After a hard fought defensive battle on Friday night against Illinois State, the Fresno State basketball team (1-0) had two days to prepare for their battle in Palo Alto against the Stanford Cardinal (1-0) in the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off.
Stanford guard Aaron Bright and the rest of the Cardinal proved to be too much for Fresno, beating the Bulldogs 75-59.
Bright led all scorers with 21 points.
Stanford led 34-30 at the half with Jonathon Wills leading the Bulldogs in scoring with nine points in the first 20 minutes.
The two teams traded 3-pointers to start the game, Fresno State's Kevin Foster started the transaction and Stanford's Aaron Bright reciprocated making it 3-3 just 33 seconds into the game.
The two teams went back-and-fourth in the first half with Fresno State taking a 15-10 lead on a three pointer by guard Tyler Johnson. Stanford answered with a 10-0 run putting the cardinal on top 20-15. Fresno State stopped the run on a 3-point field goal by Kevin Foster.
During the first 12:30 of the game, Fresno State never trailed.
The Bulldogs were able to stay in the game in the first half, going 4-8 from beyond the arc.
Stanford started the second half with a 9-0 run. The Bulldogs did themselves no favors by turning the ball over four times in the first 1:27 of the second half.
Stanford led by as many as 13 in the second half before they were able to pull away late in the game. The Bulldogs continued to battle as Kevin Olekaibe scored eight straight points including two 3-pointers to cut the lead to five, at 50-45. Five points would be as close as the Bulldogs would get in the second half.
Olekaibe finished with a team high 19 points, including nine points from 3-point land.
The Bulldogs will stay in Palo Alto and play again on Tuesday against SMU.
Stanford will play Colorado State on Tuesday with a chance to move on to New York to rap up the tournament.
Fresno State Notes
Rodney Terry has added three new players for the 2012- 2013 season via the 2011 early signing period.
Terry added two big-men and a point guard according to GoBulldogs.com.
Aaron Anderson is a 6'3" point guard from Edmond, Oklahoma. Anderson averaged 8.4 points per game and 3.9 assists as a junior at Santa Fe High School.
Braeden Anderson will add size to the Bulldogs with a 6'9" 225-pound frame. Anderson is a power forward from Alberta, Canada and was a Mr. Canada Basketball Award Winner. He is also a Top 50 power forward.
The Bulldogs also added Tanner Giddings, a 6'9" center/power forward from Windsor, California.