Ricks' Career-High 25 Points Leads Men's Basketball Over Fresno State
FRESNO, Calif. - Senior Gary Ricks, Jr. (Los Angeles, Calif.) scored a career-high 25 points with five rebounds and five assists to lead the Drake University men's basketball team to an 84-74 win over Fresno State in its first game at the Fresno State Classic on Friday evening.
Drake (4-1) shot 56.1 percent from the field to earn its second road win of the season with Richard Carter (Detroit, Mich.) chipping in 21 points. Fresno State (4-3) was led by Marvelle Harris' 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting in the home loss. FSU shot 47.2 percent from the field and 46.2 from the three-point arc. However, Drake dominated inside with a 34-27 advantage in rebounding while outscoring FSU in the paint, 44-20.
“We’ve got get better defensively but I haven’t seen a guy like Marvelle Harris in a while.” Drake head coach Giacoletti said of Fresno State’s top scorer and the team’s shooting.
Drake fell into a 10-0 hole in the first three minutes of the game but assembled a brief 14-6 spurt to pull within a bucket. A 13-5 run later in the half tied the game for the first time at 31-31 on a Seth VanDeest (Bettendorf, Iowa) layup with 5:27 left in the period for two of his six points on the evening in addition to his seven rebounds.
“We’ve got to figure out the start of games,” Giacoletti said. “We had a lot of composure and fought our way back.”
That fight manifested to close the half with jumpers by Ricks and Carter to give Drake a 37-35 lead at halftime.
Another Ricks’ three-pointer kept the momentum right out the gates in the second half and four minutes into the period a three-point play and a three-pointer from Aaron Hawley (Rogers, Ark.) gave Drake its biggest lead of the evening to that point, 52-44.
However, Fresno State answered right back with a 13-4 run to take a one-point lead with nine minutes to play.
“I thought we had a chance to extend the lead but they came back to tie it and we made some really nice plays down the stretch.”
Those plays culminated in a 10-4 run over the next 3:15 that was capped by a three-point play from Chris Caird (Daventry, England) to put Drake up 66-61 as the junior poured in eight points and five rebounds. Four minutes later that lead finally stretched out to a game-high 11 points, 77-66, and Fresno State would get no closer than five points in the final two minutes of the game as Drake continued to make plays to maintain its lead.
Drake has less than 24 hours to prepare of its next opponent as the team takes on Northern Arizona in the second game of the Fresno Classic at 6:30 p.m. CST on Saturday. NAU fell to CSU Bakersfield, 61-50, in its first game of the Classic.
“It’s one at a time,” Giacoletti said of Saturday’s opponent. “When you get the first win, you have the opportunity to get a second one so we’ll get them some fluids, rest and put a gameplan together.”