November 14, 2010

Bulldogs Lose season opener to BYU 83-56

The 2010-2011 version of the Fresno State mens basketball team hit the road Friday night for their season opener against the BYU Cougars. The Bulldogs competed early but the 24 ranked Cougars won 83-56 in front of a sold-out 22,700 people in the Marriot Center.

"I knew we'd have to play well. BYU took it to us," said Cleveland. "Nerves were a little bit of a factor, but I was not disappointed in our execution. We had a lot of open shots. Just didn't make them

It was a home coming for Fresno State head coach Steve Cleveland who was the coach of the Cougars from 1997-2005 before he left to take over at Fresno State.

Fresno State came out strong early as they took a 18-17 lead after a Ned Golubovic three pointer. From there however it was a night mare for the Bulldogs. BYU went on a 28-8 run to take a 45-26 lead at the half.

The second half would be no better as Fresno State was outscored 38-30. Fresno State shot 35 percent for the game including going 2-21 from three point range.

Senior Ned Golubovic led the team with 12 points, had both three pointers made, and had eight rebounds.

Sophmore 6-10 center Greg Smith who is the Bulldogs best player, was doube teamed all game and was never able to get involved as he commited two early fouls. He was 1-2 from the filed and 5-8 from the free throw line and finsihed with seven points and seven rebounds in just 24 minuets.

The Bulldogs played five palyers who were wearing the jerseys of the Bulldogs for the first time, three of which were freshman.

"This is a tough place to play and a lot of our freshmen played like freshmen," Cleveland said. "The inexperience was evident, and we just have to give them time. They'll all learn from this game."

Among the newcomers were point guards Tim Steed and Kevin Olekaibe, who combined for 13 points, two assists and five of the team's 16 turnovers

BYU showed experience in the win as the Cougars shot 49 percent from the field and out rebounded the Bulldogs 43-36.

BYU All- American Jimmer Fredette led the Cougars with 24 points. The Cougars also got 21 points from Noah Hartsock off the bench and Charles Abouo added 13.

Fresno State will need to get through the growing pains early as they play four out of the next six on the road. Greg Smith will need to dominate in the middle if Fresno State has any hopes of making this a winning season.

Fresno State now 0-1 on the season hosts Vanguard Wensday night at the Save Mart Center as part of a double header with the Womens team who won their opener 74-54 over Santa Clara.

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