Leo Colimerio scores career high, but it isn’t enough for the ‘Dogs


Blake Wolf/The Collegian

Isaiah Hill gets around a defender for a baseline layup.

By Alexis Bruno, Reporter

Fresno State guard Leo Colimerio got the Red Wave to its feet late in the second half as he dunked his way to a new career high in points in a matchup that came down to the wire. 

Colimerio was a key factor in the Bulldogs’ offense. He scored 19 points total, going 8-for-11 from the field and 1-for-4 from behind the arc. Although it was his best game this season, it wasn’t enough to win. 

On Saturday, Feb.18, the Fresno State men’s basketball team fell short against Colorado State, 60-57, at the Save Mart Center.

“I feel like the confidence I have now is from all my teammates, showing up every day and telling me how good I am, and it’s more just play for my guys,” Colimerio said.     

Colorado started the game off aggressively, winning the jump ball and going up 5-0 early. 

The Bulldogs did not back down with a second-chance dunk by Colimerio to get the ‘Dogs on the scoreboard, 5-2.   

After a layup by the Rams, the ‘Dogs went on an 8-0 run to take their first lead by 3, with just under 14 minutes left in the half. 

Eduardo Andre rejects a shot inside the paint. (Blake Wolf/The Collegian)

Once again, the Rams had a response, striking offensively, with yet another run good for 7 points to give them a 16-12 advantage. 

With 7:30 minutes remaining, Fresno State guard Isaiah Hill connected on a turnaround jumper to tie the game up, 19-19. 

After, Bulldog guard Anthony Holland connected on his second 3-point jumper to extend the lead 22-20, going 2-for-3 from the arc this far. Holland was the top scorer in the first half, having 6 points. 

With missed opportunities, both teams remained scoreless for over 3 minutes toward the end of the first half until Isaiah Stevens went 2-for-2 for the Rams on free throws to tie the game 24-24, with 42 seconds remaining. 

The Rams scored a 3-point jumper to take the lead at halftime, 27-24. 

Fresno State opened its second half with a connection by Jemarl Baker Jr. to shorten the deficit, 27-26, but the Rams responded with a 3-point jumper. 

After being down in the first half, the ‘Dogs quickly found their momentum, going on a 13-0 run to take its biggest lead of the game, 41-30, with 16 minutes remaining.

The Bulldogs stayed successful in the paint, holding their lead, but a 9-0 run by the Rams brought them back in the game. Colorado were only down one possession 43-41, forcing Fresno State to take a timeout. 

The Bulldogs’ defense stayed planted, holding Colorado with no score for just under four minutes. But the Rams fought back, the Bulldog still leading, 50-46, at the 7-minute mark. 

With two minutes left in the game, Colimerio took the ‘Dogs on a 5-0 run. This not only extended the lead by 7, but he hit his new career high in points with fans cheering for what looked to be a secured victory. 

Donavan Yap goes up for a contested floater. (Blake Wolf/The Collegian)

“His energy was always there and I’m starting to see him turn into a basketball player right in front of our eyes with some real confidence that he is going to take on for a while,” said Fresno State Head Coach Justin Hutson.

Although the ‘Dogs found success on both ends of the court, the Rams struck back to make it a 1-point game with a jumper by Stevens. Fresno State was still leading, 57-56, with only 17 seconds remaining.

The Red Wave got to their feet once again. This time with the game coming down to the last possession as the Dogs’ defense tried to make a stop to secure the win, but a defensive foul took the Rams to the line.

“We’ve experienced some pain and we have to look at some of the common denominators,” Hutson said.  

With one second left on the clock, the Rams went 2-for-2 from the line to pull off a last-second comeback. Colorado defeated Fresno State, 60-57.

Fresno State ranks 9th in the Mountain West. It will travel to play Air Force on Feb. 21 at the Cadet Field House.