Fresno State Defeats UTEP in First Round of CBI

Courtesy Fresno State Sports Information

EL PASO, Texas - The Fresno State men's basketball team guarded its way to a 61-56 road victory over UTEP in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) on Wednesday night at the Don Haskins Center.

The win marked the first postseason victory for the Bulldogs since a 2001 win over California in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

"Great team win tonight versus a talented team in a hostile environment!!" Fresno State third-year head coach Rodney Terry tweeted after the game. "(Our) guys worked the game for 40 minutes! Proud of them!"

Fresno State (18-16) used a steady and solid defensive effort to limit UTEP (23-11) to just 35.3 percent from the field while the Bulldogs got it done offensively in the second half in hitting 12 of their 24 shots after halftime.

Bulldogs' sophomore point guard Cezar Guerrero posted 19 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for his first career double-double. Sophomore Marvelle Harris added 14 points and freshman forward Paul Watson had nine points, including a huge 3-pointer with 27 seconds to play that gave the 'Dogs a 57-53 lead.

Neither team led by more than six points in the tight defensive battle.

Fresno State will host Princeton in the second round of the CBI on Monday night at the Save Mart Center. Season ticket holders will be able to purchase tickets starting on Thursday. Tickets for the general public will go on sale on Friday starting at $10 for general admission seating.

Game Notes - CBI Opening Round: Fresno State 61, UTEP 56
With the win, Fresno State earned its 18th win in a season for the 20th time in school history. Fresno State improved to 18-16 on the season.

  • Fresno State improved to 15-0 when leading with five minutes to play this season and 36-4 under Coach Rodney Terry.
  • Fresno State improved to 6-1 win in games decided by five points or less.
  • Fresno State improved to 9-0 when holding its opponent under 60 points in a game.
  • Cezar Guerrero became the fifth Bulldog to post a double-double this season with 19 points and a career-high 10 rebounds - five more rebounds than any other game this season.
  • In 1983, Fresno State defeated UTEP 71-64 in the first round of the NIT to begin its NIT Championship-winning postseason campaign.
  • Fresno State has now won six road games this season - the most in a season under Coach Terry and the most by any Fresno State team since winning seven road games during the 2006-07 season.