Men’s basketball falls short to Utah State


Fresno State combo guard Leo Colimerio pushes through the contact against Utah State. (Marcos Acosta/The Collegian)

By Dylan Gonzales, Reporter

Even though Fresno State’s men’s basketball team lost its fifth game out of its past six, team leaders like Jemarl Baker have kept the team motivated through its rough patch.

“Just coaching my teammates (motivates me)… They push me every day to be better, and that’s all I can ask for from them,” Baker said.

Baker scored a team-high 11 points, going 3-for-8 on shooting and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.

Fresno State fell short 70-53 against Utah State on Jan. 28 at the Save Mart Center. The 17 point loss was its largest margin of defeat at home this season.

Around the 15-minute mark, the Bulldogs and the Aggies were all tied up 7-7. After a timeout, the Aggies went on a 7-2 run to a 14-9 lead, forcing Head Coach Justin Hutson to call a timeout.

The Bulldogs responded with a 10-2 run to put them in front, 19-16 with 6:55 left in the first half.

After falling behind by seven with under two minutes left in the first half, Fresno State responded with back-to-back 3-pointers from Baker and Anthony Holland to trim the deficit to one point.

That was as close as the ‘Dogs would get in the first half. After giving up the last five points, the ‘Dogs went into halftime trailing 34-28. Utah State outrebounded Fresno State 19-10, which helped the Aggies score 10 second chance points.

Jordan Campbell directing the floor. (Marcos Acosta/The Collegian)

In the first five minutes of the second half, the Bulldogs gave up nine points and only scored three, making the score 43-31.

Fresno State struggled with its shooting coming out of half time, connecting on only one out of its first 12 field goal attempts. The four-plus minute field goal drought was broken by Isaiah Hill with a layup.

The second half was dominated by the Aggies as they outscored the Bulldogs by 11 points.

Coming into the game, Utah State was shooting 42.1% on 3-point attempts, which leads the nation among teams with more than 10 games played. While the Aggies were still able to knock down shots from deep, the Bulldogs held them to only 33.3% from behind the arc, with only six made threes.

Isaih Moore sets up a shot in the paint on Jan. 28, at the Save Mart center. (Marcos Acosta/The Collegian)

Despite the sluggish offensive performance, Fresno State only committed six turnovers during the game.

Two areas where the ‘Dogs struggled were rebounding and scoring. Fresno State lost the rebound battle, 41-24. Outside of Isaih Moore, who collected eight rebounds, no other Bulldog had more than three on the night.

Fresno State’s inability to consistently score has been plaguing the team all season. The ‘Dogs are currently ranked last in the Mountain West in points per game with an average of 60.6, which is 7.1 points lower than the next closest team.

“We’re going to have to score more points if we’re going to be more successful on the road,” said Hutson.

With the loss, Fresno State falls to 3-6 in the Mountain West. The Bulldogs will head to Wyoming and play the 1-7 Cowboys on Jan. 31.