DALLAS, Texas- SMU needed a 13-3 run over the final 5:28 to avoid the upset as they held off the CSUB Roadrunners (5-4) 49-43 Saturday night at Moody Coliseum.
“I was proud of our guys, I thought they had great effort, I was really pleased with the way they competed on the boards,” said head coach Rod Barnes. “They got good size and athleticism and it was hard for us when we got to the basket to end up finishing.”
The Roadrunners built a 40-35 lead with 5:28 to play before the Mustangs managed to go on a 11-0 run to take the lead for good. CSUB struggled with the size of SMU (5-3) late as the Mustangs forced the Roadrunners into tough contested shots as CSUB went 1-12 in the final minutes of the loss.
“Normally I would put that on us but that was them [SMU], they were so long and athletic and it paid off for them tonight,” Barnes said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our kids and the way we played, just impressed with the effort we gave tonight.”
The Roadrunners did everything defensively they needed to do in order to stay in the game including outrebounding the Mustangs 36-34, SMU entered the game with one of the nation’s best rebounding margins at +13. CSUB also limited SMU leading scorer Semi Ojeleye to just nine points on 2-5 from the field, he entered averaging 19 per game for SMU.
The game featured seven ties and five lead changes with the Roadrunners twice extending their lead to five points in the second half. SMU’s largest lead was eight points following a pair of free throws in the final 20 seconds.
Damiyne Durham led the way for CSUB with 14 points on 5-16 from the field and 4-13 from three-point range. Matt Smith added nine points on 4-11 from the field. CSUB’s leading rebounder was Shon Briggs who pulled down eight for CSUB who also had 15 offensive rebounding in the game against the much bigger and athletic Mustangs.
CSUB will continue on the road as they head to Flagstaff, Ariz. on Monday night to take on Northern Arizona (2-4). The Lumberjacks host San Diego Saturday night. Monday's game can be heard on 1230 AM/98.1 FM ESPN with pregame coverage beginning at 5 P.M.(PT). The game will also be televised on Fox Sports Prime Ticket (DISH 411, DTV 693) and Fox College Sports Pacific.