Honk if you’re read this one before.
The Fresno State men’s basketball team builds a lead and then throws the game away with careless play in the final minutes.
The Bulldogs did it again Saturday night, falling 60-57 to UC Riverside at the Save Mart Center.
Not only was it another heartbreaking loss, but the Bulldogs’ inability to sew up victories doesn’t bode well for them as they return to Mountain West action with two games this week.
The loss was the sixth this season by Fresno State in a game decided by a single possession or in overtime.
Bulldogs Lead by 20 Points in Second Half
This time, the Bulldogs (4-9) held a 20-point lead with 9 minutes, 42 seconds remaining on a Nate Grimes’ dunk set up by New Williams’ alley-oop pass. But the Highlanders (9-5) outscored the Bulldogs 25-2 the rest of the way.
“I don’t know if our confidence is gone. Mine is not,” said Bulldogs coach Justin Hutson. “Disappointed and frustrated, those are accurate words. Too many leads this year that we’ve given up. So believe me we look at everything. We look at everybody. But we have to do better.”
Arinze Chidom had a double-double and Dikymbe Martin scored all his 10 points in the final five minutes for the Highlanders. Chidom finished with career-high 25 points and 10 rebounds. He made 10 of his 14 field-goal attempts, including 5-for-5 from beyond the 3-point line.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs wasted career highs of 27 points and five blocked shots from freshman forward Orlando Robinson. Grimes added 12 points for the Bulldogs.
Fresno State made nine of its 14 turnovers after the intermission. The Highlanders outrebounded the Bulldogs 39-25 and dominated the offensive boards.
On to San Diego State
The Bulldogs will return to conference action noon Wednesday at 15th ranked San Diego State, which is 13-0. The Aztecs’ list of victims includes Iowa, Brigham Young, and Utah.
Fresno State’s next home game is against San Jose State on Saturday at 4 p.m.