GAME NOTES: Fresno State tries yet again to put an end to a losing streak, as the Bulldogs host the Wyoming Cowboys in Mountain West Conference action at the Save Mart Center on Wednesday night.
Victories have been few and far between for the Bulldogs in 2013-14, the program posting a total of just eight triumphs and only one of those coming against another member of the MWC (Air Force) back on Jan. 8. Since then, FSU has been taken down in five straight games, including back-to-back overtime affairs in the last week. The latest defeat was a 75-73 loss at UNLV on Saturday.
Heading in the opposite direction is a Wyoming group that has won four consecutive dates. Like FSU, the Cowboys also went to overtime last Saturday, the difference being that the Pokes came out on top of a 64-62 final versus Nevada at home. Wyoming is now 4-2 in conference, while the Bulldogs wallow near the bottom of the standings with only one win in eight tries.
Fresno State, which leads the all-time series by a count of 10-7, has never lost at home to Wyoming, surviving all eight previous encounters in the Golden State.
Larry Nance Jr. played the hero for the Cowboys over the weekend as his jumper with three seconds remaining put the team into the win column at Arena- Auditorium. Nance finished with a double-double consisting of 19 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, followed by Riley Grabau and Josh Adams with 13 and 12 points, respectively, for a team that made good on 50 percent from the field overall, but just 4-of-12 beyond the arc.
Utilizing the same starting lineup for all six conference games this season, the Cowboys are being led in both scoring and rebounding by Nance with his 16.0 points and 9,7 rebounds per contest. In addition, Nance is also responsible for 20 of the squad's 25 blocked shots in those league bouts. The only other double-digit scorer, as the team produces 62.7 ppg, is Adams with his 13.7 ppg, stemming from 55.6 percent shooting from the field.
The Bulldogs were paced by Cezar Guerrero who tallied 18 points, but he shot only 6-of-20 from the field. Paul Watson responded with 17 points, Tyler Johnson 14 and Alex Davis a double-double off the bench with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Fresno State opened the meeting on an 11-2 run, but the squad eventually shot just 40.6 percent from the field in the period, 37.1 percent for the game overall. The Bulldogs logged a 47-44 rebounding advantage, but the team hurt itself with just 10-of-18 shooting at the free-throw line.
Conference games have been disastrous for the Bulldogs this season, with the team shooting just 38.2 percent from the field, en route to 70.8 ppg. Granted, their scoring output isn't awful, but when they give up 78.8 ppg and are being beaten on the glass by 6.1 rpg, there is very little chance of coming out on top these days. Johnson accounts for 18.4 ppg and 7.5 rpg, both team highs, while shooting 47.2 percent beyond the arc.
With Nance having his way around the basket and the Wyoming defense again showing signs of dominance from time to time, the visitors have a great shot at finally breaking through against FSU on the road tonight.
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