The Fresno State Bulldogs followed their most efficient offensive performance of the season with their worst shooting effort and it cost them a title, as Siena coasted to an 81-68 victory in Loudonton Saturday morning and won the CBI.
Saints forward Brett Bisping was named the CBI's most valuable player after scoring 20 points and grabbing nine rebounds in the win. Rob Poole led Siena with 23 points and Marquis Wright chipped in with 12, as well. Tyler Johnson led Fresno State with 20 points and 10 rebounds, but he struggled to find his shot in the second half, after the Saints had built a 17-point advantage and led by as much as 22.
Then again, he was hardly alone in his shooting woes. The team shot an even 30% for the game, but that belies the 4-of-22 figure (18.2%) in the first half and the 1-for-10 stretch that essentially snuffed the visitors' chances coming out of halftime. The frustrations likely played a role in the two technical fouls that Fresno picked up in the second half.
Coach Rodney Terry can take heart, though, that the team never stopped competing despite the long odds for a comeback. Allen Huddleston, who tallied 14 points in his last game as a Bulldog, sparked a rally in the last ten minutes that cut the Siena Iead to nine in the last 90 seconds or so before the Saints recovered with five made free throws by Poole in the last minute.
Fresno State finishes the 2013-14 season with a 21-18 record, while the Saints won the CBI at 20-18.