CSUB earns 20th win of season


CSUB junior guard Dedrick Basile drives to the basket against Grand Canyon on Saturday in the Icardo Center. Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

Joe Macias

Sports Editor

With 3,596 people in attendance, the CSU Bakersfield men’s basketball team rolled past Grand Canyon University 77-62 on Saturday in the Icardo Center.

The Roadrunners (20-8, 10-3 Western Athletic Conference) got its 20th win of the season against GCU (24-5, 10-3 WAC), which was the first time CSUB was able to reach 20 wins since moving to Division I.

“It was a huge win for us,” said CSUB head coach Rod Barnes. “I thought our guys came out tonight and really played well. Offensively, that’s something we’ve been struggling with lately. Our defense has been good the last five games, but our offense has suffered.”

Things got scrappy in the 17:59 mark of the second half as CSUB senior center Aly Ahmed and GCU sophomore forward Keonta Vernon were both given technical fouls as Vernon slammed to the floor. After Ahmed jumped up and contested Vernon’s shot, Vernon quickly got up and got in Ahmed’s face. Not long after that was when both were given technicals.

“That play I didn’t see exactly what happened, but I know Aly. He is an emotional player,” said CSUB senior forward Kevin Mays. “He might have said something, but after the play was over he said nothing and (Vernon) was the one who jumped in his face and Aly just kept calm. He didn’t say nothing and they still gave him a technical foul.”

Mays had a double-double, leading the team with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

“We just took the challenge personal,” said Mays. “This is a good part of the season for us to start playing together and start playing well. So it definitely means a lot getting ready to go into Vegas and finishing up our season strong.”

CSUB junior guard Dedrick Basile added 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds of his own. In the last possession of the second half, Barnes asked Basile if he wanted to take the ball to the hoop by himself, and Basile said, “yes.” Basile then drove the ball left against the GCU defender and scored a layup to end the half.

“Coach Barnes, I guess he (has) confidence in me so I just like answering the bell for him,” said Basile.

The Roadrunners made 30 of their 62 shots in the game, good for 48.4 percent.

CSUB redshirt-freshman guard Damiyne Durham made five of his eight three-point attempts tallying 15 points, five rebounds and two steals. All of Durham’s shots came from behind the three-point line.

In their last game, the Roadrunners will face the Seattle University Redhawks on March 5 at 7 p.m. in the Icardo Center, which will also be senior night for some of the athletes.