Aggies Overpower Fresno State 80-68, Improve To 2-1 In WAC

The Aggie men's basketball team notched an impressive 80-68 victory over visiting Fresno State on Saturday night as the Aggies pulled away in the second half after leading by six at the break. Troy Gillenwater notched a double-double finishing with 19 points and 10 rebounds and was one of four Aggies to finish in double figures in scoring.

The Aggies trailed early 9-3 as the Bulldogs got two three pointers from Kevin Olekaibe in the first two and a half minutes of play. The Aggies would respond with an 8-0 run to take an 11-9 lead as the Aggies would get a pair of baskets from Troy Gillenwater as well as a three-point play from Tyrone Watson during the run. The two teams would battle closely over the next six minutes as the two teams would remain tied 19-19 with 10:14 left. Renaldo Dixon would break the tie getting a layup to put the Aggies up 21-19 and the Aggies would go up by three after Christian Kabongo hit one of two free throws but the Bulldogs would knot the score at 22 as Garrett Johnson would hit a three.

Fresno State would take a six point lead at 28-22 after a layup from Bracken Funk and a dunk from Tyler Johnson forcing a 30 second timeout by the Aggies. Out of the timeout the Aggies would respond with a 13-0 run over the next four minutes to take a 35-28 lead. Fresno State would get a three from Kevin Olekaibe to cut the Aggies' lead to four but Hamidu Rahman would hit a pair of free throws to give the Aggies a 37-31 lead heading into halftime.

The Aggies would open up the second half with a pair of dunks by Troy Gillenwater and Bandja Sy to push the lead to 10 at 41-30. The Aggies would go on an 8-3 run to extend the lead to 16 with 14:21 left to play. Fresno State would respond with a 5-0 run to cut the Aggies lead to 51-40, however, the Aggies would push the lead back to five points with 10 minutes left to play. The Bulldogs would again go on a 5-0 run cutting the lead down to 10 points at 58-48 with 8:35 left to play. The Aggies would hold an 11 point lead with 5:03 left to play but an 11-1 run by the Aggies would give them a 21 point lead with 2:14 left to play and they would hold on for the 12-point victory.

Troy Gillenwater scored a team-high 19 points while Hernst Laroche added 11, Hadmidu Rahman added 11 and Tshilidzi Nephawe added 10 hitting 8-of-10 free throw attempts.

Kevin Olekaibe scored a game-high 23 points hitting five three pointers. No other Bulldog scored in double-digits as Bennie Rhodes added nine, Steven Shepp added eight and Greg Smith was limited to six points before folding out with 10 minutes left in the game.

The Aggies shot a scorching 58.1 percent from the floor for the game hitting 57.9 percent (11-of-19) in the first half and 58.3 percent (14-of-24) in the second half. The Aggie defense limited the Bulldogs to 40.6 percent shooting, 43.3 percent (13-of-30) in the first half and 38.2 percent (13-of-34) in the second half.

The Aggies improve to 2-1 in league play while Fresno State falls to 3-1.