By Johnathan Wheatley
FRESNO, Calif. – In the battle of Interstate 99 rivals, the CSU Bakersfield men’s basketball team dropped its fourth straight game, losing to Fresno State 70-55.
It was a tale of two halves for the CSUB (4-6) as they controlled the tempo in the first, then the Bulldogs (7-2) dominated the second half.
“The first 20 minutes went our way, second half 20 minutes went their way,” said CSUB Head Coach Rod Barnes. “Because the second half is what determines the win, that’s why they [Fresno St] won the game.”
The first half began with an opening tip-off win by Fresno State. The first basket was scored by CSUB after a rebound by redshirt-senior center Fallou Ndoye lead to an open basket for senior forward Shon Briggs.
Briggs led the Roadrunners with 13 points and nine rebounds.
The Bulldogs would claim the lead at 9-7, but was short-lived after a three-pointer by redshirt-junior guard Damiyne Durham gave the Roadrunners a 10-9 lead.
A nagging knee injury kept Durham out most of the second half, playing only 16 minutes the entire game.
Both teams battled back and forth from that point in the game to establish some type of lead, but either team would not let the other pull away.
With the score tied at 22, the Bulldogs took the lead and would not look back as a three-pointer by Fresno State’s Deshon Taylor gave the Bulldogs a 25-22 lead.
CSUB had a chance to tie or even take the lead, but with three seconds left the Roadrunners turned the ball over and went into half down by two, 28-26.
Fresno State came out in the second half on fire, opening the half with an 11-0 run. The Roadrunners came out cold shooting 1-for-9 (11 percent) from the floor.
“The way we started the second half isn’t the way we wanted to,” said redshirt-senior guard Brent Wrapp. “It got us in a hole and had to play catch-up the rest of the half.”
Wrapp finished the game with two points, three rebounds and two assists.
At the under-twelve minute media timeout, Fresno State had opened their lead to double digits, leading 44-31.
With six minutes left in the half, a Briggs layup would cut the Fresno State lead to 10 points. That is as close as CSUB would get to the Bulldogs.
Fresno State extended its lead to 20 with just under three minutes to play and coasted to the easy victory, 70-55.
“It’s frustrating losing, but we all want to win and we just have to keep getting better and I’m very confident in our team,” said Briggs.
CSUB will play back-to-back games this Friday, Dec. 8 at 11 a.m. against Life Pacific University (6-6) and a rematch on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. against the University of Idaho (5-2).