Poor shooting proves costly for CSUB in loss to Seattle

By Esteban Ramirez

Sports Editor

CSU Bakersfield men’s basketball team had more than its fair share of problems finding the bottom of the net against Seattle University as they lost 53-43 in a Western Athletic Conference game on Feb. 28.

The Roadrunners (13-17, 7-6 WAC) shot 27 percent against the Redhawks (14-13, 7-6 WAC) and were down by as much as 16 points. CSUB also shot 5 of 25 from the floor in the first half and shot 14 of 52 for the whole game.

“I thought we did not shoot the ball well,” said CSUB coach Rod Barnes. “I thought we did what we wanted to do on defense as far as guarding their best players but we didn’t shoot the ball well. I thought that was our biggest problem. We tried to force some things and thereafter we missed some easy shots and that put in a tough spot. Overall, the effort was there but we just didn’t shoot it well.”

Despite having a tough night shooting the ball, CSUB was still able to stay in the game thanks to its defense and trailed only 24-14 at halftime. The Redhawks shot 41.7 percent in that first half.

In the second half, CSUB’s struggles continued and the team trailed 44-27 with 6:32 left in the game. The Roadrunners went on a 16-9 run in the final six minutes but the deficit was too much to come back from.

“I hope [it’s just a bump in the road] because we have been to consistent shooting the last 4-6 weeks,” Barnes said. “I’m hoping that it is, but I believe our guys will bounce back from this because even the shots we missed were some pretty easy shots that we normally make. Then I thought because it was very important for our seeding, I thought we started to press a little bit.”

CSUB’s leading scorer, junior center Aly Ahmed, finished with three points and all of them came from the free-throw line. Ahmed went 0 of 6 from the floor. Junior forward Kevin Mays also had his struggles going 2 of 7 for the game and finished with six points and 12 rebounds.

The only CSUB player to end up with double-figures in points was senior guard Tyrell Corbin, who finished with 12 points.

“We just didn’t make easy shots that we should be making, and that made it harder for us,” he said. CSUB will play its last regular season game at Utah Valley University on March 7. “In the final game, I want us to get back in the situation against Seattle where we missed easy shots,” Barnes said. “They were easy shots that we corrected this week and our defense doesn’t have to be as good as it was against Seattle, but it needs for it to have made some progress. This week I want to see that ball go a little bit more in that hole, especially on the easy shots.”

CSUB will play in the WAC Tournament from March 12 to 15 at Las Vegas. Barnes said he is excited for the tournament.

“It’s exciting because last year was the first time we got to play in a Division I postseason tournament but we struggled in conference play,” he said. “We feel like we made an advance this year. We felt like we had a good February, and now we are going good into it.”