Fresh off of his first career double-double in his previous game, James Suber had another big night as he finished with 18 points and 19 rebounds as the CSU Bakersfield men’s basketball team defeated UC Merced 67-53.
The points and rebounds were each new career-highs for the redshirt-senior as he played 35 minutes, which was also a career-high. He also drew 12 fouls, but shot only 4-of-14 from the free throw line.
“I just go out there and do what all of the coaches want me to do, play hard,” said Suber on his performance. “I just got to make my free throws.”
About 30 minutes after the game, Suber returned to the court with graduate assistant coach Brent Wrapp to take extra free throws.
The Roadrunners (4-4) also got a big game from sophomore Jarkel Joiner as he poured in a team-high 22 points while shooting 4-of-8 from deep. During a stretch in the first half, the Mississippi native scored 12 straight points for the Roadrunners.
“The coaching staff and my teammates trust in me a lot and I’m so thankful for them,” said Joiner. “They just tell me to not let missing shots bother me.”
However, outside of those two performances, CSUB was not as sharp as UC Merced, an NAIA school, was able to stay relatively close throughout.
The first half saw both offenses struggle early on as CSUB lead 10-6 with 10 minutes until halftime.
The Roadrunners then outscored the Bobcats 38-23 over the next 16 minutes to take its biggest lead of the game early in the second half.
But, Merced wouldn’t go away as it was able to close the lead to only nine points with just over five minutes remaining.
A pair of threes by Joiner down the stretch helped put the game away for CSUB.
“I thought we played really good defense tonight for most of the game,” said assistant coach Benjy Taylor. “[Merced’s] a tough scrappy team and they’re well coached.
The Roadrunners outrebounded the Bobcats 46-27 and outscored them 26-10 in the paint.
Redshirt-senior Damiyne Durham scored nine points in the win and connected on a three-pointer as well. He is now only three shy of the CSUB school record for most career threes by a Roadrunner player.
Up next, CSUB will travel north to take on the University of Idaho on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. The game will air live on Pluto.TV.
The Roadrunners will return home on Thursday, Dec. 13 to take on Lamar University at 7 p.m. at the Icardo Center.