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Bulldog men’s basketball team loses game in final seconds to the Gauchos

Donavan+Yap+Jr.+jumps+up+for+a+shot+against+the+Guachos+at+the+Save+Mart+Center+on+Nov.+27.
Jacqueline Carrillo/The Collegian
Donavan Yap Jr. jumps up for a shot against the Guachos at the Save Mart Center on Nov. 27.

Coming off of a 31 point loss to No. 22 ranked James Madison University in the Cancun Challenge championship game, the Bulldogs couldn’t hold up against the University of California, Santa Barbara in the final seconds of the game.

“I was bitterly disappointed,” said Head Coach Justin Hutson. 

On Monday, Nov. 27, The Fresno State men’s basketball team fell four points short to UCSB, 69-65, at the Save Mart Center.  

Bulldog center Eduardo Andre started the ‘Dogs off with a shot in the paint to take an early 2-0 lead. 

Within less than a minute from his first shot, Andre connected on a layup once again, 4-0.

The Gauchos were able to fight back, completing eight points to bounce back in the game.  

Despite allowing points, the ‘Dogs schemed up efficient offensive plays to get the ball in the net. 

Two shots in the paint by Bulldog guard Isaiah Hill and Andre, along with a 3-pointer by guard Donavan Yap Jr. put the ‘Dogs up, 11-8. 

But this didn’t stop the Gauchos as a drive to the paint put them down by only one point.

At the 10-minute mark, both teams played aggressively on both ends of the court, keeping a close score. The Bulldogs were still ahead 18-17.  

Eduardo Andre hands off the ball to Isaiah Hill on a pick and roll play. (Jacqueline Carrillo/The Collegian)

After a Gaucho 2-pointer, Andre yet again broke through the Gauchos’ defense to extend the lead to 20-19.

The Gauchos didn’t back down there, making a layup and one to tie the game at 20 points. 

With five minutes remaining in the first half, the Gauchos took their first lead of the game off of a layup, going up 24-22. 

What had been a struggle in past games didn’t show for the ‘Dogs in this game. Bulldog center Enoch Boakye rebounded on the offense, giving Yap a chance to connect on a 3-pointer to tie the game again, 25-25. 

Boakye is the leading rebounder thus far with 10 rebounds. 

“On both ends of the floor, I thought he did a pretty good job rebounding the ball and that’s going to help us,” Hutson said. 

With 30 seconds left in the half, a one-handed dunk by Boakye put the ‘Dogs back on top 31-29, ending the first half.

Coming out of halftime, guard Leo Colimerio put Fresno State on the board with free throws to extend the lead to 33-29. 

The connections continued for Colimerio, shooting a layup off a pass from Hill. 

Although the Gauchos had a slow start to the second half, they responded with a 4-0 run to cut the deficit, 35-33. 

In a 2-point game, the ‘Dogs remained poised on offense, going on a 5-0 run with a connection from behind the arc by Yap, and a layup by Hill. 

Isaiah Pope shoots from behind the arc against UCSB. (Jacqueline Carrillo/The Collegian)

After the run, the ‘Dogs went on a two-minute drought allowing the Gauchos to come back. 

With just under 11 minutes left in the game, Gaucho guard Ajay Mitchell connected on a jumper to get a 49-47 lead. 

“We didn’t have enough help and it starts with the guys that were on [Mitchell],” Hutson said.

Mitchell was the top scorer for the Gauchos, totaling 25 points for the game. 

A Bulldog win slowly started to get out of reach, allowing the Gauchos several points. With 3:45 minutes left, the Gauchos remained ahead, 61-54. 

The ‘Dogs continued fighting offensively to clean up mistakes and connect shots. 

With seven seconds remaining, a 3-pointer by Hill put the Red Wave to their feet. The Bulldogs only trailed by two points, 67-65.

Although the ‘Dogs bounced back, two made free throws by the Gauchos secured the game. The Gauchos defeated the Bulldogs 69-65. 

“We just have to flush this one and not dwell on it,” Yap said. 

The ‘Dogs fall to 3-3 and will travel to face off against No. 19 ranked Brigham Young University on Dec. 1 at the Delta Center, home court of the NBA Utah Jazz.  

Enoch Boakye boxes out a Gaucho player for the rebound. (Jacqueline Carrillo/The Collegian)
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