Fresno State fought back after falling behind by 20 points early in the second half but the first place Bulldogs proved too much for the second place ‘Dogs, who were playing without starting point guard Steven Shepp.
Sylvester Seay’s 3-pointer with under 4:30 left to play cut the lead to single digits, at 69-61, for the first time since early in the second half. Louisiana Tech guard Kyle Gibson quickly answered with his career best seventh 3-pointer – and career-high 32nd point. But Seay would hit another three at the 3:20 mark to make it a six-point lead at 72-66. He scored 14 of his team-high 19 points in a seven-minute span during the final 10 minutes of the game before fouling out with less than two minutes remaining.
The La. Tech Bulldogs would capitalize on Seay’s absence.
Ned Golubovic mishandled a Brandon Sperling pass immediately after replacing Seay that led to a fast break layup and three-point play ending the ‘Dogs momentum and put the game out of reach.
Paul George finished with 18 points but played a significant part in the Bulldogs’ rally by breaking La. Tech’s press from the point guard spot. Greg “JuJu” Smith added 15 points. Mychal Ladd had his best game away from the Save Mart Center, hitting 4-of-8 from beyond the arc for 12 points. Fresno State was out-rebounded 35-24.
Shepp missed Thursday’s game due to class conflict. He will rejoin the Bulldogs on Friday and will play on Saturday versus New Mexico State. Tip is set for 6 p.m. PT.
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