12-0 run for the Bulldogs.
"In the fourth quarter we were going score-for-score, but we couldn't get stops," Coach Terry explained. "Then we turned the ball over a couple times and that pushed their lead up."
Fresno State (13-10, 8-4 MW) was led by Maddi Utti's 14 points, which came on 6-for-8 shooting. The Bulldogs had five other players score at least eight points. For the second time this season, the Aztecs held Candice White, the Mountain West's leading scorer in check. She shot just 2-for-11 from the field and 1-for-5 from three-point territory.
The Aztecs held the rebounding edge 43-32 and hauled in 15 offensive boards, which led to 12 second chance points. Fort was just 3-for-16 from the field, but had a game-high 10 rebounds and set a new personal best with nine assists.
"McKynzie is a competitor and she wants to win, so our pregame talk was about `If your shot's not falling, you have to do other things to help us win,' and she really took that to heart because she obviously filled up the stat sheet in other areas," Coach Terry said. "That's a positive for her because we all know she can score, but when she is doing stuff like the rebounding and assisting like she did, we're going to be a better team for it."
This was the second consecutive home game with a huge crowd for the Aztecs, who hosted "Field Trip Day," hosting numerous local elementary and middle school kids.
"The crowd really lifted us in the first couple quarters," Coach Terry praised. "It was loud, sometimes deafening, where I couldn't even get the message to my team, but that is the kind of crowd we would like to play in front of for all our games. It was exciting to have that kind of energy in the building."
The Aztecs will look to snap their losing streak on Saturday when they host Nevada at 1:00 p.m.