March 2, 2012
FRESNO, Calif. – Behind a game-high 16 points from senior Trevor Gaskins and junior Brandon Gibson’s double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds, Louisiana Tech defeated Fresno State 75-70 Thursday night at the Save Mart Center. The victory was the fourth for an opposing team in Fresno this season and the first Western Athletic Conference program to win that did not go into extra periods.
Tech improves to 16-14 overall and 6-7 in the Western Athletic Conference while Fresno dropped to 13-18 and 3-10 in conference play.
LA Tech scored 13 straight points with Gaskins scored eight straight points to cap off the run after starting the game behind 3-2.
Fresno pulled to within 15-8 at the 12:17 mark on a free throw by Jerry Brown. Tech then scored 10 of the next 13 points over the next 3:54 as sophomore Cordarius Johnson had five of the Bulldogs points.
Tech stretched their lead to 37-15, their largest of the game, with 3:56 to go until halftime after two free throws from Gibson. Fresno State went on an 8-0 before a layup by freshman Michale Kyser ended LA Tech’s scoreless streak with just over 41 second to play in the half.
The California-based Bulldogs came out hot to on the offensive end to start the second half as they made their five of their first six shots including two three-point field goals. After Fresno pulled to within 44-37 LA Tech doubled their lead that was capped off by a three-pointer from freshman Raheem Appleby.
With 7:13 to play in the game, Fresno’s Jonathan Wills converted a three-point play as Tech’s lead dropped to 57-53.
In the final minute of play, Tech’s advantage was cut to six on a three-pointer from Fresno’s Wills. Appleby made two free throws to put LA Tech up 75-67 with a little over 23 seconds left in the game.
Kevin Olekaibe hit a three-pointer with 0.3 left on the clock to make the score 75-70 in favor of Tech as the Bulldogs picked up their third road win in conference play.
Along with Gaskins and Gibson, Appleby added 15 points and senior Romario Souza contributed with 12 points as well.
Johnson had a team-high four assists and two steals while Gibson and Smith had three assists apiece.
In the contest, Smith and Kyser both set the freshman program record for assists and blocks in a season, respectively.
LA Tech shot 52.1 percent (25-48) from the field and 50 percent (8-16) from three-point range for the game.
Fresno State was led by Wills’ 16 points and eight rebounds while Garret Johnson and Tyler Johnson added 12 and 10 points, respectively. Steven Shepp dished out a game-high seven assists without turning the ball over.
As a team, they made 40.7 percent (24-59) of their shots including 36.4 percent (8-22) on three-point attempts. Fresno State outrebounded Tech 35-32 and 13-5 on the offensive glass.
Louisiana Tech finishes the regular season at Nevada on Saturday night at 9 p.m. CT.