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Baker Whips up a Victory in Bulldogs’ Mountain West Opener

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Jermarl Baker Jr. scored a game-high 20 points to lead Fresno State to victory on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022. (GV Wire Composite)
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The defense of the Fresno State men’s basketball team has been superb this season, surrendering just 61 points a game.

The question, game in and game out, has been whether the Bulldogs could do enough at the offensive end of the court to prevail.

They did — just barely — to edge Wyoming 58-55 in their Mountain West Conference opener on Wednesday night at the Save Mart Center.

Jermarl Baker Jr. nearly doubled his season average with 20 points for the Bulldogs, who improved to 5-7 overall. The 6-foot-5 guard was 8 of 15 shooting, including 4 for 7 from behind the 3-point arc.

And, his 3-pointer with 1:01 remaining supplied Fresno State with the cushion it needed to prevail.

Hutson Praises Team’s Play

“The execution was really good.  We couldn’t be more proud of out guys,” said Bulldogs coach Justin Hutson. “You know we … made our threes, made our free throws. We did a good job at the end executing what we were doing. Sometimes the ball goes in or it doesn’t, but we still executed well.”

Baker is a graduate transfer who was limited to five games with the Bulldogs last season because of a knee injury. He previously played at Kentucky and Arizona.

Isaih Moore, another graduate transfer, hit 6 of 7 shots to add 13 points from the forward position for Fresno State. He also had nine rebounds.

Noah Reynolds led the Cowboys (5-8) with 16 points, and Hunter Maldonado added 13 points.

Next Up

Fresno State hits the road for a Mountain West matchup at perennial power Utah State (11-2). It is the conference opener for the Aggies.

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