- Associated Press - Thursday, March 27, 2014

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Marvelle Harris scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half and Paul Watson added 15 points as Fresno State defeated Old Dominion 71-64 in the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational on Wednesday night.

Fresno State (20-16), which has won 12 of 14 games, reached 20 wins for the first time since the 2006-07 season and advanced to the CBI best-of-three Championship Series against Siena (18-17), beginning Monday in Fresno.

Sienna was a 61-49 winner against Illinois State in the other CBI semifinal.

Fresno State hasn’t played for a postseason championship since beating DePaul in the National Invitational Tournament final in 1983.

“I really like the effort we came out with especially with the start of the game defensively,” Fresno State coach Rodney Terry said. “They play hard, they play together, they enjoy playing.”

Fresno State shot 27 of 34 from the free throw line as they attacked the rim and drew fouls.

Cezar Guerrero was 7 for 7 from the line in the final two minutes to keep Old Dominion at a distance. Guerrero finished 10 of 11 from the charity strip and finished with 14 points.

On four occasions, Old Dominion cut Fresno State’s lead to one point in the second half. The final time Old Dominion came within one point, on a Dimitri Batten layup, Harris put the game away scoring six of Fresno State’s next seven points to put the Bulldogs ahead 53-47 with 8:25 remaining.

“We couldn’t get over the hump,” said Old Dominion coach Jeff Jones, whose team traveled eight hours via plane and bus before arriving to Fresno at 1 a.m. Wednesday from Norfolk, Va.

“One play here, one play there. Give Fresno State credit,” he said. “Clearly they wore us down and the travel … you could tell right away that our guys were getting fatigued.”

The Monarch (18-18) shot 38.5 percent, including 26.1 percent on 3-pointers.

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