Fresno State Overcomes 17 Point First Half Deficit to Down New Mexico
Fresno State earns back-to-back victories for the first time since December 20.
Robinson, Grimes both tallied double-doubles.
Things are finally looking up for the Fresno State Bulldogs (8-14, 4-7 MW), which once suffered as many as five straight losses on the season.
Down by as many as 17 points, the Bulldogs were able to outpace the New Mexico Lobos (16-8, 5-6 MW) in the second half, scoring 45 points to New Mexico’s 32 points in the second half. The win is the second straight for the Bulldogs, after beating Air Force inside Clune Arena on Tuesday.
It is just the second time this season that Justin Hutson’s squad has won back-to-back games, which could be a good sign for the beleaguered Bulldogs team, which has seen multiple players sit out throughout the season due to injury or suspension.
With Nate Grimes (15 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist) back in the lineup (Grimes was out in Fresno State’s first go-around with New Mexico) and Orlando Robinson (20 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists) continuing an impressive freshman campaign, Fresno State was able take advantage of New Mexico’s lack of depth inside.
Like Fresno State, New Mexico has seen its share of off-the-court issues with JaQuan Lyle sitting out of the game as part of a two game suspension, JJ Caldwell still suspended indefinitely and Carlton Bragg’s removal from the team. Vance Jackson is still mending a knee injury which first happened against Colorado State on January 15.
In light of the issues (and injury in Jackson’s case), hometown walk-on Jordan Arroyo started the game for New Mexico.
While New Mexico remains talented and looked a little better in this one with the players available, this is not the New Mexico team that started the season 15-2 and it shows in the league standings.
After starting out 4-1 in the league, New Mexico has now dropped five of their last six, and is now sitting squarely in seventh place, only a game ahead of Fresno State.
Meanwhile, Fresno has a chance to turn the corner for good on the season, with opportunities awaiting at Colorado State and at home against UNLV.
The Bulldogs take on surprise second-place team Colorado State (winners of seven of their last eight) at the Save Mart Center, making a continued win-streak an improbable endeavor. The Lobos head back to Albuqueruqe to face Wyoming, looking to end their three game losing streak.