Fresno State's Pressure D Too Much for Boise State

Box Score

Jan. 23, 2013

By Jason Clay

FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State women's basketball team forced 20 turnovers and had 18 steals in a 70-57 win over Boise State on Wednesday that gave the Bulldogs their 19th-straight victory in the Save Mart Center.

The 18 steals were two off the season-high of 20 set back in the second game of the season against Cal-Maritime and it was the seventh game this season where Fresno State (12-6, 4-1 Mountain West) has recorded 15 or more steals.

"It is fun when you get steals and when you attack their defense when they are not ready," junior guard Taylor Thompson said of the full-court pressure the Bulldog employed throughout the game Wednesday.

That, according to head coach Raegan Pebley, was done to negate Boise State's inside game.

"They have such a great post player in Lauren Lenhartd that we just really felt like we couldn't sit in a half-court game with her all night and let her get touches whenever she wanted," Pebley said.

The 6-2 center Lenhardt, who came into the game fifth in the Mountain West in scoring at 15.4 points per game, finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. She did reach double figures, but with Fresno State's pressure defense she really wasn't a factor Wednesday.

Fresno State has now won seven straight over the Broncos (9-8, 2-2 MW) and have won five of its six games in January.

The Bulldogs, who entered the game shooting 48.2 percent over the last five games, remained hot offensively and shot 46.9 percent on Wednesday.

"I don't feel that we've won games lately because we shot the ball well, I feel like we've won games lately because we've been able to sustain some effort," Pebley said. "Our team is making great adjustments, playing some pretty good concept basketball offensively and defensively. We are really understanding how we can change up our defenses and how that can change the pace of the game."

Ki-Ki Moore led all scorers in an impressive outing for the junior guard. She scored 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, had a team-high seven rebounds, posted a season-high seven steals and had five assists.

Fresno State as a team had 16 assists on its 23 made field goals and Thompson also chipped in with five assists to tie Moore for the team lead. Thompson finished with 12 points and Rosie Moult added 15, hitting five 3-pointers in the game to go along with four steals.

"I was getting a lot of open shots purely from the guards attacking and kicking it out to the open space and they just started dropping," said Moult, who has now hit 14 3-pointers in the last four games.

The first half was tightly contested, as there were five lead changes and neither team held a lead of more than four points. Thompson found Moore under the hoop for a layup at the buzzer that allowed Fresno State to take a 31-27 lead into the locker room.

After the tight first half, Fresno State opened it up with a 14-6 run to start the second half. Alex Sheedy and Moult both hit 3-pointers in the run and Moult's trey at 13:57 capped it off to give Fresno State the 45-33 lead.

Boise State guard Brandi Henton hit a three to end the run, but Moult came right back with two more 3-pointers.

Then four minutes later after Moore's seventh steal of the game, she was able to get a fast break layup to put the Bulldogs up by 20, 61-41 with 6:11 left to play.

"I feel like our defense just stepped it up," Thompson said is what allowed the 'Dogs to pull away in the second half. "We started executing our press a lot better and we played great man defense tonight. We've been working on that, so that was a plus for us."

The Broncos went on an 11-2 run to cut the lead down to 11 with 2:50 remaining, but Fresno State kept attacking offensively and defensively and was able to put the game away.

"Discover Fresno State Athletics" - ESPN2 790 AM is the home of the Fresno State women's basketball team.