FRESNO, Calif. -- Paul George scored 16 points as Fresno State fought past Louisiana Tech 63-46 on Thursday night for its first Western Athletic Conference victory.
Sylvester Seay added 15 points and seven rebounds for Fresno State (8-11, 1-4), which held Louisiana Tech to 31.6 percent shooting and forced 17 turnovers.Jamel Guyton had a game-high 17 points but went scoreless in the second half for Louisiana Tech (8-11, 2-4) in this battle of WAC teams that share the Bulldogs mascot.Fresno State struggled in the early minutes of the second half, allowing Louisiana Tech to within 39-37 on David Jackson's putback with 15:36 remaining.But George answered with five straight points, including a three-pointer with 13:54 left, and later sparked a 17-2 surge that put the game away.Mychal Ladd's three-pointer with 3:22 left gave Fresno State its biggest lead at 61-41. Ladd finished with 10 points.No Louisiana Tech player beside Guyton scored in double figures. Jackson came the closest with eight points.Fresno State played without starting point guard Dwight O'Neil, who served a one-game suspension for undisclosed reasons. Bryce Cartwright replaced O'Neil in the starting lineup and finished with 12 points and four assists.Fresno State led 36-32 at halftime by shooting 50 percent from the floor and creating points off steals.Cartwright intercepted a pass at midcourt and drove for a layup to put Fresno State ahead 23-22 with 6:55 left.It was the first of three consecutive steals for Fresno State. George hit two free throws following a steal, and Ladd converted his into a Cartwright layup.Guyton closed the half with consecutive three-pointers for Louisiana Tech to finish with 17 points on 5 of 7 shooting beyond the arc.Louisiana Tech jumped to an early 8-3 lead before surrendering a 10-0 Fresno State run that put the host Bulldogs in front. Nedeljko Golubovic scored five points during the surge.