By Yenny Nolasco
On Saturday, Feb. 23, the CSUB men’s basketball team played its last home game against the Gladiators of Pacifica University at the Icardo Center in what became a grand victory for CSUB. The ‘Runners won 114-66. Seniors Tyrone White, Adam Young and Stephon Carter were honored before the game as part of Senior Night making this their last home game at CSUB.
The ‘Runners were ahead 61-34 at halftime and led by as many as 51 in the second half. Carter lead CSUB with 20 points shooting in 8-for-14 from the court.
“That was a good win for our guys,” said head coach Rob Barnes. “We are very appreciative for Tyron, Stephon and Adam because I think they helped us and allowed us to get on a solid foundation; they won games for us, played hard and represented us well.”
During the game, the ‘Runners recorded 44 field goals and 66 rebounds. Carter had 11 rebounds. Young added 14 points on 5 out of 8 shots from the field. White scored 11.
“I wasn’t coming to be all-time high scorer or the top player. That came with the territory and for me to help change it, it feels good to be part of it,” said Carter, who recorded his 10th 20-point game this season with a team-high 22 points. Carter is also the all-time leader in steals and five other categories.
“I just want to keep playing; I’m going keep playing until my knees no longer let me,” said Carter. “I feel good. It built up throughout the whole season and for me to finally get it and to be over. Now we have been winning lately, so I’m just happy we are trying to get more wins and me scoring more points but it feels good being all-time lead scorer at school. Not too many people can say that,” said Carter.
This was the Gladiator’s first season with a basketball team. With the team fielding just six players, two of them nearly fouled out. But the refs seemed to stop calling fouls before they reached the limit of five (which would have disqualified them from playing).
On Feb. 20, CSUB continued its momentum. The ‘Runners had one of their biggest wins in Division I history, upsetting South Dakota State 79-78 in double overtime. Carter led the game with 16 points. With only half of a second remaining in the game, Carter hit two free throws after he was fouled on a missed 3-pointer by Young.
The ‘Runners now hold a 9-4 at-home record to end the season. This marks the second straight season under Barnes in which CSUB has recorded double-digit wins at the NCAA Division I level.
“Barnes, as far as coach, I mean, he has been like a father figure for all of us, he taught us all a lot,” said White. “He’s a mentor to us and preaches a lot of stuff about life.”
White ended his CSUB career with a career-high 28 points, making a career best 7 3-pointers. “I got to play in front of my parents, in front of the city of Bakersfield, I can’t put it into words,” said White.
After Saturday night’s game, the ‘Runners will take a week off before playing their final two games of the season on the road against future WAC foe Seattle on Mar. 6 and Utah Valley on Mar. 9.
“We want to win, most definitely,” said White.