Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

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Fresno State guard Donavan Yap leads ‘Dogs to victory over CSUN

Fresno State guard Donavan Yap makes a contested 3-point shot in 65-56 victory against the California State University, Northridge, at the Save Mart Center. (Manuel Hernandez/The Collegian)

Fresno State men’s basketball improved to 3-5 on the season with a 65-56 victory over California State University, Northridge (CSUN).

In the middle of the second half, CSUN went on an 8-0 run in­ a close game against the Fresno State men’s basketball team.­

Looking for a way to respond offensively, the ‘Dogs turned to guard Donovan Yap who hit consecutive 3’s, sending the Red Wave into a cheering craze at the Save Mart Center.

“Coach believes in me to shoot the shots. He felt if I had a good shot, I should take it,” Yap said.

Despite missing his next shot, fans yelled at Yap’s teammates to “give him the ball.” 

Yap got the ball back and proceeded to make a heavily contested 3-pointer and a fast break layup in back-to-back plays, leading the ‘Dogs on a 13-2 run and forcing the Matadors to call a timeout with 11:01 remaining in the game.

Fresno State guard Donavan Yap makes a layup on the fast break in the second half against California State University, Northridge. (Manuel Hernandez/The Collegian)

Later in the half, after forcing an out-of-bounds turnover, Yap hit yet another 3. It gave the ‘Dogs a 58-51 lead and forced another timeout.

The junior guard finished the game with 17 points while shooting 6-for-8 from the field, including 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. He also had a pair of steals.

“I try to stay on an optimal level. Not too high, not too low. Be the best Donovan I can be,” Yap said.

“When I’m on the court, I lock into what’s going on during the game. My confidence comes straight from my teammates and coaches,” said Yap.

Prior to Yap’s strong finish for the Bulldogs, Fresno State jumped out to a quick 10-3 lead in the first half with 6 points from Isaih Moore to start the game.

Fresno State Head Coach Justin Hutson had high praise for Moore, who finished with 9 points and 10 rebounds. 

“He’s a heck of a player. He’s fighting through a really tough injury and it was bothering tonight but he wanted to go out there and fight for us. He’s gonna get better and better if he can stay healthy,” Hutson said. 

The Matadors responded with a pair of 3’s from Ethan Igbanugo, making it 10-9.

The rest of the first half was a back-and-forth battle between the two teams, with CSUN leading 30-29 heading into the break. 

“We never had a stranglehold on it. I thought we played really good defense and got a lot of stops,” said Hutson.

De’Sean Allen-Eikens led the Matadors with 14 points in the first half, including two 3’s. He finished with a double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. 

Defense played a huge role in the second half for Fresno State, holding the Matadors to 26 points on 9-for-27 shooting in addition to forcing them to commit eight turnovers. 

“That second half defense needs to stay because that’s winning time. That’s the second consecutive game in a row we’ve had good defense in the second half,” Hutson said.

Fresno State guards Jordan Clarkson (left) and Anthony Holland (right) defends California State University, Northridge player. (Manuel Hernandez/The Collegian)

Hutson praised his team’s effort at that end, especially Jordan Brinson in particular who recently returned from an injury.

“He’s probably practiced a week or two, since being back. He can really give us some help in the backcourt. He’s a good player and we’ve been watching him limp around for about four months now. To see him go out and play with poise was not surprising,” Hutson said. 

Bulldog Jordan Brinson scores reverse layup. (Manuel Hernandez/The Collegian)

Brinson wasn’t the only guy off the bench that impressed Hutson. Eduardo Andre, who sank all four of his free throw attempts in the second half. Andre was a ‘menace’ in the paint blocking two shots.

“He’s very good defensively and can do more than what he did on the offensive end. He’s got to play more minutes to get comfortable, but he made a really good impact for us tonight,” Hutson said.  

The ‘Dogs will head to Stockton to take on the University of Pacific this Saturday with tip off at 2 p.m. Fans can listen on the radio via the Bulldog Sports Network. 

Fresno State Head Coach Justin Hutson coaches the ‘Dogs to 65-56 victory over California State University, Northridge on Dec. 7 at the Save Mart Center. (Manuel Hernandez/The Collegian)
Bulldog Anthony Holland gets fouled while attempting a baseline layup. (Manuel Hernandez/The Collegian)
Fresno State guard Jordan Clarkson scores a fast-break layup against California State University, Northridge on Dec. 7 at the Save Mart Center. (Manuel Hernandez/The Collegian)
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