Game 5: Fresno State (2-2) vs. UC Merced (0-5)
Nov. 22, 2022 • 2 p.m. PT • Fresno, Calif. • Save Mart Center
TV/ONLINE: CW59 / Mountain West Network (PxP: Ralph Wood/Analyst: Jack Fertig & Amy Parrish-Finch/Sideline: Taylor Martinez)
RADIO: Bulldog Sports Network (PxP: Matt Norville)
LAST MEETING: Fresno State 81, UC Merced 29 (Dec. 18, 2021 • Fresno, Calif.)
SERIES HISTORY: Fresno State leads 3-0
TICKETS: Bulldog Ticket Office / GoBulldogs.com
Fresno State will close its season-opening five-game homestand on Tuesday afternoon with UC Merced before departing for Florida for the Daytona Invitational.
Fresno State has held opponents to a Mountain West-low 48.2 points per game through four games.
The Bulldogs rank No. 21 in the NCAA in scoring defense after holding back-to-back opponents below 50 points, and three of its first four.
Whistled for just six fouls on Friday, the 'Dogs are committing the 14th-least fouls in the country at 13.2 per game. They have subsequently outscored their opponents by 40 at the free throw line.
A staple for the Bulldogs in recent years, they are once again knocking down free throws at a plus-75 percent clip (77.5), ranking No. 30 in the NCAA.
Of the 15 players on Fresno State's roster, five have opted to take their "Covid Year" and are in Year No. 5 of their careers. All five began their careers outside of Fresno.
While the Bulldogs have veteran experience with their five fifth-year seniors, nine of their other 10 players are underclassmen. Four of those underclassmen are true freshmen, one is a redshirt freshman, three are true sophomores.
Only one D-I women's team (San Francisco - 10) has more countries represented on its roster than Fresno State's nine.
With 980 points in her career, Amiee Book is inching closer to hitting the 1,000-point mark.
With the Bulldogs' top three scorers gone from last season, Yanina Todorova has taken on the scoring load early for the 'Dogs, averaging 13.8 points per game.
Six 'Dogs are averaging at least five points per game.
After allowing the third-most (70.6 - 2020-21) and fifth-most (69.1 - 2021-22) points per game in program history in the last two seasons, an expected change this season was an emphasis on defense. A staple under Jaime White teams when she first arrived, the 'Dogs have returned to tough defensive play, holding three of its first four opponents below 50 points.
Leading the Mountain West, and ranking No. 21 in the NCAA, Fresno State is holding opponents to 48.2 points per game.
While the 'Dogs have been aggressive defensively, forcing 20.8 turnovers per game, they have done so without fouling, committing the 14th-least fouls per game at 13.2.
HOLDING UNDER 50
In the last three seasons, Fresno State has held just three opponents under 50 points. The Bulldogs have matched that total in its first four games this season. It is the first time the 'Dogs have held at least three under the 50-point mark since 2016-17 (4).
During Jaime White's first three seasons at Fresno State, the Bulldogs held 19 opponents below 50 points, four in 2016-17, seven in 2015-16 and eight in 2014-15.
The 49 points allowed to Fresno Pacific were the lowest for a Bulldog opponent in a season opener since 2004 (Pepperdine - 38).
For just the second time in the last decade, Fresno State held a Division I opponent to 40 points or less. The last time was on Jan. 11, 2017 against Air Force. (40 points).
GET TO THE STRIPE, SCORE AT THE STRIPE
Following three seasons below 70 percent at the free throw line, Jaime White made it emphasis for her teams to improve that number. The result was re-writing the record book for free throw percentage as four of the five teams rank No. 1-4 in program history. While just four games into this year, the Bulldogs are 77.5 percent, 30th in the NCAA.
Not just making their free throws, the 'Dogs are getting twice as many attempts as their opponents (80-40), holding a plus-40 advantage at the charity stripe.
Fresno State is second in the MW free throw attempts at 15.5 per game.
SCOUTING UC MERCED
UC Merced is 0-5 on the season with 0-4 mark on the road and a neutral site loss to Eastern Oregon.
The Golden Bobcats are coming off a 18-8 mark in 2021-22 and a perfect 10-0 record in Cal Pac play.
UC Merced won the Cal Pac Tournament defeating Westcliff University before falling to The Master's University in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round.
Sophomore forward Damilola Sule leads the Golden Bobcats averaging 13.3 points while shooting 57.5 percent from the field and adds a team-leading 13.3 rebounds per contest.
Head coach Kellie Barnard is in her first season at UC Merced with prior stops at Menlo College, Ohio Christian University & Ohio Wesleyan University.
SINGLE-GAME AND SEASON TICKETS AVAILABLE
New this season, fans can purchase single-game tickets directly through the Bulldog Ticket Office and GoBulldogs.com.
Single-game tickets for regular season games start at $8 for adults and $6 for youth/senior in general admission sections. Tickets in reserved sections are $11.
Season tickets range from $50 for general admission for youth and $70 for adults up to $150 for courtside seats. Reserved sections are $85 per seat.
THE NUTRL ZONE IS COMING TO BULLDOG BASKETBALL!
The NUTRL Zone is making its Bulldog Basketball debut on Nov. 7 for Fresno State's doubleheader against Fresno Pacific at the Save Mart Center.
The NUTRL Zone is a new lounge, floor level club area behind the west baseline open to all fans attending Bulldog Basketball games this season.
The area will feature televisions, food and beverages available for purchase, including NUTRL product.
The new gameday experience will also have bar tables and couches, along with a view of the court and game from the baseline on the floor level.
There are also new baseline seating locations between the baseline and NUTRL Zone available for purchase