Yes, Fresno State’s men’s basketball team has a much younger roster than it did a year ago.
But three veterans are back from the club that handled the University of California 95-73 last December at the Save Mart Center.
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And that should serve the Bulldogs well as they try to end a four-game losing streak when they face the Bears on Wednesday at Haas Pavilion.
Williams, Grimes, Blackwell Dominated Bears in 2018
Shooting guard New Williams had 19 points, forward Nate Grimes scored 17 points, and point guard Noah Blackwell was the best player on the floor with 13 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds a year ago.
But one thing is different for the Bears. They’re now coached by Mark Fox, the former Georgia and Nevada coach who was hired after Wyking Jones was fired in March.
Fresno State takes a 2-6 record into the nonconference game while Cal is 5-4 after suffering consecutive defeats to USF and Santa Clara.
Bulldogs Show Improvement vs. Utah State
On Saturday, the Bulldogs turned in one of their best efforts of the season, extending No. 25 Utah State to overtime before falling 77-70 in Logan.
Williams scored a career-high 26 points, including banking in the game-tying 3-pointer to beat the regulation buzzer. And Grimes added his third consecutive double-double with a career-high 22 points and 10 rebounds to go along with four blocked shots.
“We still have room for improvement, but I thought we showed some grit in a tough environment,” said Fresno State coach Justin Hutson.
Utah State (9-1, 2-0) turned it on in overtime, outscoring Fresno State 16-9. Standout guard Sam Merrill had 24 points and eight rebounds and Abel Porter scored seven of his 13 points in OT for the Aggies.
The Bulldogs fell to 0-2 in Mountain West action.