Ag Night Honors San Joaquin Valley's Impact
Feb. 12, 2013
By Andrew Rich & Stephen Trembley
By Andrew Rich & Stephen Trembley
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State men's basketball team continues one of its toughest stretch of the season when the 'Dogs welcome No. 19/18 and the Mountain West leader New Mexico to the Save Mart Center. The Bulldogs have won six of the previous seven meetings against the Lobos in Fresno.
"Everyone plays a little better at home and feeds off the crowd," Tyler Johnson said. "Coach (Terry) always talks about not having the crowd bring the energy, that you bring the energy to the crowd. But what it comes down to is who is executing that night."
Fresno State will celebrate Ag Night on Wednesday night when the Bulldogs recognize the agricultural community that has made Fresno County the top agricultural county in the United States. In addition to the recognition, Fresno State will also be donating $1 for every ticket sold for the game to the Future Farmers of America - San Joaquin Region.
Ag Night is not the only festivity of the night. Retiring Bulldog men's golf coach Mike Watney will be honored at halftime, and the entire men's and women's golf teams will also be introduced at halftime.
Fresno State faces a New Mexico team that is coming off a 64-55 loss at UNLV. That is the same UNLV team that the Bulldogs beat 64-55 last Wednesday at home. On Saturday, Fresno State fell suffered a 75-53 loss at Viejas Arena to San Diego State. In the 2012-13 Mountain West Conference preseason media poll, San Diego State, UNLV and New Mexico were projected to finish 1-2-3.
"This is why we came to college, you don't want to come to college to play against the lower level of competition," Johnson said. "You always want to compete against the best to see where you measure up so it is always exciting knowing that you have to bring your best game or else you can get blown out."
The Lobos defeated Fresno State 72-45 on Jan. 12 at the Pit. The Bulldogs played that game without leading scorer Johnson and senior starter Kevin Foster. New Mexico used a 16-2 run to end the first half to pull away from an undermanned Fresno State team.
New Mexico has three players averaging double-figures with Kendall Williams leading the way with 13.3 points a game. Alex Kirk, a 7-foot freshman center, scores 11.4 a game and pulls down 7.7 rebounds a game. The Lobos enter with a 20-4 overall record and are 7-2 in the Mountain West.
"They are probably the most complete team in our league," Terry said of the Steve Alford-coached New Mexico squad. "They can play big. They can play small. They will play physical and they won't beat themselves."
Johnson continues to lead the Bulldogs in scoring at 12.1 points a game. In the eight conference games that Johnson has played in, he has averaged 14.4 points. He is the only Fresno State player averaging double figures. Freshman Braeden Anderson will look to improve on his strong effort at San Diego State where he scored 12 points and pulled down six rebounds. Wednesday will be Anderson's third game of the year.
"Braeden is doing well, we have kept it simple for him and we need him to come in and give us a defensive presence," Terry said. "We need him to play with a motor and play physical and he has done that for us so I am excited to see what he can keep doing for us."
"Discover Fresno State Athletics!" --- Tickets for the Bulldogs' three remaining home games can be purchased by calling 559-278-DOGS (Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.) or visiting www.gobulldogs.com.