Wednesday night at the Save Mart Center, the Fresno State men’s basketball team pulled out a tight victory over Boise State, 65-63, to keep the Bulldogs tied for second place with Utah State in the Mountain West standings.
Braxton Huggins was again huge in the win, leading all scorers with 26 points.
The senior transfer from New Mexico State, who played his high school basketball in Bakersfield, is now averaging a little over 26 points per game over his last four games, and even more impressive, his reputation as a clutch performer in crunch time is growing.
“He has no fear and he’s talented. I don’t have much fear either, but I couldn’t make those baskets that he can make. I’m not as talented, so I think you got to have both,” said Fresno State head coach Justin Hutson after Wednesday’s win. “You can’t have a guy who’s that talented out there, but he’s scared to take the shot, or he thinks his coaches don’t want him to take it, or his teammates don’t space the floor for him. But as you can see, he can really score the basketball.”
Already this season, Huggins has scored a career-high 33 points in a win at Utah State on Jan. 9, and 31 points in a win at UNLV on Feb. 9. The win in Logan included eight 3-pointers, the last of those 8 putting the Bulldogs up a point with five seconds left in their 78-77 victory.
In Wednesday night’s win against the Broncos, he scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half, and had two huge baskets late in regulation, a drive tying the game at 57 with 1:46 left on the clock, and an old-fashioned 3-point play with :28 seconds left that gave the Bulldogs a one-point lead.
“They (coaches and teammates) give me confidence to be aggressive, and shoot the ball,” said Huggins after Wednesday’s win. “They say, ‘if I got a lane take it, if I’m open, shoot it, and that’s exactly what I do.'”
The Bulldogs are now 18-6 overall, 9-3 in the Mountain West, 1.5 games back of first-place Nevada.
Fresno State will hit the road on Saturday to face New Mexico at The Pit in a game starting at 4 p.m, and will then return home next Wednesday night to host Air Force at 7 p.m.