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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

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‘Dogs can’t compete against the Aztecs in tough loss

Aztecs+forward%2C+Jay+Pal+dunks+the+ball+in+the+Save+Mart+Center+on+Feb.+24.
Jacqueline Carrillo/The Collegian
Aztecs forward, Jay Pal dunks the ball in the Save Mart Center on Feb. 24.

The defensive effort from the injured Bulldogs wasn’t enough to keep the deficit below 30 against the offensive powerhouse of the Aztecs.

The Fresno State men’s basketball team fell short to No.19 San Diego State 73-41 on Feb. 24 at the Save Mart Center.

With Bulldog center Enoch Boakye still out of play, the Aztecs forced tough shots and got through the pick-and-roll with ease.

The loss of the team’s center is taking a toll, and there is no confirmed date for a return just yet according to Hutson.

“If we don’t get Enoch back, we’ll be in trouble,” said Fresno State Head Coach Justin Hutson.

The Aztecs came out with an electric drive, scoring 12 points before the ‘Dogs could score a bucket.

With no offense, the Bulldogs put forward a strong effort running back on defense, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Aztecs from getting a quick 22-4 lead.

Aztecs forward Jaedon LeDee started hot, scoring 11 of the team’s first 26 points.

Aztecs forward Jaedon LeDee shoots in the Save Mart Center on Feb. 24. (Jacqueline Carrillo)

Bulldog guard Isaiah Hill hit a 3-pointer to spark some momentum, but the Aztecs stood their ground with only two minutes left in the first half, holding a 30-point lead.

A defensive effort from the Bulldogs brought the score within 26 to end the first half, 42-16.

“Didn’t much go well tonight, besides that the guys kept fighting,” Hutson said.

Even with such a large deficit, the ‘Dogs kept mounted on defense, forcing eight turnovers.

The second half went underway and the Bulldogs offense began to show some light, putting up 13 points in comparison to 16 points put up in the whole first period.

The Bulldogs could not get ahold of the 30-point deficit that continued to arise, but the crowd still held out hope, cheering them on each play.

With a ferocious block from LeDee on Bulldog guard Isaiah Pope, the Aztecs ran up the court in a fast break that led to a slam dunk, diminishing any momentum the team had hoped to get.

The ‘Dogs continued to find open shots but couldn’t get any of them to fall, shooting 14-57 from the field.

With three straight missed shots from the ‘Dogs and a blocked layup, the Aztecs sealed the game to close out the score 73-41.

The Fresno State men’s basketball team holds an 11-16 record and is 4-10 in conference play.

Fresno State now has a couple of rest days before they face No. 29 Utah State on Feb. 27 at Save Mart Center.

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