LAS VEGAS, Nevada - Fresno State hit a Western Athletic Conference Tournament record 15 three-pointers in defeating Louisiana Tech 89-61 in the championship game at the Orleans Arena Saturday afternoon.
With the victory, Fresno State (28-5) earns the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament while Louisiana Tech (17-15) will wait to see if it receives a postseason invitation.
"First of all I would like to congratulate Fresno State," said Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon. "It was a tough game for us. We didn't perform as well as we would have liked to have today. It was a game that it was important to get off to a good start. They got off to a great start. It wasn't that our kids weren't giving it there all ... it was just unfortunate that the energy we needed for this game was not there."
The game saw seven ties and three lead changes in the opening nine minutes of play as freshman Courtney Hayes layup with 11:46 remaining in the first half gave the Lady Techsters an 18-16 advantage. It was the last time the Tech saw the lead.
Fresno State guard Madison Parrish hit a three-pointer 12 seconds later to ignite a 17-2 run which included five three-pointers during the four-minute span. Rosie Moult scored 11 straight points during the run.
"They were all wide open three point shots," Weatherspoon said. "We were not defending very well at all. You cannot leave them open, and we left them open quite a few times. Once they got going, it was tough to take the momentum away."
Whitney Jones and Shantale Bramble-Donaldson hit back-to-back layups to cut the deficit to 33-24, but Fresno State answered with 10 straight points, including two more three-pointers, to push the advantage out to 43-24 with 3:31 to play in the half. Fresno State led 52-34 at the break.
The Bulldogs shot 57 percent (20-35) from the field in the opening half, including 10-of-20 from behind the arc. Tech shot 46 percent (15-33) from the field in the first half but only 1-of-7 from the three-point line.
Any chance of a second-half rally by Tech was doused early as Fresno State pushed the advantage to 65-38 at the first media timeout thanks to three more trifectas. Whitney Frazier, who led Tech with a game-high 18 points, scored six points during an 8-2 run as Tech cut the deficit down to 67-46 with 12:57 to play.
It was as close as LA Tech would get as Fresno State eventually pushed the lead out to 83-50 with 7:39 to play in the game.
For the game, the Bulldogs hit 15-of-40 three-pointers and shot 49 percent (32-65) from the field while LA Tech hit 39 percent (24-61) from the field. The Lady Techsters were only 1-of-13 from the three-point line.
Tech senior guard Jasmine Bendolph earned all-tournament team honors.