DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – With a double-digit lead through three quarters, Fresno State held off a rally from Delaware on Friday afternoon to win its opening game of the Dayton Beach Invitational, 53-49 at the Ocean Center. The Bulldogs came up with a pair of crucial rebounds, one at each end, in the final 20 seconds before Amaya West iced the game at the stripe.
Despite being forced to sit for nearly 10 minutes during the final 13 minutes, Amaya West led the 'Dogs with a game-high 14 points. Yanina Todorova notched a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
How It happened
After giving up the opening basket, Fresno State surged out to a 9-0 run in two minutes, capitalizing on a pair of Delaware charges to go up 9-2 with 6:10 in the first. A 3-pointer from the wing from Maria Doreste with 3:02 left started a 6-2 stretch as the 'Dogs extended the lead to 21-11 to close the opening quarter.
The Bulldogs maintained their double-digit advantage throughout much of the second. Fresno State ended the period with a 6-0 run, capped by a short jumper from Amaya West at the buzzer to put the 'Dogs up 35-19 at the half.
Delaware came out and erased the end of the second quarter, going on a 6-0 run, forcing a timeout from the 'Dogs less than two minutes into the third. As the Blue Hens cut their deficit to eight midway through the third, a jumper from Book stopped the damage. Todorova then added a 3-point play off a baseline pull-up to put the Bulldogs back up 42-30 with 3:19 on the clock.
Less than 30 seconds later, the game began to take a turn when West was whistled for charge, her fourth foul of the game. While taking a 12-point lead into the final period, with West on the bench, that lead was cut in half with just under five minutes to play. Delaware got as close as one and had a chance to take a lead in the final minute but a stop and rebound from Amiee Book and a subsequent foul put the senior on the free throw line. After making the first, a miss on the second was tipped back out to her by Todorova.
After a timeout, West was fouled immediately with the 'Dogs leading 51-49 with little time remaining. Not having scored since the end of the first half, West put the game out of reach with two free throws.
Fresno State finished the game without a made field goal in the last 6:26 and was just 1-of-10 from the field in the final quarter.
Fresno State picked up its first win all-time against Delaware (1-0).
Fresno State moved to 6-5 under Jaime White in Thanksgiving weekend tournaments.
The 'Dogs held their fifth opponent below 50 points (6 games). It is the most in a season since 2015-16 when that team had eight.
Fresno State has held four straight opponents below 50 points, its longest streak since January of 2015.
The Bulldogs forced its sixth straight opponent into 19 or more turnovers, forcing Delaware into 21 miscues.
Yanina Todorova posted her first career double-double with 12 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.
Amaya West scored a game-high and season-high 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field.
Amiee Book collected six rebounds for the third time this season.
Sydney Dethman grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
Fresno State will face Penn State in its second game of the weekend tomorrow at 8 a.m. PT. The Nittany Lions defeated Toledo 60-59 on Friday. The game will stream live on FloHoops.