Sitting in front of the yellow Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners backdrop in the Icardo Room on Saturday night, CSUB head coach Greg McCall broke down his team’s win from just a few minutes earlier.
He dissected the offense, the defense and the general execution before saying, “We just gotta keep this rolling over to Monday.”
At that point, Saturday was effectively over and McCall’s mind was already shifting toward his next opponent. Coming off its biggest margin of victory of the season — a 72-35 win over Division III Whittier College — the Roadrunners got just one day off before hosting Omaha in the Icardo Center at 7 p.m. on Monday. They’re hoping to string together two consecutive wins for just the second time all year.
“Try to do exactly what we did tonight,” guard Dalis Jones said after the Whittier game of how to keep the success going. “Have pressure, be aggressive, defense be good, execute, run the floor and try to play all four quarters and score, of course.”
CSUB was at its best on Saturday, but against a lesser opponent. The Roadrunners forced its most turnovers of the season and six different players had eight or more points.
Omaha, a Division I team, is 7-3 on the season but 2-2 on the road. They have a guard-heavy lineup and like to spread the floor. The Mavericks are 78th in the country with an average of 7.4 made 3-pointers per game and Ellie Brecht is 28th with an average of 3.2 per game herself.
Point guard Amber Vidal plays 35 minutes per game and is averaging 12.5 points. Jess Walter, who can also handle the ball, leads the team in scoring with an average of 14.3 per game.
“They’re a pretty good team,” McCall said. “They’re kind of ran by their point guard who kind of controls the tempo a lot.”
Despite Omaha’s guard-focused offense which will often play four players around the perimeter, it can be dangerous inside. Center Courtney Vaccher, who is 6-foot-2, leads the team with 57 rebounds and makes more than 60 percent of her shots.
“They got a big post player that has some footwork, she’s a lefty, but she sets a lot of on ball screens,” McCall said. “She’s a big, wide body that we’re gonna need to control inside.”
The Roadrunners had a full practice Sunday — though less intense — and will continue their game preparation on Monday prior to 7 p.m.
Where McCall thinks CSUB can take advantage of Omaha is with the Roadrunners’ pace and depth. Omaha has six players that play 10 or more minutes per game. CSUB has 11.
“They don’t go as deep as we do so we want to be able to push that ball and keep that tempo going,” McCall said. “... Try to tire them out, continue to press and trap them and get different looks out of that. Play our hard man-to-man defense and just try to limit their scoring opportunities.”
Jon Mettus can be reached at 661-395-7389. Follow him on Twitter at @jmettus.