CSU BAKERSFIELD (17-7, 8-1 WAC) at Utah Valley (11-13, 3-6 WAC)
|Points Per Game||72.6||77.8|
|Field Goal Pct.||.455||.436|
|3-point FG Pct.||.360||.337|
|Free throw Pct.||.634||.701|
|Rebounds Per Game||38.7||38.5|
|Assists Per Game||14.8||16|
|Turnovers Per Game||14.9||14.3|
|Steals Per Game||8.4||6|
|Blocks Per Game||3.4||4|
OREM, Utah- CSUB men’s basketball will take their six-game winning streak and first-place standing in the Western Athletic Conference on the road this week for a pair of critical WAC games beginning Thursday night at Utah Valley.
The Roadrunners are 17-7 overall and 8-1 in WAC play following a sweep last week of NM State and UT Rio Grande Valley. The 72-53 win over NM State on Thursday snapped the Aggies’ 20-game winning streak which at the time was the second-longest active streak in the nation. NM State would also lose on Saturday night at Grand Canyon opening up first place for CSUB after the Roadrunners’ 75-53 win over UT Rio Grande Valley.
Utah Valley (11-13, 3-6 WAC) is coming off a split last week falling 84-76 at UMKC before bouncing back with an 87-54 win at Chicago State. The Roadrunners won the first meeting with the Wolverines back on Jan. 21 68-65. Dedrick Basile led four Roadrunners in double-digits with 13 points in the win while both Matt Smith and Jaylin Airington added 12 for the ‘Runners. UVU was led by Jordan Poydras’ 12 points.
“We’ve got to go to Utah Valley who is coming off a win and to Seattle who has been playing well and it’s always tough on the road,” said CSUB head coach Rod Barnes. “I feel like our guys have the right mindset and we’ll go there and look to put a few games together; we’ve been playing well on the road but the first one is up and that’s the one we have to be locked in and focused on.”
CSUB enters Thursday’s game as one of the best defensive teams in the NCAA. Bakersfield is allowing just 63.2 ppg which is ranked 22nd out of 347 Division I teams. The Roadrunners are also sixth in the nation in field goal defense allowing opponents to shoot just 37.9% this season. CSUB is also allowing just 32.7 % from three-point range; Utah Valley is 22nd in the NCAA in three-point attempts this season (647) but ranks 310th in three-point field goal percentage (33.7%).
Airington leads the Roadrunners with 14.6 ppg while Damiyne Durham, who scored 16 points in each of last week’s games is averaging 14 per contest. Bakersfield’s Dedrick Basile (12.1) and Matt Smith (11.4) round out the double-digit scorers for CSUB. Connor Toolson, who scored 10 points against the Roadrunners in January leads the Wolverines with a 13 ppg average heading into Thursday’s matchup.
Thursday’s game can be heard on Newstalk 1180/96.1 FM KERN beginning with the Dignity Health Pregame Show at 5:45 P.M. (PT). The game will also be carried live on the WAC Digital Network with tipoff scheduled for 6 P.M.(PT)