CSUB cruises past Chicago State in WAC tourney

Joe Macias

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With a strong second half performance, the second-seeded CSU Bakersfield men’s basketball team beat Chicago State University 79-57 on Thursday at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.

The Roadrunners are advancing to the second round of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament.

CSUB forward Matt Smith attempts to shoot over CSU's forward Jordan Madrid-Andrews on Thursday.  Photo by WAC Sports

CSUB forward Matt Smith attempts to shoot over CSU’s forward Jordan Madrid-Andrews on Thursday.
Photo by WAC Sports

“I thought down the stretch our veterans really stepped up for us and it’s something I kind of expected,” said CSUB head coach Rod Barnes. “We just got to get prepared and move on to the next game.”

CSUB went on an 11-0 run in the 10:48 mark of the second half to build a 56-37 lead.

CSUB senior center Aly Ahmed and redshirt-junior forward Jaylin Airington lead the Roadrunners with 16 points each.

“On the offense, we had a lot of looks inside, which kept me going or kept all of the guys going,” said Ahmed. “We were bigger than (Chicago State). We were more athletic than them.”

CSUB used its size advantage to score baskets but on the defensive side Ahmed said it was hard at times because the Chicago State player he was defending was much faster than him.

The Roadrunners forced 20 turnovers on Chicago State and turned those turnovers into 29 points. CSUB also dominated inside, scoring 34 points in the paint.

“I just wanted to do the little things for the guys: dive on the floor and rebound,” said Airington. “I just wanted to be a scrappy guy. (Chicago State) is just like us. They come out and play hard. They don’t give up.”

CSUB redshirt-junior forward Matt Smith came off the bench to score 11 points on 5 of 6 shooting from the floor.

The Roadrunners attempted 36 free throws as a team converting 24 of them, which was good for 66.7 percent from the free throw line.

CSUB also shot 46.3 percent from the field making 25 of its 54 shots attempted.

At the three-point line, CSUB wasn’t efficient only making 5 of its 17 shots from behind the arc.

The Roadrunners will play against third-seeded Seattle University today at 8:30 p.m. in the Orleans Arena.