Fresno State vs. Santa Clara: Preview, Odds, Who To Watch, Prediction
Bulldogs are off to a hot start
Fresno State Looks To Stay Undefeated Against 5-0 Santa Clara
WHO: Fresno State Bulldogs (4-0) Vs Santa Clara Broncos (5-0)
When: Wednesday, November 24th 1:00 AM ET/ 10:00 PM PT
Where: San Juan Capistrano, California
TV: CBS Sports Network
The Fresno State Bulldogs are off to a 4-0 start after defeating Pepperdine 70-63 Monday night in the So Cal Challenge tournament. The Dogs started off slow in their first road game of the season scoring only 4 points in the first 5 minutes. The slow start wouldn’t last long as Orlando Robinson finished the half with 14 points and five rebounds as the Dogs took a 33-27 lead into halftime.
In the second half, Orlando Robinson picked up his 4th foul with nearly 11 minutes to go and would check back in with four minutes left but would foul out quickly as Robinson finished the game with 16 points and six rebounds. The Dogs would have to turn to PG Isaiah Hill for some offense and would finish with 19 points and hit some clutch free throws to secure the win for the Bulldogs. Forward Anthony Holland was also huge down the stretch, making a late three point to stretch the Dogs lead to seven points with 50 seconds left and took a charge with under 40 seconds to play.
The Bulldogs will now shift their attention to the Santa Clara Broncos who are 5-0 and have some really impressive wins this season. The Broncos have beaten Stanford by 14 points, TCU by 19 points, and conference rival Nevada by 22 points.
Santa Clara is a talented team led by Junior Guard, Jalen Williams who is averaging 20.2ppg in five games and senior forward Josip Vrankic who is averaging 16.3ppg and 6.7rpg. The Broncos also have two other double digit scorers in Senior Guard, P.J. Pipes 15.6ppg and Senior Forward, Keshawn Justice 13.6ppg.
Keys For Santa Clara:
The Broncos are off to an impressive 5-0 start and can really score the ball with four double digit scorers and averaging 88.0ppg and shooting 42.5% from the three. If Santa Clara can limit Orlando Robinson getting looks down in the post and get him in foul trouble early the Broncos will be in good position to go 6-0 and stay undefeated. Santa Clara needs to come out aggressive early, scoring the ball like they have done so far this season and putting the pressure on the Bulldogs defense.
Keys For Fresno State:
The Bulldogs are off to a 4-0 start and have done it without Arizona transfer Jemarl Baker and Senior Guard, Junior Ballard. This will be the first real test for the Bulldogs this season. If Fresno State is going to stay undefeated they have to limit the three point shots. The Dogs gave up nine three pointers to Pepperdine and Santa Clara averaged nine threes made per game. The Dogs have to make shots from the three averaging only six made three per game and only made five against Pepperdine.
Lastly, the Bulldogs Defense has to force turnovers and make the Broncos uncomfortable early. Fresno State has done a great job on defense this season allowing only 59.8 points per game and forcing 15.8 turnovers per game. Can the Dogs continue that against a really talented offensive team?
Both teams would love to stay undefeated but only the best team can do that. For the Dogs can they get going on offense? Can someone other than Orlando Robinson create some offense? For the Broncos can they continue their stellar start offensively and can they take Orlando Robinson out of the picture for the Bulldogs. The Dogs haven’t played their best basketball yet and hope Jemarl Baker can play. Don’t be surprised if the Bulldogs keep this close but I think the Broncos hand Fresno State its first loss 78-67.