Ben Hensley, a new contributor, wrote this post
The men rolled the ball down the hill and it just kept going.
Fresno State’s men’s basketball team played the San Diego State AztecsTuesday night at
the Save Mart Center. Tied with Utah State for fifth in the conference at the start of the night, the
Bulldogs looked to rise in the rankings with a W against the Aztecs, and did so in dominant style
with a 79-61 victory. From the get-go, the Dogs attacked early and often, pulling out to a double
digit lead by the end of the first half of the game, and kept piling it on in the second half.
In a game dominated by bench points, starter Jaron Hopkins led the Bulldogs in scoring
with 20 points. Nate Grimes led the Dogs’ relief effort off the bench with another strong showing
of 15 points, compared to only 2 bench points total by the Aztecs, scored by Nolan Narain. In a
game that remained marginally close until midway through the first half, bench play took over
the game and the Aztecs fell flat.
The Aztecs gave the game away in the first half with 12 turnovers compared to the
Bulldogs 6. Of those turnovers, 4 of them came from bench players, and in a game where the
Aztecs bench contributed only 2 points total – both coming in the first half – there was no going
back from the first half sluggishness. The Aztecs scored only 12 points off turnovers, compared
to the Bulldogs 21. With only one three point shot falling, and only scoring 5 of 9 free throws,
the Aztecs found themselves down by 11 at the half, and it only proceeded to get worse for them in the 2nd half.
The Bulldogs on the other hand, performed adequately in the first half, scoring 37 points,
and shooting over 40% from three, along with shooting 6 of 7 free throws. The second half was
where the Bulldog offense came to life with only 4 turnovers and 42 more points by the end of
the game. The Dogs did get into a bit of foul trouble in the 2 nd half with 9 personal fouls
committed before the final buzzer, but an attempt at a late comeback was not to be, with the
Aztecs only able to close the deficit to 7 midway through the half. After that, it was all Bulldogs
until the final score, handing the Aztecs their second worst loss of the season, only behind their
early season game at Arizona State in which they lost by 22.
The mens team plays next Wednesday the 14 th , against the 3-19 (0-11 in conference) San
Jose State Spartans, at San Jose. Their win this past Tuesday puts them in a tie for 3 rd in the
conference with Wyoming (15-8 overall, 6-4 conference) behind Nevada (20-4, 9-1) and Boise
State (20-4, 10-2) who are currently tied for first in the conference. Both teams hold a tie-break
over the Bulldogs, with wins in their previous matchups this season.