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Fresno State mens basketball continues Mountain West success

For the first time in FC history, all campus winter sports teams won their respective league championship in the East Sequoia League. However, this is not the only success occurring within the surrounding community.

Alexander Rurik | The Feather Online

The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels and the Fresno State Bulldogs warm up for a Mountain West Conference showdown, Feb. 9. The Bulldogs won, 83-65.

The Fresno State Bulldogs men’s basketball team currently boasts a 19-6 overall record and are making noise in the Mountain West Conference. At 10-3 in league play, the Bulldogs sit tied for second with Utah State behind No. 7 Nevada.

Following a couple above average seasons, the energy and success, brought by new head coach Justin Hutson, offers a connecting point for the community. A commonality like the Bulldogs shared by members of the surrounding area can bring people together as they root for the same team.

Students across the Valley especially have the chance to connect over a local sports team. Supporters also have the opportunity to travel with The Red Wave and cheer on the Bulldogs as they take on away opponents. Their presence was felt as they took on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

The Bulldogs defeated the Rebels of UNLV in a crucial conference matchup at the Thomas & Mack Center, Feb. 9. With a final score of 83-65, Fresno State continued to prove they mean business.

Senior guard Braxton Huggins led the way for Fresno with 31 points. Huggins recognized UNLV’s ability to shoot and make threes, so he and the team worked to limit them.

In the following podcast, Alexander Rurik speaks with Fresno State Bulldogs guard Deshon Taylor about the UNLV matchup.

“We came in and new it was going to be a hostile environment,” Huggins said. “We tried to come in and play hard from the beginning and make the right plays. In conference, UNLV is probably the best three point shooting team at this point. We knew what we had to do was come out strong and play defense. We really limited on the transition and their three point opportunities and that was our gameplan. We stuck to our game plan and that’s why we came out victorious.”

The Bulldogs hired Bakersfield native and Mountain West veteran Justin Hutson to the head coach position after the 2017-18 season. Coach Hutson wishes to improve by fixing their mistakes.

“We got back defensively and took away the three point shot,” Hutson said. “They missed a few, but I thought we did a good job on that and it allowed us to get out there and play good offense. We have to continue to get better at not having live ball turnovers. We have a few silly turnovers that help the other team, and if we can cut those down, we’ll be a little better. They key is to take it one game at a time.”

The Bulldogs beat the Rebels by score of 83-65.

Senior guard Deshon Taylor helped control the court, totaling 18 points, and 38 minutes, more than any other Bulldog.

“The game went well,” Taylor said. “We aimed for a 20 point win against a good team on the road. I felt we did good guarding the three point line because they are one of the best three point shooting teams in the conference, so our role was really to stop the three. I’m just trying to make my shots and get my teammates involved as much as I can. If they’re making shots, the game opens up for me as well.”

Fresno State’s women’s basketball currently sits fourth in the Mountain West Conference standings with an overall record of 16-8. Bulldog baseball is just beginning their season and the softball team is currently 5-4.

The basketball season is nearing the end, so make sure to check the schedule and catch a game before it is over.

I would like to give a huge thank you to Paul Loeffler for the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas and experience professional media at work.

The Bulldogs continued their conference success with a win against UNLV.

Check our Rurik’s article about the Vegas Golden Knights.

For more articles, read out Campus teacher shares personal story of faith, hope and California Bests: National Parks.

Alexander Rurik can be reached via Twitter @alexrurik23, email and Instagram.

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