BAKERSFIELD, Calif.—Southern Utah handed CSU Bakersfield a 65-59 defeat in women’s basketball action Tuesday night.

Poor Roadrunner shooting (27.8%) and turnovers (5) led to a 20-14 Thunderbirds’ lead after one. Southern Utah took a 23-14 lead 46 seconds in to the second quarter on a pair of Rebecca Cardenas free throws. CSUB ran off a 13-2 spurt that was capped off by a Daije Harris three-pointer that put CSUB up 27-25 with 3:34 to play.  The score would be tied at 29 at half.

The Roadrunners scored the first 10 points of the third quarter to take a 39-29 lead midway through the third quarter. The Thunderbirds flew back with a 16-3 run, taking the lead when Skylee Denman connected on a three with 55 seconds to play. Southern Utah would lead 45-44 after 30 minutes.

Jessica Richardson’s field goal opened the scoring for the Thunderbird in the fourth. Down 47-44, Aja Williams tied the game with a three-pointer. SU’s Darri Franderson sank a pair of free throws for a 49-47 game. On the ensuing CSUB possession, an Addi Walters’ three gave the Roadrunners what proved to be its final lead of the night at 51-50.

The Thunderbirds outscored the Roadrunners 10-0 over the next 5:57 to go up nine. Trailing 62-53, CSUB received before back to back three-pointers from Aja Williams and Erika Williams that the Southern Utah lead to 62-59 with 49.7 seconds to play. The Roadrunners had a chance to tie after forcing a Thunderbird turnover. With 33 seconds on the clock, Walters had an open look for a tying three, but it went off the iron.

Franderson grabbed the rebound and was fouled. She made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe. Aja Williams got the rebound and dribbled the length of the court and attempted a three-pointer. Her attempt went off the rim and was rebounded by Franderson. The SU post player made both of the free throws for the final, 65-59.

“We had a lack of focus,” said CSUB head coach Greg McCall. “We can’t allow 21 points in the first quarter. We are a lot better team than that. We aren’t at the level that we can roll out the balls and expect to win.”

Franderson led Southern Utah (2-0) with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Cardenas scored 10 points and had eight rebounds as did Doman. Erika Williams led all scorers with 20 points. She added four rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Aja Williams charted 10 points. 

Southern Utah made 7-of-10 field goals in the four quarter, compared to 5-of-20 for the Roadrunners. For the game the Thunderbirds shot 43.1% (22-of-51) compared to 35% (21-of-60) for CSUB. SU outrebounded the Roadrunners 42-31, but committed 21 turnovers which were turned into 16 CSUB points.

The Roadrunners (1-1) hit the road for the first time this week when CSUB travels to Oregon (1-0) for a 6 p.m. start.