'Runners Host Future WAC Foe Saturday Night
BAKERSFIELD, Calif.- The CSU Bakersfield Roadrunner men's basketball team begins a three-game home stand Saturday night hosting future Western Athletic Conference foe Utah Valley at the Icardo Center at 7 P.M.
The Roadrunners are returning from a long layoff with their last game back on Jan. 23 at Santa Clara in what was a 66-36 loss in a game that also saw several injuries to key CSUB players. The Roadrunners have used this time to recover and prepare for Saturday's match up, the first of two this season with the Wolverines as CSUB returns the trip to Orem, Utah on March 9th.
Utah Valley is 10-12 on the season and snapped a two-game losing streak Monday night defeating NAIA Peru State College 84-49. The Wolverines were also without two of their top scorers as both Ben Aird and Alfonzo Hubbard sat out due to injury meaning both the 'Runners and Wolverines will be less than full strength Saturday night. Both teams will enter the Western Athletic Conference next season.
The Roadrunners enter with Stephon Carter (Sr., Bakersfield, Calif., Garces HS) leading the way with his 15 ppg. Carter is now 57 points shy of CSUB's all-time scoring record but has been limited to just nine points in each of the last two games for the Roadrunners. Carter is also leading the way from the field shooting a career-best 44% this season. Brandon Barnes (Jr., Atlanta, Ga., Lipscomb) is adding 11.7 ppg this season while also shooting an impressive 42% from the field. Barnes is also the second-leading rebounder on the team with his 4.2 per contest.
Saturday night's game will also feature two father-son duos as both head coaches have sons on the floor; joining CSUB head coach Rod Barnes and his son Brandon will be Holton Hunsaker, Utah Valley's second-leading scorer at 13 ppg and son of head coach Dick Hunsaker.
The Wolverines are averaging 67 ppg this season and are shooting 45% from the field and 33% from three-point range. The Wolverines are 3-8 this season away from Orem while the 'Runners are 5-3 at home. This will be the 7th meeting all-time between the two teams with the series tied at 3-3. Both teams split the season series during the '09-'10 season with both home teams posting victories.
Tickets are available by calling the CSUB ticket office at 654-BLUE or at the box office prior to game time. Reserved chair back seats are $20, bleachers are $10 while general admission seats for kids and seniors are just $5.
Saturday's game is presented by Dignity Health and will tip at 7 P.M. at the Icardo Center.