Clock strikes midnight on Cinderella

CSUB historic run comes to end against Georgia Tech in Madison Square Garden

By Peter Castillo

Sports Editor

 

The magical Cinderella run has finally come to an end in Madison Square Garden.

The CSU Bakersfield men’s basketball team was defeated by Georgia Tech 76-61 in the National Invitation Tournament semifinals on Tuesday, March 28 in New York City.

“I just think [Georgia Tech] played well tonight,” said CSUB coach Rod Barnes. “We can’t take anything away from them. They have been playing well down the stretch like we were, and tonight was their game.”

Despite shooting 46 percent from the floor in the NIT coming into Tuesday night’s game, the eighth-seeded Roadrunners (25-10) could not get into a groove offensively as they shot only 35 percent from the floor on the evening.

“We’re an elite defensive team if you look at the numbers,” said Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner. “We really do a good job of defending without fouling.”

The Yellow Jackets (21-15) forced CSUB to commit 15 turnovers as well. CSUB never led in the game.

Georgia Tech freshman forward Josh Okogie paced the Yellow Jackets with 22 points and pulled down 9 rebounds.

Senior guard Dedrick Basile continued his hot shooting as he knocked down 5-of-9 from deep and finished with 18 points in his final collegiate game.

“My two years here have been fantastic,” said Basile. “I’m very pleased and blessed to be around the guys and the coaching staff for these two years.”

A three-pointer by Basile with less than 10 seconds left in the first half brought CSUB within seven.

However, Georgia Tech junior guard Tadric Jackson pushed the ball up court and buried a buzzer-beating three to give the Yellow Jackets a 10-point lead to close out the half.

A layup by freshman guard Justin Moore gave the Yellow Jackets a 63-44 lead with 7:51 to play. It was their largest lead of the game.

Redshirt-senior forward Jaylin Airington fouled out and finished with 12 points in his last game as a Roadrunner.

“I’m sad it had to come to an end tonight but I love these guys,” said Airington. “We’re just enjoying the moment and enjoying the process of the season.”

Redshirt-sophomore guard Damiyne Durham scored 10 points off the bench but only shot 4-of-17 from the floor, including 1-of-10 from three-point range.

Georgia Tech junior center Ben Lammers dominated the paint as he collected 15 points, 11 rebounds and 5 blocks.

Redshirt-senior forward Matt Smith also fouled out in his penultimate game at CSUB. He finished with 5 points and 6 rebounds.

It was a season of firsts for the Roadrunners as they captured their first regular season Western Athletic Conference championship and the program’s first postseason victories at the Division I level.

“I think people realize who we are now,” said Barnes. “To win almost 50 games in two years, is something special. I think now on a national level, people are starting to realize we have a pretty good program here in Bakersfield.”

Georgia Tech will now move on to the NIT finals where it will take on the winner of the matchup between the University of Central Florida and Texas Christian University at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 30 at Madison Square Garden.

The game will be televised on ESPN.

 

 

Senior guard Dedrick Basile takes it to the basket and is fouled by Georgia Tech freshman Josh Okogie Tuesday, March 28 in Madison Square Garden.
Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

 

Senior guard Justin Pride attempts to steal a ball during the contest against Georgia Tech in the NIT semifinal CSUB lost the game 76-61 Tuesday, March 28 in Madison Square Garden.
Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

 

Reshirt-sophomore guard Damiyne Durham attempts a shot in the contest against Georgia Tech. Durham scored 10 points on 4 of 17 shooting and 1 of 10 from three-point range Tuesday, March 28.
Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

 

Senior guard Dedrick Basile was fouled by Georgia Tech freshman Josh Okogie Tuesday, March 28 in Madison Square Garden.
Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

 

Junior swingman Shon Briggs goes up for a contested layup against Georgia Tech Tuesday, March 28 in Madison Square Garden.
Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

 

Redshirt-senior forward Jaylin Airington dishes the ball during the game against Georgia Tech Tuesday, March 28 in Madison Square Garden.
Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

 

Redshirt-junior guard Brent Wrapp drives through the lane for a layup during the NIT semifinals against Georgia Tech Tuesday, March 28 in Madison Square Garden. Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

 

Redshirt-senior forward Matt Smith goes up for a contested layup during the game against Georgia Tech in the NIT semifinals. Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

 

Junior Shon Briggs looks to pass during the contest against Georgia Tech in Madison Square Garden. Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

 

Junior Shon Briggs drives to the lane during the game against Georgia Tech. Briggs finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds. Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

 

Senior guard Dedrick Basile pulls up for a jumpshot during the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden. Basile led the Roadrunners with 18 points on 6 of 14 shooting.
Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

 

CSUB head coach Rod Barnes looks on as the Roadrunners fall to Georgia Tech in the NIT semifinals in Madison Square Garden. This was the first time an eighth seed has made it to New York City in the history of the NIT.
Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

 

Dedrick Basile (left), Matt Smith (center), Moataz Aly (right) acknowledge the CSUB faithful as they depart from Madison Square Garden after making their historic tournament run.
Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

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