FRESNO, Calif. — The Fresno State men’s basketball team defeated the Pacific Tigers 81-78 in overtime on Wednesday night inside the Save Mart Center.
Fresno State (4-2) was led by senior guard Deshon Taylor, who had a team-high 22 points, seven assists and three steals in the victory.
“We had a big lead early on and we did not think that we were going to miss any shots,” Fresno State head coach Justin Hutson said. “We got to the second half and could not get any good shots. We did not kick it out as much as we did in the first half. The ball was moving a lot in the first half, but it was sticking a lot in the second half. I am happy to come out with the win and to be learning from a win instead of learning from a loss.”
How it happened: The Bulldogs started the game on a 16-1 run over the first five minutes of the game, their biggest lead of the half was 16-1 with 15 minutes left. The Tigers would slowly chip away at the lead, making it a six-point game at the half, 30-36. Sam Bittner and Braxton Huggins led the Bulldogs through the first half, scoring 11 points apiece. Bittner was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line during the first 30 minutes.
New Williams opened the second half with a dynamic dunk off a steal from Sam Bittner. Pacific came within four with 8:20 left in the game, 49-45. Fresno State had a 53-52 lead with 3:24, Deshon Taylor stepped to the free-throw line and sunk both to extend the lead to 55-52. The Tigers took the ball down to try for a tie. Grimes was there for the block and Williams grabbed the rebound, Taylor finished the play with a jump shot. Pacific called a timeout with 2:26 left in regulation. Grimes had another huge block with 1:39 left in the game to sustain the Bulldogs’ 59-55 lead, but Ajare Sanni hit a three-pointer from the corner for the Tigers to make it a one-point game. The Tigers tipped in a rebound with 17 seconds left to take a 60-59 lead, their first lead of the game. The Bulldogs regained the lead when Deshon Taylor scored a layup and drew the foul for a three-point play. Brandon McGhee sent the game into overtime when he shot from behind the backboard and scored.
Fresno State went on a 7-0 run to start the overtime period. The Bulldogs maintained control for the rest of the game, going 5-for-5 from the field and 3-for-3 from beyond the arch.
Fresno State Media Relations