FRESNO, Calif. – The Fresno State women’s basketball team saw its 20-game home winning streak come to an end Saturday when San Diego State defeated the Bulldogs 74-49 at the Save Mart Center.
Both teams came into the game tied for first place in the Mountain West and SDSU’s win pushes the Aztecs (17-5, 8-1 MW) a game ahead of the Bulldogs (15-7, 7-2).
The Aztec victory avenges their loss to Fresno State in San Diego back on Jan. 9. SDSU has now won eight-straight games while Saturday’s loss ends the Bulldogs’ five-game winning streak.
This was Fresno State’s lowest point total of the season, as the Bulldogs finished 20-of-62 from the field (.323) and went 4-for-14 at the free-throw line.
Head coach Raegan Pebley vowed afterwards to turn this loss into a positive.
“They are a very good team and I believe that we are a very good team too,” Pebley said. “We’re going to learn from this and turn this loss into a victory. We’re going to learn from it and get better from it.”
SDSU had four different players score 17 or more points in the game with guard Courtney Clements leading the way with 20 points. Chelsea Hopkins added 17 points and 11 rebounds.
The Aztecs shot 51.7 percent in the game and out-rebounded the Bulldogs 46-31. SDSU had 15 offensive rebounds that led to 19 second-chance points and the Aztecs outscored Fresno State 46-26 in the paint.
“I think San Diego State is now a team that is in sole ownership of first place,” Pebley said. “They did a great job of establishing the physicality of the game and that was something that we did not do a good job of responding to and it impacted our finishing ability, our rebounding and all the way to our free throws.”
Bulldog guards Ki-Ki Moore and Rosie Moult both had 15 points and seven rebounds. Moult recorded her 300th career made 3-pointer on a night shooting 5-of-11 from behind the arc to account for all of Fresno State’s made 3-pointers. It was also her fourth-straight game sinking five or more three’s.
”I guess we needed better focus from the start,” Moult said. “They came out very hard from the beginning and we were just not boxing out, finishing our shots and we weren’t as aggressive to the basket as we normally are.”
Erimma Amarikwa had 15 first-half points to help SDSU jump out to a 16-point halftime lead.
Fresno State hit 12-of-34 (.353) shots in the first half, but gave up 11 offensive rebounds to the Aztecs that led to 13 second-chance points.
SDSU built its lead up to 29 within the first five minutes of the second half and went on to lead by as many as 30.
“Obviously this is very disappointing, the loss in such a big game,” Moult said.
Pack the House night was a success as the Save Mart Center recorded its highest attended game of the season with 3,601. The ‘Dogs will next travel to New Mexico on Feb. 13 before returning home to host Wyoming next Saturday.