FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.- After coming up a few minutes short of their first true road win of the season following Friday night’s 49-43 loss at SMU, the Roadrunners now travel back to the state of Arizona for the second time this season in search of that victory Monday night as they take on Northern Arizona (2-7) in Flagstaff.
CSUB is coming off an incredibly-tough defensive effort against SMU, a game which CSUB led 40-35 with 5:28 to play before the Mustangs went on a 14-3 run to close the game. SMU’s size and athleticism made it difficult for CSUB to finish at the rim late as the Mustangs also added four blocks in that frame to seal the win. The Roadrunners however held SMU well-below their season average in points and rebounds as they outrebounded the Mustangs 36-34. SMU entered that game with a +13 rebounding margin.
The Roadrunners were led by Damiyne Durham’s 14 points including 4-11 from three-point range. After Friday night’s effort, Durham is ranked 2nd in the NCAA with 34 three-pointers-made this season while he leads the nation in three-point attempts (92), and 8th in three-pointers-made per game (3.78). Durham is also CSUB’s leading scorer at 17 ppg, he is shooting 42% from the field and 37% from three-point range.
CSUB continues to be one of the best defensive teams in the nation as showcased by their efforts on Friday night. The Roadrunners are ranked 21st in the nation in scoring defense allowing just 59.9 ppg. CSUB is forcing and average of 19 turnovers a game, 6th-most in the nation. Bakersfield’s pressure-defense has created 89 steals through their first nine games, 3rd-most in the NCAA.
Northern Arizona enters at 2-7 and have lost their last two games including Saturday’s home-opener 80-65 to the University of San Diego. The Lumberjacks have one win against an NCAA Division I team this season having defeated Alabama State 71-57 at the Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas. Their other victory came against NAIA Benectidine at a neutral site contest 92-63.
Mike Green came off the bench to lead the Lumberjacks in Saturday’s loss with 18 points on 6-11 from the field and 4-7 from three-point range. He and senior forward Ako Kaluna lead the Lumberjacks with 11 ppg, three other players add 10 ppg.
Monday night’s game can be heard on 1230 AM/98.1 FM ESPN with pregame coverage beginning at 5 P.M. (PT). Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 (PT) and the game can also be seen on Fox Sports Prime Ticket (DISH 411, DTV:693, AT&T Uverse: 1774, Bright House/Spectrum: 1101).