BAKERSFIELD, Calif.- Following a successful exhibition effort the CSUB Roadrunners return to the court Saturday night for their official season opener against San Diego Christian at 7 P.M. at the Icardo Center.
The Roadrunners are coming off a 24-9 season which included a Western Athletic Conference Tournament Championship and appearance in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. They return three starters in Dedrick Basile, Brent Wrapp and Jaylin Airington. Contributors Matt Smith, Justin Pride, Damiyne Durham and Bray Barnes round out the returners for CSUB.
The Roadrunners are coming off an 82-63 win over The Master’s on Wednesday night. Wrapp led CSUB with 17 while Basile had 15 for CSUB in the victory. The Roadrunners forced 21 turnovers in the game including 19 steals which led to 25 points off turnovers in the win.
Basile is the leading-returning scorer for the Roadrunners coming off a season where he averaged 12 points and three rebounds per contest while shooting 47% from the field. Basile made the game-winning shot to send CSUB to a 57-54 win over NM State in the WAC Championship game and their first NCAA Tournament. Basile was recently named to the’ Lou Henson Preseason Watch List’, the award given to the best mid-major player in the country. He was also selected Preseason All-WAC by the coaches and media.
Durham averaged 12 points per contest last season as well and led the Roadrunners from three-point range after converting 36% of his school-record 250 attempts from beyond-the-arc. He scored a career-high 25 points against San Diego Christian last season.
Jaylin Airington returns for his senior campaign following a junior year that included a 10 point and four rebound-per-game average. He scored in double-digits 16 times and led the team from the free-throw line. Senior Matt Smith rounds out the returning upperclassmen. Smith is healthy for a home opener for the first time in his CSUB career. He missed the first 10 games last season due to injury.
San Diego Christian comes in at 1-2 following a pair of losses last weekend in Arizona to Embry Riddle and Benectidine. Isaiah Milan leads the Hawks with 21 ppg while Derek Noves adds in 19 per contest. This game will be considered an exhibition for San Diego Christian who competes as an NAIA team.
The Roadrunners hold a 2-0 all-time series lead and defeated the Hawks 93-69 last season in Bakersfield. Only one player returns from last season’s San Diego Christian squad.
Saturday night’s home opener will begin with a special pregame championship ring ceremony honoring last season’s WAC Championship. The ceremony will begin at 7 P.M. with tipoff scheduled shortly after.
The first 500 fans will also receive a commemorative 2016 NCAA Tournament magnet courtesy of Anderson’s Printing honoring the Roadrunners’ accomplishment.
Saturday’s game can also be heard on Newstalk 1180 & 96.1 FM KERN and will be streamed live on the Roadrunner Sports Network at www.youtube.com/csubathletics.