Bulldogs Blowout Bobcats

Bulldogs Blowout Bobcats

The Fresno State Bulldogs defeated the UC Merced Bobcats 104-43 on Saturday. The Bulldogs were led by Paul Watson who had 16 points, one of six players in double figures. The Bulldogs topped 100 points for the first time under head coach Rodney Terry.

Fresno State outmatched UC Merced in every way on Saturday. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 16-4 lead in the game's opening minutes, but the Bobcats started heating up from the perimeter to keep the the underdogs within striking distance. A pair of 3 pointers by the Bobcats cut the lead to 37-27, but it was all Bulldogs from there. Fresno State outscored the Bobcats 67-16 over the final 25 minutes of play.

The 61 point win was the biggest margin of victory in school history. With 104 points, it was the first time the Bulldogs had scored over 100 points since a double overtime game versus Nevada in 2003.

Saturday's game was also the first time all season that the Bulldogs had all nine players scholarship players available for one game. Forward Tanner Giddings returned for his second game of the season and had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The 6-foot-11 Giddings towered over the Bobcats whose tallest player is 6-foot-8.

"Tanner's 100 percent right now," Terry said. "We're excited about having him back. We really missed the time that he was away in terms of a guy of size that has experience already, can rebound the ball for us, can defend. We thought his offense will come along a little bit as well and it will."

The addition of Giddings also frees up forward Paul Watson to play both small forward and power forward. The freshman continued to impress on Saturday. He finished with a game-high 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting and added 8 rebounds and capped his performance off with two highlight dunks.

The Bulldogs finish their non-conference schedule with a 7-6 record heading into Mountain West play.

"We feel really good, the team has a good pulse on everything that's going on," senior guard Tyler Johnson said. "We're excited that conference play is finally here."

Fresno State gets conference play started on Wednesday at noon PT, hosting UNLV and former Bulldog Kevin Olekaibe.

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