Fresno State pounds boards in win over ETSU
Fresno State pounds boards in win over ETSU
Saturday, November 27, 2004

(Nov. 27, 2004) - Behind a rebounding margin of 57 to 38, the Fresno State Bulldogs used their considerable advantage inside to take a 90-73 victory over East Tennessee State University Saturday afternoon in front of 6,290 fans at Memorial Center.


The Bulldogs (2-0) got double-figure efforts from four players, with Mustafa Al-Sayyad leading the way with 19 points. Freshmen Donovan Morris pitched in 16, while fellow freshmen Chris Berry and Ja'Vance Coleman netted 15 and 14 points, respectively.


"You've got to give credit to Fresno State," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "Ray (Lopes) had his guys ready to play. We knew Mustafa could hurt us and he did. We didn't have an answer for him inside. That was the first time we've lost at home since I've been here. We've just got a lot of problems right now and we need to find some answers."


The Bucs (1-2) shot out to an early 8-2 lead, but Fresno battled back to take the advantage at 17-15 on a layout by Dwight O'Neil with 13:10 to play. The game was tied at 20 later, but from there the Bulldogs grabbed the lead and would not relinquish it the rest of the night.


Leading 41-37 at the break, Fresno built a comfortable margin of as many as 14 points in the second half, only to see the Bucs rally to within six points at 69-63 thanks to a layup by junior guard Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Ohio) with 6:04 remaining. However, the Bulldogs - with a lineup consisting of nine freshmen - did not buckle under the pressure of playing on the road and pulled away for the convincing 90-73 victory.


For the game, Fresno State hit on 43 percent from the floor thanks to 32-of-73 shooting, while the Bucs connected on just 26-of-69 for a 38 percent clip from outside. The Bulldogs blocked seven ETSU shots, compared to three blocks for the Bucs.


ETSU was led offensively by junior guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.), who scored 24 points on 9-of-27 shooting, including a 3-of-6 mark from beyond the 3-point arc. The only other Buc to reach double-figures was senior James Anthony (Tampa, Fla.), who netted 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the floor and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe.


The Bucs will be back in action on Monday night at home against King College, with tip scheduled for 7 p.m. Meanwhile, Fresno State returns home for Friday's opening game in the McCaffrey Classic against Grand Canyon. Tip is set for 8 p.m. (WST).