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SDSU did not allow a Fresno State field goal for 6:10 in the fourth quarter


Photo:  Geena Gomez courtesy

February 22, 2017 (Fresno) - San Diego State women’s basketball battled Fresno State until the clock ran out, shutting out the Bulldogs from a field goal for over six minutes in the fourth quarter, but ultimately fell in a defensive juggernaut, 59-50, against its Mountain West foe Fresno State Wednesday night in Save Mart Center.

The loss moves the Aztecs to 4-11 versus their conference counterparts and 9-17 on the year. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, are now even in MW play with an 8-8 mark and are 15-12 overall.

Junior McKynzie Fort led her team for the 16th game, posting 12 points and grabbing seven boards for another team lead. Classmate Geena Gomez tied a career high with six assists, adding four boards and two points. Senior Kymberly Ellison drilled a trio of 3-pointers for nine points and snatched a career- and team-high four steals.

The game started out promisingly for the Aztecs, who opened the game by taking a 9-4 lead at 7:45, due in large part to a pair of 2-point field goals by Cheyenne Greenhouse and two assists by Gomez. However, Fresno State was able to shut out the Scarlet and Black for the remainder of the quarter with 15 points for the 19-9 lead after 10 minutes of play. SDSU’s nine first-quarter points tied for its season low.

San Diego State’s scoring drought finally ended 34 seconds into the second quarter when Gomez got her first layup of the game, cutting the Bulldogs’ lead to 19-11. Fresno State scored four unanswered points before Ariell Bostick ricocheted the ball high off the glass at 7:01 and it fell in for the 23-13 score.

After a jumper by Bego Faz Davalos, Ellison drilled her second three of the night at 6:09 to cut the margin to single digits at 25-16. Faz Davalos answered back with a layup to regain Fresno State’s double-digit advantage.

But the Aztecs locked down and applied more pressure to end of the half. Fort made two consecutive jumpers and on the next possession, Khalia Lark knocked down a three for the 4-point score at 27-23. Fresno State closed the half by tacking on five points for the 32-23 score at the intermission.

Greenhouse opened the half by making a pair of shots from the charity stripe then, after seven Bulldog points, got a jumper just inside the 3-point arc for the 39-27 score at two-and-a-half minutes in to the frame. SDSU allowed another four points, but Bostick made her first long ball in seven games at 5:49 when she knocked one down from the left corner. After that, San Diego State narrowly edged Fresno State, 7-5, allowing just one field goal in the final 5:19 of the period for the 48-37 Bulldog advantage.

In the fourth quarter, it took both teams a long time to get their collective offenses going. Ellison’s third three of the game was the frame’s first made shot 2:27 into the period for the 48-40 score. After a Bulldog jumper at 6:49, the Scarlet and Black did not allow a Fresno State field goal until just 39 seconds remained in the game, and closed the game by out-scoring the Bulldogs, 10-9. Yet it was not enough to propel the Aztecs and the final score was 59-50.

The Bulldogs had a better shooting percentage, making 41.7 percent of their shots (20-for-48), while San Diego State shot 32.8 percent (19-for-58) from the floor. SDSU was 6-for-28 (21.4 percent) from 3-point range, and Fresno State was 3-for-18 (16.7 percent). The Aztecs had trouble getting penetrating the paint, as the team was out-scored, 24-16.

The Scarlet and Black and Fresno State each had 38 boards, with SDSU getting 10 offensive rebounds to the Bulldogs’ five offensive boards. San Diego State held the narrow advantage in steals, 9-8, and assists, 16-15, but were out-blocked, 5-1.

San Diego State returns to Viejas Arena for its annual Pink Game on Sat., Feb. 25. Tip against Colorado State is set for 2 p.m.


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