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Fresno St. 61, Louisiana Tech 44

RUSTON, La. (AP) -- Eddie Miller scored a game-high 17 points and Kevin Bell dropped in 13 more as Fresno State handily defeated Louisiana Tech 61-44 in the Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams on Thursday.

Neither team shot particularly well in the first half as Fresno State (8-6, 1-0) held a 24-18 lead at the break. Tech (3-10, 0-1) was shooting only 19 percent from the field (5-of-26) but had knocked down six free throws to keep it close.

A steal and a dunk by Drew Washington with 9:59 to play in the first frame cut the Fresno lead to one at 15-14. But Tech would get no closer the rest of the way as it managed only four points the rest of the half -- all on free throws -- and did not connect from the field until the 17:51 mark of the second half on a jumper by Kyle Gibson.

Fresno State then found its stroke from beyond the 3-point arc, knocking down five to push its lead to as many as 18 in the final minutes. Louisiana Tech, by contrast, was just 3-of-18 (16.7 percent) from long range.

Gibson led Tech with 16 points.