The Fresno State Bulldogs returned home for a Wednesday night matchup versus the Hawaii Warriors. This will finish the season series for the two teams, the first was in Hawaii where the Dogs dropped the contest 75-62. The Warriors come in winning 6 of their last 8 and are playing their best Basketball of the season right now after starting the season 4-9.
The Dogs entering:
The Bulldogs limp home after a road loss in Boise at the hands of the Broncos 84-72. Kevin Bell had 21 points and Eddie Miller had 16. The Bulldogs were plagued by 16 turnovers and were unable to defend the inside presence of Reggie Larry and Matt Nelson.
The Broncos shot 53.8% from the field and dominated in the paint. BSU had frequent easy buckets and were not challenged around the rim. FSU was able to cut the lead late in the 2nd half but it was too little to late as they were again overpowered and unable to get the necessary stops.
Kevin Bell continues to lead the way with his 17.7 points and 6 assists per game. He has been turnover plagued over the last few games as opposing defenses have collapsed on his penetration and keyed to stopping him every possession. Eddie Miller has made 91 threes to this point and is looking to climb the WAC record books in this category. He is averaging 15 points per contest.
Hawaii coming in:
The Warriors enter after a big home victory versus Utah State and continue on their recent tear. They rode an extremely balanced attack on the way to victory with 5 players in double figure scoring, led by Matt Gibson’s and Riley Luettgerodt’s 16 each. They also combined for 8 assists and 9 steals. The Warriors were able to force USU into 20 turnovers.
Key Warrior Stats:
-Matt Gibson (16.9 ppg, 5 apg)
-Bobby Nash (14.5 ppg, 35.8% 3pt fg, 86.7% fts)
-44.8% Field Goals
-33.8% from three
-73.9% Free throws
-Rebounding margin of -3
-70.8 Points per versus 70.9 opponents
-Outscored opponents in the 2nd half
What to expect:
This is a pivotal game for the Dogs and one that may be their last chance to lay the foundation and build the confidence necessary to make a run in the WAC tournament. A loss here could be the final setback that does the Dogs in.
FSU must come out with energy, especially on the defensive end. Defending he flex cuts of the Warriors will be the key to holding their own tonight. Eddie Miller will need to be on, and Kevin Bell will need to be his rock solid self and put his last 2 games in the past.
I don’t like Matt Gibson, the guy is an asshole. That’s my first take. My second is that he is this WAC generations version of Chris Herren.
The Dogs will find a way because they are at home. Miller and Bell will lead the way with 40 combined. The crowd will not respond well to the Hawaii players acting out and jawing with them. It should b a good time.
FSU wins 75-68.