Fresno State (6-3) traveled to Tucson, Arizona, to take on the No. 13 Arizona Wildcats (8-1) The Bulldogs came into McKale Center looking to defeat a ranked opponent on the road for the first time, since defeating Tulsa in 2000. Arizona was in a dogfight the whole night, pulling away late in the second half to preserve the win.
The Bulldogs were not intimidated in one of the toughest venues in college basketball. The Wildcats entered the night with a 42 home winning streak, that turned to 43. A critical juncture in the game happened as time was expiring in the first half, Fresno State was leading 46-41 looking to expand their lead, but senior Marvelle Harris mishandled the ball, and Arizona scored as time expired and lead at halftime 46-43.
Harris' critical turnover, shadowed what was an outstanding first half. Harris led the Dogs' with 17 points, going 3-3 on three point attempts. "Marvelle Harris did what very few players have done against us here in McKale," Arizona head coach Sean Miller. "There wasn't much we could do to stop him in the first half." Harris managed only six points in the second half, but led Fresno State with 23 points. Matching Harris was Arizona freshman Allonzo Trier, who had a career-high 27 points.
Fresno State came out shooting great in the first half, shooting close to 60%, the second have not so much, shooting 36 percent. Fresno State went 5-5 on 3-point attempts in the first half, and in the second half went 0-5.
Nonetheless, the Bulldogs effort and tenacity were in full display. Fresno State scored 23 points off Arizona's 13 turnovers.
"We competed hard tonight against a really talented Arizona team," Fresno State head coach Rodney Terry said. "I can't fault our effort. I liked our energy. It's really hard to win on the road in college basketball. We're obviously disappointed in the outcome, but when we play like we did tonight, we have a chance to compete in the Mountain West." Junior Paul Watson had a solid game, adding 14 points while playing in his home state.
Fresno State down 71-70, was as close as they got. Gabe York then took over hitting back to back 3-pointers to put Arizona up 77-70 with 2 minutes left, and essentially put the game away.
Next up for Fresno State, a home contest Saturday afternoon against Pacific.