CSUB Men’s basketball opens season with defensive win against San Diego Christian

Cosme Garcia, Sports Reporter

The CSUB Men’s basketball team opened the season against San Diego Christian on Monday night, Nov. 7. The Men ’Runners grabbed the lead early in the first half and never let go of it. The game finished in a resounding victory of 68-35 in favor of CSUB with robust defense leading the way.

With defense at the helm, CSUB caused 20 turnovers and held San Diego Christian to just 14% 3-point shooting and just 26.5% shooting from the field. The game began with a couple of turnovers by San Diego Christian, a trend that would continue courtesy of the CSUB defense. Turnovers allowed a 11-0 run to put the game at 21-8 in favor of the ’Runners. However, the defense didn’t stop there as midway through the first half the team accumulated 3 charge calls, something the team has been working on.

A scary moment occurred a little over midway mark of the first half as guard Kaleb Higgins (1) hit the deck hard and needed help off the court. Fortunately, Higgins would return in the second half and would contribute 7 assists in the game.

The Men ’Runners headed into halftime with a 39-20 lead with newcomer guard Marvin McGhee III (10) leading all scorers at 11 points.

Defense continued to be the name of the game as the start of the second half began with another big run aided as CSUB ‘Runners defense which allowed only 4 points through 10 minutes of the half and just 15 points in the entire half. Good defense continued with big blocks and steals creating the separation CSUB needed. Even up big late in the game, freshman guard Cedquavious Hunter (0) hustled for a steal landing in the laps of former CSUB President Horace Mitchell and current CSUB President Lynnette Zelezny who seemed to be enjoying a dominant performance by the Men’s ‘Runner team.

Senior captain Cameron Smith (22) ended the game tied with teammate Marvin McGhee III (10) in points, 11. After the game, Cameron Smith talked about how the team worked on a lot of things from their exhibition game against Antelope Valley and he felt the team played much better. He added that it was the team goal to keep San Diego Christian under 40 points and that they were happy to accomplish that goal.

Antavion Collum (4) acknowledged that the team still have a lot of work to do but they looked more comfortable being together on the floor. Collum talked about the tough defense that the team prides itself with and how they need “to lock it on defense” for their upcoming game.

Coach Rod Barnes now enters his 12th season but is still finding new things to work on and different ways to prepare his team. Barnes commended the team for playing better and playing with more purpose but still made it clear that the team had some areas to work on. “We need to do a better job of rebounding” and “got to play faster and be more aggressive” urged Barnes. Barnes expressed that the team has a chance of becoming a better offensive team than previous years while still keeping its defensive strength.

Coach Barnes and the Men’s Basketball team’s next challenge comes Friday Nov. 11 as the team travels to Salt Lake City to take on Utah University. The team faces a long road trip not returning to play basketball at the Icardo Center until Nov. 29 when they take on La Sierra University.