Sunday, January 28, 2007

New look 'Dogs hold off La. Tech

Obvious choice for player of the game

How Fresno State was able to get the win:

There were two main reasons why the Bulldogs were able to get the job done Saturday night and hold off Louisiana Tech. (1) They shot greater than 40% from the field for the first time in 5 games and (2) they also finished around the rim at a high percentage. Although they did not do a good job on the defensive boards down the stretch they kept the visiting Bulldogs of La. Tech off the boards.

Credit must also be given to Coach Steve Cleveland for playing his bench early. Ultimately, Junior guard Tyson Parker played a total of 24 minutes which is his season high and he also played the final 7 minutes which was pressure packed and hanging in the balance.

Parker played admirably, and his team needed him to perform at his highest level. He scored 9 points on 3-7 shooting, 2 of his shots being 3s, another on a great drive down the left lane line in which he scored against a much taller Tech post player. On 2 of those misses Parker was able to follow his own shot and get the offensive rebound. On top of his scoring, Parker dished out 3 assists and kept the offense moving against the Tech zone. He also made a critical defensive play in which he stopped a penetrating guard and knocked the ball off of the penetrators leg out of bounds which was a huge stop.

Other key contributions:

-Guard Eddie Miller had two points at the half. He finished with 17 on 5-10 three point shooting. He found a home on the right wing where he was able to bury 5 3s from. He was also able to put it on the deck once and take a pull up jumper at the free throw line. That move is one that Miller needs to continue to utilize.

-Forward Quinton Hosley showed a versatile inside-out attack going 3-5 from three and also getting to the rim and drawing fouls, finishing 8-10 at the line. It was big for Hosley because he had issues finishing around the rim and he may have found his answer. If you arent going to make the shot, get fouled trying. Initiating contact is something I have been asking for during WAC play from both him and McGuire.

-Forward Dominic McGuire was able to join Hosley in finishing near the rim. He was 5-7 from the field and also knocked down a 3 which kept Tech honest. He only took 1 bad shot that was fading away and he went ahead and banked it in for good measure.

-Hector Hernandez did not shoot the 3 well for the second game in a row, but he was 3-4 inside of the arc. Its nice to see him be able to do something other that shoot the three. If he can combine the two look out.

-This was definately a good shooting game, and they were in desperate need of it. They finished 45% from the field, 40% from three, and 75% from the line. Well done guys.

-Held Tech guard Trey McDowell to 13 points on 6-18 shooting, he came in averaging 20 ppg in WAC play.

-After allowing 13 first half points to La. Tech Forward Chad McKenzie, they held him to 2 second half points. That was a key in coming out with the victory.

-16 assist on 22 baskets for the team tells me there was better ball movement and less stagnant play overrall. I like it.

What went wrong:

-You dont win many games when you give up 14 offensive offensive rebounds and you only collect 4. Also being outrebounded 41-33 is not a good stat, especially at home.

-Letting a reserve score 14 points in 20 minutes of play when he comes in averaging 4 ppg is never a good thing. Almost every outing Fresno State has 1 player light them up for near season or career high.

-15 turnovers is still much too high for my liking or Coach Cleveland. They were not pressured full court last night and played quite a bit against a zone. That tells me there is no reason for that many givaways. Dominic McGuire has 13 turnovers in the last two games and he and Hosley need to cut down on unforced errors. They need to combine for a maximum of 4 to 5 turnovers per game.

-They only mustered up two second chance points off of 4 offensive rebounds. To be successful they need 8-10 second chance points per game. Although the front line is not full of size or imposing, a little hustle and grit would go a long way in reaching those type of 2nd chance point totals.

Up Next:

The 'Dogs play next at home against Hawaii on Thursday night. The Hawaii game will mark the return of guard Javance Coleman after his two game suspension. If Coleman can come back refocused and with an improved attitude he could be quite a boost for his team. Now that guard Tyson Parker has shown he can handle the duties of playing the point in pressure situations against athletic teams, that becomes an added bonus for the Bulldogs.

Look for the Fresno State-Hawaii preview Tuesday.

Fresno State 70 Louisiana Tech 64

Box Score

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