It looked like Cal State Bakersfield wasn’t going to get there.
The majority of the 3,497-person sellout crowd at the Icardo Center was screaming for the Roadrunners to reach triple digits on the scoreboard, but Life Pacific had the ball with 30 seconds left in the game.
Then CSUB center Fallou Ndoye doubled on a screen at the 3-point line and poked the ball away from Warriors guard Elias Zedan. The 6-foot-11, 225-pound big man lumbered halfway down the court and finished with a soft right-handed layup with eight seconds left for CSUB’s 100th point of the game.
The Roadrunners (5-6) took advantage of the overmatched NAIA team for a 100-71 win on Friday — much to the delight of the more than 3,000 local elementary and middle school children in attendance for CSUB’s third “Education Day.”
The game tipped off at 11 a.m. and CSUB led for all but the first 15 seconds. It was just the second time since 2013 that CSUB reached the 100-point mark.
The Roadrunners also snapped a four-game losing streak.
“It’s probably one of the most emotional games for me,” CSUB head coach Rod Barnes said, explaining how a visit to a college campus when he was a child changed his life. “This is probably the game I look forward to most every year.”
Freshman Jarkel Joiner missed just three shots on his way to 20 points and Ndoye scored a career-high 15.
Redshirt senior point guard Brent Wrapp managed five points to go along with his 10 assists and zero turnovers. Wrapp became the second CSUB player ever to score at least 500 points and dish out at least 400 assists in his career. The only other player to do so, Kenny Warren (1990-1994), finished his career with 1,521 points and 520 assists.
“It’s a testament to all the players I’ve played with. It’s not really about me,” Wrapp said. “I couldn’t really get the assists if it wasn’t for my teammates knocking down shots and being in the right spots. But any time you put yourself in the talks of a Roadrunner great that’s really humbling.”
Joiner provided the highlight of the game with a stretch of quick scoring. For a span of about three and a half minutes in the first half, Joiner could not miss. He hit five straight 3-pointers from the same spot to the right of the net.
Life Pacific was playing zone — which CSUB has struggled against at times — and Joiner found the soft spot in it. His teammates would draw the defenders to one side of the court with a pass or inside on a drive, the kick it over to Joiner.
“If we man him, though, they’re just gonna go inside,” LPC head coach Tim Cook said to his bench while shaking his head after Joiner’s fourth 3 in a row.
After the fifth, Life Pacific did switch into a man and CSUB proceeded to pound the ball inside. The Roadrunners outscored the Warriors 46-16 in the paint.
The 100 points was significant because CSUB had underperformed on the offensive end with 55 and 52 points its last two games. The Roadrunners fell short of Barnes’ season goal of 68 points per game in seven of their 10 games prior to Friday.
The Roadrunners made more of an effort to get out in transition, Wrapp and Barnes said. CSUB’s time of possession lasted an average of 13 seconds in Friday’s game, compared to its 18.7 seconds average on the season. Despite not officially recording a fast break point, CSUB scored 33 points off turnovers.
“We’ve been struggling sort of offensively, so if we can get out and get easy ones, everyone feels in a rhythm,” Wrapp said. “That’s really good for our team.”
The healthier Wrapp is and the better he plays, the quicker the offense runs, too, Barnes said. The head coach didn’t have to call single play from the sideline while Wrapp was in the game, Barnes said.
With a blowout on hand and a game against Idaho at the Icardo Center a day later, (Saturday, 7 p.m.), Barnes played Joiner, Wrapp and Shon Briggs just 25, 24 and 23 minutes, respectively.
“If someone misses the game tomorrow, they’re gonna miss a good show here in Bakersfield,” Barnes said. “... If you’re looking for entertainment, I think you’ll get it here tomorrow.”