Fresno State made only 1 of their first 13 shots from the field and quickly faced a 12-2 deficit. Fresno State head coach Rodney Terry dialed up the tempo to try to take advantage of baskets in transition with Cal's half court defense giving them problems.
The faster tempo helped get the Bulldogs back in the game, but they could never fully close the gap. Several factors played into why they couldn't.
- The Bulldogs shot just 33% from the field and made just 25% from 3-point range.
- Leading scorer Marvelle Harris had the most struggles from the field for the team. He missed all 7 of his field goals in the first half and made just 5 of 18 overall. Harris still led the Bulldogs with 13 points.
- Fresno State made 14-of-23 free throws, just over 60% - well below their season average.
- 6-foot-10, 235-pound Richard Solomon created easy buckets for the Golden Bears. He made 7 of 9 shots, most of which were dunks that the undersized Bulldogs just couldn't stop. He finished with 17 points.
"We intended to go inside," Cal head coach Mike Montgomery said. "I didn't think they could stop us inside."
- Solomon also had 14 of the Bears' 45 rebounds - 13 more than the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs got within 6 points with under 9 minutes remaining, but Fresno State failed to make a field goal over the next four minutes. An 8-2 Cal run put the Golden Bears up by double digits in the final five minutes.
Fresno State had Tyler Johnson back after he missed four games, although his foot injury appeared to hold him back a bit.
"It definitely was a boost," Fresno State head coach Rodney Terry said. "Now the key is getting him back to game shape... It's going to take a little time."
The Bulldogs may get a solution to their lack of size in the post very soon. 6-11 Tanner Giddings may be available for their next game. .
The addition of Giddings will also extend the Bulldogs' rotation to 9 players and allow Paul Watson and Alex Davis to play more minutes in their natural positions.
The loss drops Fresno State to 6-5 on the season and they'll play one of their toughest opponents of the season next. The Bulldogs take on Florida in the Orange Bowl Classic on December 21.