When and where: November 20, 2019, Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA, 11:00 PM ET
A west coast showdown between the Fresno State Bulldogs and Saint Mary’s Gaels will take center stage on Wednesday night at the Golden 1 Center. Instead of hanging their heads after an overtime loss to San Diego, the Bulldogs came out firing on offense in Sunday’s 92-47 win over San Bernardino. Meanwhile, Saint Mary’s has earned back-to-back wins over Cal Poly and Long Beach State. Both wins were decided by 18-plus points.
Bulldogs roar back into the win columnAfter dropping a tough overtime loss to San Diego, the Bulldogs came roaring out with a statement performance against San Bernardino. They forced 18 turnovers and shot 50.0 percent from the floor, while knocking down 12 3-pointers. The team also held the Coyotes to 47 points and a 28.6 field goal shooting percentage.
Teamwork makes the dream work.— Fresno State Men’s Basketball (@FresnoStateMBB) November 18, 2019
The Bulldogs improved to 2-0 at home with a 92-47 win over CSUSB. Fresno State sophomore Aguir Agau scored a career-high 20 points in the 45-point rout.#GoDogs | #ValleyTough | #PrideOfTheValley | #AtThePeak pic.twitter.com/lWK3YC1DHh
Can they do it again in their upcoming match-up with the Gaels?
They’ll have to defend the perimeter if they even have a prayer of hanging around in Wednesday’s game. The Gaels are shooting a ridiculous 45.5 percent from 3-pointer, which is the seventh-best percentage in the country. This game could get ugly in a hurry if the Bulldogs play lazy on defense and fail to contest long-range shots.
Another area of concern for the Bulldogs is their free throw shooting. They are finding ways to get to the line, but they are failing to knock down free buckets. The team as a whole shot 66.7 percent from the line against San Diego and 51.4 percent against San Bernardino. Those are discouraging numbers when heading into a game against the Gaels.
Guard Jarred Hyder, Fresno State’s leading scorer, sat out in the game against San Bernardino with a hip flexor injury, leaving his availability for this game in question. It’ll be something to monitor heading into Wednesday considering the Bulldogs will need all of the help they can get.
Can the Gaels continue to live by the 3-pointer?Wednesday’s game against Fresno State could be cloudy with a chance of raining 3-pointers.
The ability to knock down long-range shots consistently makes the Gaels a difficult team to play against. Just ask Cal Poly and Long Beach State what they think after they were lit up by the 3-point shooting frenzy. Perhaps the scariest part is the fact that the Gaels are taking great shots. They aren’t a team merely chucking up 3-pointers at random. The shots are coming due to great ball movement and exhibiting patience on the floor.
They’ll need all of the above to beat the Bulldogs and earn their third straight win.
Teams are only averaging a 29.6 shooting percentage from 3-point range against Fresno State. The Bulldogs don’t necessarily pop on a defensive stat sheet, but they are a feisty group quick to put bodies on shooters.
Jordan Ford and Tanner Krebs are spearheading the 3-point shooting party, which could end with them getting extra attention for this game. Both players have knocked down 18 combined 3-pointers in the first four games of the season.
Fresno State hasn’t shown anywhere near the splashy shooting capabilities of the Gaels. So this is a game where the Gaels could pull away quick if they’re hitting their shots. They are holding opposing teams to 43.4 percent shooting on defense, which is good enough to limit a shaky Fresno State offense.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Gaels are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 neutral site games.
- Gaels are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Gaels are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
- Gaels are 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous game.
- Bulldogs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game.
- Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
- Bulldogs are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
- Bulldogs are 21-9 ATS in their last 30 non-conference games.