Cal State Bakersfield head coach Rod Barnes referred to No. 3 Arizona as Goliath before his team left Bakersfield for the impending matchup. But the Roadrunners couldn’t successfully play the role of David and pull off the upset of biblical proportions.
CSUB (1-2) held Arizona (3-0) under its season averages of 102 points and 60.3 percent shooting, but still lost big to the Wildcats, 91-59, at the McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz. on Thursday night.
"I’m encouraged by our guys, some things that we feel like we worked on that we got better at," Barnes said. "Obviously, we played a really talented, very good basketball team.
"I didn't feel a fear. I didn't feel a team being scared. I didn't feel we felt like we were out of place. When we show up again and play a team of this caliber, we'll be better next time because we know what it takes."
Led by 28 points from guard Allonzo Trier, Arizona won its 43rd straight non-conference game at home.
The Roadrunners’ freshman guard Jarkel Joiner rebounded from a two-point performance one game ago to score a team-high 14 in a game-high 33 minutes. He wasn't phased or intimidated, Barnes said.
It was the best immediate start of the season for the Roadrunners, who fell behind 6-0 in their first two games.
Joiner hit two free throws after being fouled off the opening tip. Moataz Aly made a spin move inside for a lefty basket and Shon Briggs sidestepped a defender into the lane for a layin. The Roadrunners took a 6-2 lead.
Barnes gave Damiyne Durham his first career start to open the floor for other players.
But then Trier found his groove on some open 3s and the Wildcats seized control with 13 straight points. It took two Joiner pull ups in the lane to halt the CSUB drought as Wrapp sat on the bench after two fouls in the first four minutes.
"We focused on that, not to getting ourselves buried too early," Barnes said. "... That’s something to be said to play the way we were playing against them, but we didn't sustain it."
The Wildcats went on runs of 16, 13, eight and seven straight points to pull ahead by as much as 38 with three-and-a-half minutes to go in the game.
It was the 16-0 run that spanned three-and-a-half minutes (between 8:34 and 5:04 left in the contest) that really put things out of hand. Trier scored eight of his points during the run.
CSUB had a tough time making up large chunks of points behind a poor 1-for-16 shooting performance beyond the arc. The only 3 made was from Damiyne Durham coming out of halftime to cut the lead to 44-30.
That was also one of Durham’s only three makes on 11 shots.
Arizona shot better from 3-point land (9-of-16) than it did from the floor (27-of-49).
Off the backs of centers Aly and Fallou Ndoye, the Roadrunners held their own in the paint against two players 7 feet or taller. Aly was perfect on six shots for 12 points, and Ndoye was 4-for-7 for 9 points. CSUB outscored Arizona, 36-30, in the paint.
"Our big guys really did a good job of handling themselves, being patient in the post," Barnes said.
The Wildcats did pick up 28 points from the foul line.
CSUB is back in action at Lamar on Sunday at 1 p.m. before heading to Alaska for the last installment of the Great Alaska Shootout next week.