FRESNO – The Fresno State men's basketball team fell 70-64 in a hard-fought game against Boise State late Tuesday evening inside the Save Mart Center. While Fresno State (12-6, 2-3 Mountain West) nearly rallied from a 13-point deficit just before halftime, Boise State (14-3, 4-1 MW) made the plays it needed to earn its third road win of the season.
The Bulldogs will next host New Mexico on Saturday at 4 p.m. PT. Tickets are available starting at $15.
How it happened: Boise State jumped out to an early 11-3 lead to start the game – a lead the Broncos held for over 38 of the 40 minute contest.
Fresno State went on an 8-0 run lead to tie the game 11-11 midway through the first half. The Broncos quickly responded and built their largest lead of the game with a minute left in the half at 32-19.
Boise State owned a 32-21 lead at the half, with the Broncos being led by Chris Sengfelder with seven points. Jaron Hopkins had a team-high eight points and three rebounds for the Bulldogs through the first 20 minutes.
But Fresno State kept battling and working the game while making its run. Fresno State senior guard Ray Bowles, Jr. brought the Bulldogs within five points (47-42) with a swift drive to the bucket, with exactly 10 minutes left to play. Fresno State continued to find its offensive flow when sophomore forward Byson Williams brought the 'Dogs within three (51-48) with 7:33 left in the game.
Deshon Taylor then drained back-to-back 3-pointers to make it a one-point game (55-54) with 3:58 left, but the Bulldogs couldn't draw any closer. Taylor finished with a team-high 15 points.
Chandler Hutchison kept the Broncos in the lead with a huge night at the free throw line – finishing 15-for-18 from the charity stripe for the night. Hutchison led all scorers with 21 points, along with 10 rebounds.
Boise State had the advantage in rebounds (39-32), points from its bench (23-20) and the Broncos shot 43.8 percent on the night.
Fresno State outscored Boise State in the paint (32-28), had more second chance points (12-6) and recorded less turnovers (11-9). But Fresno State made just nine of its 22 lay-up attempts in the contest.
Rodney Taylor, Fresno State head coach
"(Boise State) is a good team. We give those guys credit; they made some shots they needed to make tonight. Obviously, the way the league is set up and we only get to play those guys one time is just what we had this year. This time of year, you can't give 20 minutes away. We didn't come out the first half and execute the way that we needed to and we were playing catch-up the rest of the time. It is really hard to come back and beat a good team that way."
"We are going to be a whole different team by the time we get to the tournament. There is still a whole lot of basketball left, we are only five games into conference play. We will be a totally different team by the time we get the opportunity to play them in the conference tournament. I would like to think that, at that point, we have grown a lot and we are playing our best basketball. We still have not done that as an offensive and defensive team so you would like to think that you're playing your best basketball at that time of year by learning through some tough lessons."
"We are going to have to be fundamentally sound. They are a team that comes in and tries to create a lot of havoc. It is going to be a high possession ballgame. We are going to have to play smart and attack on our terms and be able to finish plays. Tonight we didn't do a great job at finishing plays. We got a lot of looks around the basket and we missed a lot. We have got to score. Boise scored theirs. We also came up empty with some free throws so we need to continue to shoot free throws a lot better down the stretch."
- Boise State now leads the series 22-19 (overall), while Fresno State leads played in Fresno 13-7.
- Fresno State has won four of its last six MW home games.
- Fresno State is now 37-7 overall at home since the start of 2015-16 season.
- Fresno State dropped 0-4 when trailing at the half this season, and 0-5 when trailing with five minutes left in the game.
- Fresno State had fewer turnovers than Boise State (11-9) and outscored the Broncos in the paint (32-28).
- The Bulldogs also dropped to 0-4 this season when they are outrebounded by their opponent.
- Fresno State dropped to 2-4 when three Bulldogs score in double-figures.
- The Bulldogs recorded more assists than their opponents for the 11th time this season.
Deshon Taylor – 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
The junior guard led the Bulldogs in scoring for the 15th time this season … scored in double-figures for the 17th time this season, 33rd time in his career … was 9-for-10 from the free throw line.
Jaron Hopkins – 11 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal
The senior guard scored in double-figures for the fifth time this season, 31st time in his career … tied for team-high rebounds with six … was 5-for-7 from the field.
Up Next: Fresno State hosts New Mexico on Saturday at 4 p.m. PT at the Save Mart Center. Tickets are on sale starting at $15 through www.Ticketmaster.com and the Save Mart Center Box Office. Mini-plans and group ticket packages are also on sale through the Bulldog Ticket Office or by calling 559-278-DOGS (and then pressing "1").
A limited number of single-game center section lower bowl tickets (Sections 109, 110, 122 and 123) are also available for $40.