CSUB soaring to greater heights


Photo by Marisel Maldonado/The Runner

Joe Macias

Sports Editor


The CSU Bakersfield men’s basketball team is off to a potentially memorable season.

During the winter break the ‘Runners (13-5, 3-0 WAC) got to a slow start as they would start with a three game losing streak.

After CSUB’s close loss against the University of Wyoming, the ‘Runners would be battered by Saint Mary’s College of California giving up 94 points to the Gaels in the 94-59 loss, which is so far its biggest loss of the season.

CSUB’s three game losing streak would be completed against Idaho University on Dec. 2nd in a close 67-63 loss against the Vandals.

Searching for some type of way to get its season back on track CSUB was able to get a win at home against Northern Arizona University 72-55.

The ‘Runners were led by senior forward Kevin Mays who had a double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds.

“Guys are confident. The atmosphere is better,” CSUB head coach Rod Barnes said on the team’s performance. “We just challenge the guys each and every day to play well.”

CSUB would go on to win its next two games against University of South Dakota 77-67 on Dec. 12th and against Dartmouth 69-62 on Dec. 14th

Coming off a three game win streak CSUB’s next game against rival Fresno State on Dec. 16 would be another bump in the road that the ‘Runners would have to overcome.

The ‘Runners struggles at the free throw line proved to be the difference as the team missed 10 free throws and went on scoring drought for 3:35 in the fourth quarter losing the game 76-68.

This is a game the ‘Runners would have definitely would want to have won.

After losing to Fresno State CSUB would come back home for two games against Menlo College and Portland State University.

The ‘Runners would have no problem against Menlo as they made easy work of them winning 82-50 led by redshirt-freshman guard Damiyne Durham who had 22 points. CSUB’s game against Portland would be the 200th win for the CSUB men’s basketball program as they won 78-66 and would be the eighth win for the ‘Runners on the season.

“We play really tough,” senior center Aly Ahmed said on the team’s performance over break. “We play with friendship and enjoyment. We don’t care who scores.”

The Roadrunners next game would be against Arizona State.

CSUB held on for the first half of the game but the Sun Devils turned it on in the middle of the second half as Arizona State sophomore guard Tra Holder, who had 23 points in the game, made some big three-pointers to separate the score as the Sun Devils would go on to win 75-59.

CSUB didn’t let the loss to Arizona State stop them as they would face Morgan State University on Dec. 31 to wrap up the 2015 year.

Ahmed led the team with 21 points and grabbing eight rebounds in a 80-68 win over the Bears.

“I think after that Arizona State game, obviously we lost the game, but I think they gained some confidence,” said Barnes.

The confidence that CSUB gained after its game against Arizona State followed in the 2016 year as the ‘Runners defeated UC Riverside on Jan. 2.

“I feel like we’ve definitely grown,” Mays said on his thoughts about the team’s performance over break. “We came closer together. We figure out ways to win.”

CSUB has found its groove and have now won five straight games, four of those games being on the road, and are undefeated in 2016.

The ‘Runners look to extend their winning streak as they will play against University Texas Rio Grande Valley on Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. in the Icardo Center.