LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The CSUB Roadrunners will make the drive across the desert for the second time in as many weeks as they face UNLV (12-2, #20 Associated Press) Saturday night at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas at 7 P.M.
The 'Runners recently returned from Las Vegas having split the final two games on the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, and will return on an even bigger stage taking on their second-straight nationally-ranked opponent Saturday night. CSUB is coming off a 72-57 loss to #17 San Diego St. Wednesday night in San Diego.
The Roadrunners have struggled with offensive consistency in the last two games as slow starts in the first half have force second-half comebacks. Last Sunday the comeback was enough to overtake North Carolina A & T 69-64, Wednesday night they cut the Aztecs lead to 15 points with a chance to get even closer before a turnover and missed shots allowed San Diego St. to close it out in the final 5:30 minutes of regulation.
CSUB enters Las Vegas being led once again by Stephon Carter (Sr., Bakersfield, Calif., Garces HS), who scored 18 of his game-high 21 points in the second half at San Diego State while confusing the Aztecs defense with his moves to the basket. Carter has scored 20 points or more in five games this season with his season-high 28 coming vs. La Verne (12/15). He's leading the Roadrunners with 15.7 ppg and is shooting a team-best 44% from the field. He's also pulled within 88 points of CSUB's all-time scoring record held by Kenny Warren at 1,521.
UNLV meanwhile is coming off a 74-52 win over CSUB's future conference-mate Chicago St. Thursday night in Las Vegas. In that game the Rebels were led by Anthony Bennett's 22 points and 11 rebounds as they built an 18-point s halftime lead. Chicago State was held to 30% shooting in that game and 28% from three-point range as they fell to 4-13 on the season. Khem Birch also had 13 points and 12 rebounds off the bench for UNLV who improved to 12-2 with the win and 9-1 at home. Their lone loss at Thomas and Mack Center came at the hands of Oregon on Nov. 23, 83-79.
This will be the second meeting all-time between the two schools with UNLV defeating CSUB 89-57 last season at Rabobank Arena.
This game will also be televised on Time Warner SportsNet available in Bakersfield on Brighthouse and other cable providers. You can also listen to the game as always on KERN Newstalk 1180 beginning at 6:30 P.M. with the 'Dignity Health Shootaround Show,' tipoff is scheduled for 7 P.M. Live audio is also available at GoRunners.com.