CSU BAKERSFIELD (11-6) vs. NMSU (16-2)
|Points Per Game||73.9||78.2|
|Field Goal Pct.||.452||.471|
|3-point FG Pct.||.376||.358|
|Free throw Pct.||.651||.721|
|Rebounds Per Game||39.7||38.4|
|Assists Per Game||15.4||14.4|
|Turnovers Per Game||15.2||14.3|
|Steals Per Game||8.5||4.9|
|Blocks Per Game||3.2||4.3|
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – CSU Bakersfield’s men’s basketball team will wrap up its first Western Athletic Conference road trip of the season with a WAC Tournament finals rematch against the New Mexico State Aggies Saturday night. The Roadrunners and Aggies are set to square off at the Pan American Center where CSUB will look to continue its win streak against NMSU.
CSUB continued conference play Thursday night with a road victory over UTRGV. The Roadrunner senior leaders paced the way to the 88-81 win with Matt Smith scoring a career-high 23 points against the Vaqueros. Fellow seniors Dedrick Basile and Jaylin Airington scored 19 and 18 points, respectively, as CSUB’s offense outshot the highly-efficient UTRGV shooters. The ‘Runners improved to 11-6 (2-0 WAC) on the season with the victory.
New Mexico State finished a tough non-conference slate well and continues to lead the WAC with a nearly perfect record (16-2, 3-0 WAC). On Thursday night, the Aggies bested Grand Canyon at home in an 81-69 victory. Six Aggies scored in double digits while Jemerrio Jones’ 19 points were a team-high.
The win over GCU extended NMSU’s home conference win streak to 36 games, second-best active streak in the nation behind only Stephen F. Austin (39). The Aggies are also currently on a 14 game win streak, third behind only Gonzaga (16) and Kansas (15).
The ‘Runners came into the week ranked 26th in the nation in scoring defense allowing just 63.6 ppg. They are forcing an average of 17 turnovers a game, 14th-most in the nation. Bakersfield’s pressure-defense has created 136 steals in 16 games, 29th-most in the NCAA. The ‘Runners are averaging 73 ppg and are led by Damiyne Durham’s 1.36 ppg. Durham is one of the top three-point shooters in the country with 58 three’s made this season, 8th-most in the NCAA.
A year ago, the ‘Runners fell to NMSU in both regular season matchups, but bested the Aggies on Basile's buzzer-beating shot to win the WAC Tournament and send the 'Runners to the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Basile paced the ‘Runners in that game with 18 points while Durham added 15 points and Airington scored 12.