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Two days after his hero, Kobe Bryant, died in a helicopter crash, an inspired New Williams scored 25 points to lead Fresno State to a 79-68 victory at Air Force on Tuesday night.

Williams paid tribute to the late Los Angeles Lakers legend with a new Mamba tattoo on his left forearm. He got it Sunday soon after learning of Bryant’s death.


Williams, a lifelong Bryant fan and Inglewood native, made six 3-pointers on 7-for-16 shooting and had five rebounds, two steals, and an assist.

Grimes Overpowers Air Force Inside

While Williams shredded the Falcons from the perimeter, fellow Fresno State senior Nate Grimes dominated inside. Grimes finished with 21 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks.

Jarred Hyder added 10 points for Fresno State (7-14, 3-7 Mountain West Conference). Orlando Robinson added seven rebounds.

The Bulldogs went 15-for-16 from the free-throw line.

Strong Second Half Start for Bulldogs

The Bulldogs scored the first bucket of the second half to take a lead (38-36) they would not relinquish. The lead peaked at 13 points when Anthony Holland hit a 3-pointer for a 71-58 advantage with 4:12 remaining.

Sid Tomes had 16 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Falcons (9-13, 3-7), whose losing streak reached four games. Caleb Morris added 15 points. Ryan Swan had 14 points and three assists.

Up Next

The Fresno State men’s basketball team takes on New Mexico (16-6, 5-4) at home on Saturday.

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