The first 18 minutes of the game told a much different story than the last 22. For Cal State Bakersfield, that wasn’t a good thing.
The Roadrunners looked strong when knotted with the unranked, but vote-earning Razorbacks at 38 points apiece. Then it all slipped away for a 95-68 loss at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Arkansas on Wednesday night. Arkansas (10-2) outscored CSUB by 27 in the final 22 minutes.
Led by 12 points from Jarkel Joiner and 11 each from Rickey Holden and Justin Davis, CSUB closed out non-conference play with a 7-8 record.
Razorbacks guard Jaylen Barford totaled 19 points and Daryl Macon added 16. Arkansas has now scored more than 90 points in eight of its first 12 games. That’s the first time its done so since at least 1994.
The Roadrunners responded to their biggest deficit of the first half (11 points) with a 12-1 run to tie the game at 38-38 with two minutes left.
CSUB’s Justin Davis didn’t hesitate on a wing 3-pointer. Center Moataz Aly came up with a block under the basket and Holden capitalized quickly on the other end with a layup. Joiner finished off the impressive stretch with a corner 3 to beat the shot clock after a drive and dish by Brent Wrapp.
The same thing didn’t happen in the second half.
Arkansas made four 3s out of the break to jump out to a 14-point lead in about three minutes. Macon hit the first two and Anton Beard made the second two.
The Razorbacks improved their 3-for-13 beyond-the-arc shooting to 7-for-14 in the second half. CSUB’s fell off from 6-for-17 to 1-for-12. Eleven of the Roadrunners’ 16 turnovers came in the final 20 minutes.
The misses for CSUB piled up and turned into some transition baskets for the Razorbacks. Arkansas' made 3s broke away from its trend of scores inside early in the game. Fourteen of Arkansas’ first 18 points came in the paint.
The Roadrunners start Western Athletic Conference play at Utah Valley on Jan. 6.