DAYTON, Ohio- With the majority of their team in foul trouble and trying to overcome a 23-free-throw-attempt difference the CSUB Roadrunners came within one possession of winning their first game in the Men Against Breast Cancer Classic but ultimately fell 68-64 to host Wright State Friday night.
“Just proud to have a team like this, I thought we fought through a lot of adversity tonight,” said head coach Rod Barnes. “Really proud of our kids…offensively I thought we had some struggles but we played well enough down the stretch to win the game.”
The Roadrunners defense successfully held the nation’s top scorer to just seven points in the first half but Mark Alstork would eventually make his presence felt scoring 17 in the second half including a pair of three-pointers in the final 2:10 to help open the door for the Raiders to edge by the Roadrunners. CSUB still managed a pair of their own three-pointers in the final two minutes by Damiyne Durham and Shon Briggs, but it wasn’t enough as the Raiders hit their final three free-throws in the win.
Durham and Briggs led the ‘Runners with 28 point and 16 points respectively as Durham was 9-24 from the field and 4-16 from three-point range. Briggs was 7-13 from the field and 1-1 from three-point range, it was his second-highest point total since scoring 21 points against San Diego Christian in the season opener.
CSUB trailed 36-32 at the half but in the second half their defense would take things to the next level as they held the Raiders scoreless for nearly 10 minutes after Wright State built a six-point lead with 16:31 remaining. The next Wright St. point wouldn’t come until the 6:26 mark when Mike La Tulip hit one of his five three-pointers to cut the CSUB lead to one and halt a 10-run for Bakersfield. He scored 18 for the Raiders and was 6-8 from the field.
“We cut down their two leading scorers and they made some shots,” Barnes said. “We didn’t play as well because we were playing with a lot of guys in foul trouble… a really soft-called game so we had to play zone for long periods of time because there was a touch foul on every play.”
Wright State attempted 41 free throws in the game, the Roadrunners attempted just 18 but converted on 15 of those chances. Six Roadrunners ended the game with four fouls while several key players had minutes limited due to foul trouble.
The game was tied with 1:10 to play following a pair of free throws from Matt Smith. The Raiders got the lead back on a pair of free throws of their own, CSUB missed a go-ahead three-pointer with 29 seconds remaining and the Raiders added to their lead with another pair of free throws from La Tulip. Briggs made it a one-point game knocking down a three-pointer with eight seconds to play. CSUB tried to foul on the inbound pass and appeared to do so but the fouls were not called until .5 seconds remaining. The CSUB bench was assessed an additional technical foul for arguing the non-call which led to three out of four free-throw makes for the Raiders as the game ended.
CSUB managed just 22-63 in the game from the field (35%) and 5-24 from three-point range (21%). They also had a season-high 20 turnovers which led to 18 points for Wright State. CSUB’s defense still managed to hold the Raiders to just 17-45 from the field (38%) and forced 17 turnovers and nine steals in the loss.
The Roadrunners will take on North Florida (3-3) tomorrow at 4:30 P.M. (ET), the Ospreys won a 76-75 nail biter over North Dakota in the first game of the tournament Friday evening. Dallas Moore the UNF leading scorer, hit a game-winning jumper with eight seconds to play.
Saturdays game can be heard on Newstalk 1180 and 96.1 FM KERN beginning at 1 P.M. (PT) with the Dignity Health Pregame Show. The game will also be streamed on ESPN3.com.