FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.- Despite playing in their 5th road game in 11 days in their third-different State, the CSUB Roadrunners (6-4) took control early over Northern Arizona on Monday night leading by as many as 36 and cruising to an 81-47 win over the Lumberjacks.
“I thought our guys did a great job, we challenged them pregame because we knew this was our fifth road game in 11 days and they responded,” said head coach Rod Barnes. “We just wanted to go out and execute…I thought it was a great team effort, we played hard and they did what we needed to do to get the road win.”
It was the first true-road win of the season for Bakersfield who was 0-3 coming into the game including Friday night’s 49-43 loss at SMU. This time the Roadrunners trailed for only 16 seconds and dominated Northern Arizona (2-8) by shooting over 55% from the field and building a 25-point halftime lead behind 16 points from Jaylin Airington.
The Roadrunners would start the second half on a 6-0 run and lead by as many as 36 points midway through the half. NAU relied heavily on dribble-drive penetration to draw fouls and score from the free-throw line as they shot just 24% from the field in the game. They were 15-28 from the free-throw line in the loss led by JoJo Anderson who scored 15 including 8-12 from the line.
“It’s tough being on the road for as long as we’ve been on the road but it proved a lot tonight about the toughness of this team,” Barnes said. “They answered the questions, I’m excited about this team and I can’t wait to get back home.”
The Lumberjacks never got going offensively thanks to CSUB’s defense and transition offense. The Roadrunners outscored NAU 42-20 in the paint and outrebounded the Lumberjacks 44-37. The ‘Runners have now held each of their last two opponents to fewer than 50 points.
Dedrick Basile added 16 as well including nine in the second half while Matt Smith scored 10 points to go along with seven rebounds. CSUB’s bench added into the balanced effort with CSUB scoring 32 bench points including eight from Damiyne Durham and a career-high six points and team-high eight rebounds from Moataz Aly. Aly was also 3-4 from the field.
The Roadrunners were 34-61 (56%) from the field and 7-21 (33%) from three-point range. NAU was just 14-59 from the field (24%) and 4-24 (17%) from beyond the arc.
It was the first win for CSUB in Arizona under Barnes and the first win for CSUB in their neighboring state since 2005, a 77-74 win over Grand Canyon when both teams were NCAA Division II programs. The Roadrunners have one more trip to Arizona later this season when they take on GCU in WAC play.
The Roadrunners now head back home for a pair of home games starting on Saturday night when they host Portland State (3-3) at the Icardo Center at 7 P.M. It’s a ‘Holiday Hoops’ game and any fan that brings a new toy for donation can receive $5 general admission tickets for their entire part. Holiday pictures with Rowdy will also be available along with a special halftime performance by Mutts in Motion.
Tickets are available at GoRunners.com/tix. That game can also be heard on Newstalk 1180/96.1 FM KERN and streamed via the WAC Digital Network at wacsports.com/live.