With a 69-65 win against New Mexico on Saturday, the Fresno State women’s basketball team won its third straight game, stayed undefeated at home and moved to 2-0 in Mountain West Conference play.
But not all was good for the Bulldogs as their lack of an aggressive, physical play down low almost cost them.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 17 points and owned a double-digit lead for roughly half of the game, yet nearly squandered the lead by allowing the Lobos to hang around with second-chance opportunities.
New Mexico outrebounded Fresno State 42-25 and owned a 20-10 advantage on offensive rebounds. The Lobos finished with 15 points on second-chance possessions compared to the Bulldogs’ 10 second-chance points.
A repeat performance against other teams in the Mountain West could ruin Fresno State’s flawless conference record and quest to win the conference title in the Bulldogs’ first year in the league. Teams in the Mountain West are bigger and more physical than competition from the Western Athletic Conference (Fresno State’s previous conference) typically offered in past seasons.
The problem for the Bulldogs, though, if that they’re young inside and get pushed around rather easily.
But the good news for Fresno State is that the majority of the players seem to be adapting quite well to the new system of late, and the coaching staff apparently made some adjustments to better utilize its inherited talent. Specifically: getting the ball to their shooters when they’re not pressured.
Fresno State, after all, always was a team that launched 3-pointers at will, and the roster came equipped with long-distance shooters like Rosie Moult and Ki-Ki Moore.
So it makes sense that the Bulldogs’ recent string of success is because their outside shooters have gotten the ball in better position and better spacing to fire away.