Roadrunners clinch share of conference title with 71-62 win


Senior guard Justin Pride drives into the paint against UMKC on Thursday , Feb. 23 in the Icardo Center. Photo by Peter Castillo/The Runner

Joe Macias

Senior Staff Writer


The CSU Bakersfield men’s basketball team extended its win streak to nine games with a victory against the University of Missouri-Kansas City 71-62 on Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Icardo Center.

With New Mexico State University’s loss to Utah Valley 84-72 on Thursday in Las Cruces, New Mexico, CSUB’s win against UMKC clinched itself at least a share of the Western Athletic Conference title, which is the first regular season title for the Roadrunners since moving to the WAC in 2013.

UMKC’s four-game win streak was also snapped in the Kangaroos’ loss to the Roadrunners.

“We’re happy that we’re one game away from clinching the conference title,” said CSUB senior guard Dedrick Basile. “I know it’s something this city needs and wants. We’re just happy to fight for it.”

The Roadrunners (20-7, 11-1 WAC) league leading defense pulled the game away from the Kangaroos (15-14, 7-5 WAC) as they held the Kangaroos to just 23.1 percent shooting from beyond the three-point line and 38.6 from the floor.

CSUB was led by junior forward Shon Briggs who finished with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

“We executed well,” said Briggs. “Our guards, like Dedrick, found me so they just made it easier for me today. We never panicked and that just shows the leadership from our guards and what we do.”

Briggs was coming into the game shooting just 44 percent from the free-throw line, but made 8 of 11 of his free throws against UMKC.

Coming off a dismal shooting game against Seattle University, the Roadrunners still could not find their shot from the three-point line against UMKC. CSUB converted just 2 of its 10 attempts from behind-the-arc.

The Roadrunners have also struggled from the free-throw line this year as they are the worst free-throw shooting team in the WAC (62.3). CSUB shot 67.9 percent on 19-of-28 attempts  from the charity stripe, but the poor performance from the free-throw line doesn’t seem to concern CSUB head coach Rod Barnes.

“I told our guys, it’s about winning,” said Barnes. “We’ve got questions that we’ve had all year long. Do we turn it over too much? Do we miss free-throws? How do we close out games? We’ve had it all, so I basically just tell our guys man win the game.”

The Roadrunners are scheduled to play against Chicago State University in a homecoming match-up on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Icardo Center.

CSUB has two games left in the season before the WAC tournament begins in Las Vegas on March 9.

Redshirt-senior forward Jaylin Arrington puts up a shot just before halftime against UMKC Thursday, Feb. 23 in the Icardo Center. Photo by Peter Castillo/The Runner
Senior guard Justin Pride defends UMKC guard Broderick Robinson Thursday, Feb. 23 in the Icardo Center. Photo by Peter Castillo/The Runner
Redshirt senior Matt Smith goes up for a layup against UMKC Thursday, Feb. 23 in the Icardo Center. Photo by Peter Castillo/The Runner