Fresno State led 6-0 out the gate before Air Force used a 7-0 run to take its first and only lead. The Bulldogs regained the lead with an 11-2 run and never looked back in an impressive MWC win over Air Force.
“The first three-and-and half minutes they were in there,” Bulldogs head coach Rodney Terry said about the four seniors that started Saturday night. “Our seniors set the tone for the ball game.”
Four seniors played their final game at the Save Mart Center but none played a significant role in the victory as junior Tyler Johnson led all scorers with a game-high 21 points. Allen Huddleston was the only other Bulldog in double-figures with 11 points. Jerry Brown led the seniors with seven points and three rebounds. Kevin Foster added six points and eight rebounds in only 18 minutes.
The ‘Dogs used a 14-5 second half run in a span of 10 minutes to stave off AFA giving FS a 48-33 lead with 5:32 remaining in the game. Fresno State out-rebounded the Falcons 44-30, forced 13 turnovers, and limited AFA to 27.9% clip from the field.
“Extremely hard team to play against,” added Terry. “Tonight, we did a much better job staying in front of the basketball.”
Mike Fitzgerald led the Air Force with 11 points.
Fresno State improves to 10-18, 4-11 in MWC play to move into the 7th spot in the conference. The Bulldogs finish MWC play next Saturday at UNLV. The ‘Dogs can secure a 7th seed in the MWC Tournament with a win over the Rebels, a loss by Wyoming at Colorado State, and Nevada must lose one of its final two games.
“That’s a huge step forward,” Terry said of avoiding the play-in game. “Seeding right now is what you are playing for. Like what I tell our guys, you want to play on the second day [of the tournament].”
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