'Runners Hold Off Omaha 84-79 Saturday Night
BAKERSFIELD, Calif.- The CSUB Roadrunners built a 15-point first half lead but ended up in a second-half slugfest with Nebraska-Omaha Saturday night at the Icardo Center; but a pair of three-pointers and free throws in the final three minutes allowed the 'Runners (7-13) to hold off the Mavericks (5-16) 84-79 at the Icardo Center.
The Roadrunners were led by Javonte Maynor's (R-So., Atlanta Ga., Georgia State) 17 points on 5-11 shooting and 4-9 from three-point range, but it was Tyrone White's (Sr., Portland, Ore., North Idaho CC) three-pointers at the 3:24 and 2:09 marks that answered Omaha rallies and red-hot second-half shooting to keep the Mavericks at bay. Matt Ratto (Jr., Ripon, Calif., Modesto JC) came off the bench late to hit four pressure-packed free throws to seal the win for the 'Runners, their first in the 2013 calendar year.
"We had some guys step up and hit some big shots; they would hit a three and we would come back, I told our guys we don't want to be a team that is just making exchanges but hopefully we can be a team that can get a few stops, and we got a couple at the two and three minute marks" said CSUB head coach Rod Barnes. "I thought our guys did a great job of hanging in there because they didn't go away, we had done a great job defending but I think we got a little tired and if you give those guys room it has a chance of going in."
CSUB led by 15 at half and built to lead to 17 on the opening possession of the second half but Omaha shot 60.6% from the field in the second half and after going 0-5 from three-point range in the first half, responded by draining 8-15 three-pointers in the second frame. The 'Runners also shot well in both halves, never trailing, although the Mavericks managed to pull within five points on two occasions and three points with just over six seconds to play. CSUB was 28-52 in the game for 53.8% from the field, their best shooting night of the season. Barnes says the 10-day layoff did lead to some second-half fatigue.
"In the second half we got a little fatigued and game-shape for people that have played sports, they know it's a lot different than just playing ," Barnes said. "I think we did a good job of defending in the first half, got a big lead but then because of fatigue we gave them some space and they're a team that if you give them space they are going to knock down some shots."
White scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half while Brandon Barnes (R-Jr., Atlanta, Ga., Lipscomb) fell one rebound shy of his first double-double as a Roadrunner with 14 points and 9 rebounds including a 6-9 night from the field.
CSUB will now go on the road for their lone remaining California road game as they travel to Santa Clara on Wednesday night at 7 P.M. CSUB will then go another 10 days without a game before hosting three games at home beginning Feb. 2 versus future Western Athletic Conference opponent Utah Valley.