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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

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Fresno State women’s basketball defeats Long Beach State in close matchup

Fresno+State+basketball+player+Keely+Brown+looks+down+the+court+at+the+Save+Mart+Center+on+Nov.+21.+
Jacqueline Carrillo/The Collegian
Fresno State basketball player Keely Brown looks down the court at the Save Mart Center on Nov. 21.

The Fresno State women’s basketball team held strong in a close battle, beating Long Beach State 75-64 at the Save Mart Center on Nov. 21.  

“We knew it was going to be a hard-fought game. We knew they were going to throw five, six different defenses at us and so we were kind of prepared. Although, you’re never really prepared until you get out there,” said Head Coach Jaime White postgame. 

After coming off their first season loss, the Bulldogs quickly set the tone when opening the first quarter. Within the first two minutes, the ‘Dogs went on a 7-0 run to take the lead. 

The domination continued for the Bulldogs with five points for guard Taija Santa Maria and forward Kylee Fox each to keep the ‘Dogs ahead. 

With just under three minutes left in the first half, the ‘Dogs were able to go on yet another run to take a 26-11 advantage. 

The Elbees closed out the quarter by adding two points but still trailed 26-13.

“I thought that first quarter was really the determining factor, we got up and I just thought we attacked the basket,” White said. 

Thea Mikkelsen shoots from behind the arc against the Elbees. (Jacqueline Carrillo/The Collegian)

Opening up the second quarter the Elbees fought to come back going on a 5-0 run that cut the deficit to 26-18. 

Although the ‘Dogs struggled with some drives on defense their offense continued to connect in the paint with two back-to-back layups. 

Shortly after allowing an Elbee layup, Bulldog guard Keely Brown answered back with a 3-point jumper, 33-20. 

With two minutes left in the half the Elbees found momentum playing complimentary ball on both ends of the court. 

It started to break through the Bulldog’s defense to get on the board and cut the deficit to only eight points at 38-30. 

The ‘Dogs closed out the second quarter by scoring to stay on top 43-36. 

Coming out of halftime, Bulldog forward Mia Jacobs put up four points for the team off of layups, extending it to a 47-36 lead.

Elbee’s guard Savannah Tucker responded with a second-chance free throw to put up one point.

Playing in her hometown of Fresno, Tucker put up challenges for the Bulldog’s defense as she became the top scorer thus far with 10 points. She was 3-for-5 from the field, 1-for-1 behind the arc and 3-for-3 from the free throw line.

“She a good player. I think she has really fine-tuned her game and her drive is hard to guard,” White said. 

Taija Santa Maria goes up for a layup. (Jacqueline Carrillo/The Collegian)

At the five-minute mark, the Elbees began to shorten the margin after a layup, forcing the Bulldogs to take a timeout, 49-41.

The timeout didn’t affect the Elbees breaking through as they got a shot in the paint to only go down six points. 

Yet another layup by Long Beach forced Fresno State to take another timeout. 

Trailing by only three points, the ‘Dogs put together a good offensive play that left Fox open behind the arc for a successful 3-pointer, 52-45. 

Although the ‘Dogs were on the edge of giving up its lead they closed out the third quarter ahead, 56-49. 

In the final quarter, the ‘Dogs stepped up on defense, creating turnovers that gave the offense more opportunities to score. 

At the six-minute mark, Jacobs shot a 3-pointer to give the ‘Dogs a 64-53 lead.  

The Bulldogs continued accumulating points to end the game with a 75-64 victory.

The Fresno State women’s basketball team is now 3-1 overall and will travel to Phoenix, Arizona to participate in the GCU Women’s Basketball Classic from Nov. 24-25. 

Elbee Savannah Tucker guards Bulldog Kylee Fox during the game. (Jacqueline Carrillo/The Collegian)
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