CSUB routs New Mexico State to snap Aggies 20-game win streak


AJ Alvarado

Redshirt-sophomore Damiyne Durham attempts a three-point shot against New Mexico State on Thursday, Feb. 9 in the Icardo Center. Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

Joe Macias

Redshirt-junior guard Brent Wrapp drives past a New Mexico State defender for a layup on Thursday, Feb. 9 in the Icardo Center.
Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner
Redshirt-senior forward Matt Smith corrals a defensive rebound against New Mexico State on Thursday, Feb. 9 in the Icardo Center.
Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner
A soldout crowd was on hand to witness CSUB knock off New Mexico State, 72-53 on Thursday, Feb. 9 in the Icardo Center.
Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

Senior Writer

The game wasn’t even close, as the CSU Bakersfield men’s basketball team defended its home court with a 72-53 win against New Mexico State University on Thursday night at the Icardo Center.

It was the Roadrunners’ first win against the Aggies in a regular season game in program history. The Roadrunners also snapped NMSU’s 20-game win streak.

This win for CSUB puts them a half game back behind the first place Aggies.

“After winning the championship, me and Jaylin talked about the big wins that we wanted to get this season,” said redshirt-senior forward Matt Smith. “Grand Canyon [University] was one of them away, New Mexico State was one of them away and we dropped that one so we felt like we owed it to ourselves and the fans to come out and get this one.”

Smith showcased his athletic ability at the 10:34 mark in the second half, as he leaped up to swat away a layup attempted by 7-foot-2-inch redshirt-junior center Tanveer Bhullar. Smith scored 17 points while grabbing 7 rebounds for the Roadrunners.

CSUB’s (16-7, 7-1 WAC) defensive effort allowed them to shut down the Aggies offensive game and extend the Roadrunners win streak to five games. NMSU (22-3, 8-1 WAC) shot just 11.5 percent on 3-of-26 shooting from behind the arc.

The Aggies 18 points in the first half was their lowest output in a half since Feb. 16, 2016, when they scored just 17 points in the second half against Wichita State University.

“We just wanted to stay the course,” said redshirt-senior forward Jaylin Airington. “We know [NMSU] is a great team. We just wanted to come in and play hard, get in on the defensive end keep our foot on their throat.”

Airington also contributed 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 32 minutes of play.

Airington got the crowd on its feet with 2:41 left in the game as senior guard Dedrick Basile dished the ball to Airington who took two steps and dunked the ball to put the Roadrunners up 63-49.

Thursday’s game was the third sellout of the year and was featured as the “Game of the Week” on the WAC Digital Network and also aired on ESPN3.

“I thought our players showed some resilience tonight,” said CSUB head coach Rod Barnes. “I thought our guys showed a lot of character by closing out the game. It’s a big win for us. I’m thankful for the people here in Bakersfield. [I’m] excited for the first time being on ESPN3, that we showed the nation we can pack the house. If other ESPN people come here we can represent Bakersfield and that’s what our program has been about since the day I’ve been here.”

Another player that contributed for the Roadrunners was redshirt-junior guard Brent Wrapp. Wrapp finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds and a game-high 8 assists.

“When we had the lead, we wanted to stay confident in attacking, but at the same time we had to use the clock a little bit and I think tonight we did a really good job of that,” said Wrapp.

The Roadrunners will look to extend their win streak on Saturday, Feb. 11 against the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley at 7 p.m in the Icardo Center.