HS Basketball Section Finals; Bulldogs Beat Air Force, 56-41
DI Boys: Bullard 66, Clovis West 53
DIII Boys: Exeter 46, Coalinga 43
DIV Boys: Mission Oak 60, Independence 62
DI Girls: Clovis West 53, Stockdale 38
DIII Girls: Hanford West 56, Selma 55
DIV Girls: Lindsay 61, Mendota 37
FRESNO, Calif.-- Playing with a sense of urgency with seeding on the line for the 2013 Reese's Mountain West Basketball Championships, the Fresno State men's basketball team stifled Air Force all night in beating the Falcons 56-41 on Senior Night Saturday at the Save Mart Center.
With the win, the `Dogs moved into a tie for seventh with Wyoming. Fresno State split the season series with the Cowboys, but currently own the tiebreaker due to the Bulldogs' win over UNLV earlier this season.
Tyler Johnson, the team's leading scorer of the season, scored a game-high 21 points. This marked Johnson's third game of scoring 20-plus points.
"We talked last night about being a self-made player," Fresno State head coach Rodney Terry said. "Tyler Johnson is making himself into a possible All-Conference guy next year if he continues to work the way he has worked and play the way he has played to this point. I think it's a lesson for all our guys, if you really want to be good at this then you got to put in the time."
"I just wanted to come out and be aggressive and my teammates did a great job of executing from the get go and that kind of set me up to get some of the shots that I did," Johnson said.
Allen Huddleston also reached double figures, adding 11 points for the `Dogs.
The Fresno State defense was suffocating as it held the Falcons to its second-lowest point total this season.
The `Dogs also contained the Mountain West's top scorer Michael Lyons to only seven points. Air Force entered as the league's second-best three-point shooting team at 38 percent, but AFA was limited to an average of 20 percent throughout the game and did not convert a 3-pointer in the second half.
Also of note, Fresno State held the Falcons without a field goal for 10 minutes and 28 seconds in the second half. The Falcons lead the scoreboard only once by one point in the first half, and Fresno State's largest lead was by 15 points in the second half.
Two monster slam-dunks in the second half ignited the players and the crowd, the first by Robert Upshaw followed by Jerry Brown.
Kevin Foster grabbed eight rebounds for the Fresno State (10-18, 4-11 Mountain West), helping the team secure a 44-30 advantage on the boards.
Mike Fitzgerald scored 11 points for the Falcons, including a pair of 3-pointers. He was the only player to score in double figures.
Fresno State is off for the midweek rotation and finishes the regular season next Saturday at UNLV at 3 p.m. PT. The game can be viewed on Time Warner Cable Sports Net.
Courtesy: Fresno St. Athletics