Taylor leads Bulldogs to comeback 77-73 win vs Aztecs

From FOX Sports - January 17, 2018

SAN DIEGO (AP)Making up a 10-point deficit in the second half to beat San Diego State 77-73 was far from the craziest thing Fresno State encountered Wednesday.

Two players who had graduated in the fall, Jaron Hopkins and Jahmel Taylor, had to be driven from Fresno to San Diego earlier in the day because they hadnt been admitted to grad programs and certified by the NCAA in time to travel with the team on Tuesday. After getting admitted and certified, they were scheduled to be on an 11:55 a.m. flight but it was delayed and they had to be driven to San Diego. They arrived at Viejas Arena at 6 p.m.

Luckily for us it was an 8 p.m. tip, coach Rodney Terry said.

Sometimes through distractions and adversity it brings your group a little bit closer and more focused, and I thought this group was pretty focused today at shootaround, Terry said. Every guy knew they needed to be prepared and ready to go tonight because of the situation we were involved with.

Hopkins scored six points and had a big basket with 47.8 seconds left for a three-point lead. Taylor scored three points.

We all just kept the faith, even if they werent able to play, Fresno State guard Ray Bowles said. Whoever we had here, thats all we had so we were going to have to try to get the job done either with or without them. Obviously we would love for them to come up here and play, which they did. Overall it was a tough situation but it brightened up once we found out they were coming.

Deshon Taylor scored 22 points, including two free throws with 15.7 seconds left.

Fresno State (14-6, 4-3 Mountain West) trailed 52-42 less than five minutes into the second half. The Bulldogs slowly pulled back into it thanks to some big shots by Nate Grimes, who had 15 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.

Grimes also came up with a huge defensive play in the closing seconds. With the Bulldogs up 75-73 after Jaron Hopkins made 1 of 2 free throws, Grimes blocked a shot in the key by Devin Watson with 21 seconds left. Deshon Taylor grabbed the ball, was fouled and made both free throws.

Bowles added 13 points and Bryson Williams 11 for the Bulldogs.

Sam Bittner hit a huge 3-pointer from the right corner for Fresno State with 4:53 left that tied it at 68. Grimes then made four free throws to give the Bulldogs a 72-68 lead.


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