Cal State Bakersfield redshirt junior guard Damiyne Durham stood behind in the 3-point line in the right corner talking up teammate Jarkel Joiner.
“Give it to him, Kel,” Durham shouted. “He don’t want it.”
Joiner, a freshman, worked one-on-one with a Missouri-Kansas City defender before rising up for a 3-pointer that swished through the net.
The shot gave CSUB a 33-14 lead with five minutes to go in the first half and continued a 38-8 run as part of a 21-point performqance by Joiner.
After falling behind 8-0 in the first few minutes of the game, CSUB recovered to outscore UMKC (6-19, 1-7 Western Athletic Conference), 44-12 in the final 17 minutes of the first half. The Roadrunners (10-13, 3-5) ultimately won, 81-58, in the Icardo Center on Saturday.
“It’s go time,” CSUB head coach Rod Barnes said. “We gotta go now. We can’t make no more excuses. It’s time to do what we do and do it the way we do it.”
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The Roadrunners got their first conference win of the season over a team not named Chicago State. It also got payback for a loss at UMKC, which came on a Kangaroos 3-pointer with fewer than two seconds left.
CSUB forward Shon Briggs came up limping after a made layup with less than two minutes left on Saturday. He hopped on one leg along the baseline before hitting the floor to be checked out by trainers. Briggs was schedule to get an MRI Saturday night, Barnes said.
The game started about as bad as possible for CSUB. Briggs had his dunk attempt blocked, point guard Brent Wrapp’s layup missed the net entirely and UMKC raced out to an 8-0 lead.
“It wasn’t fun watching that 8-0 (run), I’ll tell you that,” Barnes said. “Especially with a team that just scored a lot on us.”
But the CSUB response proved to be overwhelming. Durham hit a floater along the baseline. Center Moataz Aly banked in a rebound. The Roadrunners scored eight straight points. Then they scored 16 straight.
For the last 17 and a half minutes of the first half, CSUB went 17-for-27 from the field and 5-for-9 from beyond the arc. UMKC was just 4-for-18 from the field and 1-for-9 from beyond the arc. Joiner scored 13 during the stretch and Durham had nine.
“Our defense was fueling our offense,” Wrapp said. “We got out, got some easy ones.”
Barnes wasn’t happy with CSUB’s rebounding performance in its 30-point win over Chicago State on Thursday.
In one possession against UMKC, the Roadrunners grabbed three rebounds.
Durham hauled in Briggs’ free throw miss. Rickey Holden missed a 3-pointer, but Briggs pulled in a loose ball. The Kangaroos switched to a zone defense midposession and the Roadrunners missed again, but the possession didn’t end until Durham sunk a 3-pointer.
“We already hit five 3s? Start that bus,” a CSUB fan behind the UMKC bench said.
In the second half, the game got so out of hand that UMKC head coach Kareem Richardson engaged fans in a conversation about one of the in-game promotions at the Icardo Center.
CSUB is still near the bottom of the WAC standings, but it has two straight blowout wins under its belt. The team has a new understanding of the effort and quality of play it takes to win in the conference, Barnes said, that it didn’t have through the first half of WAC play.
“We’re the hunter now because we’re at the bottom of the league and trying to work our way up,” Barnes said. “That’s the position that this team needs to be in. ... We felt like the first time through, people were hunting us. We weren’t prepared for that. The course has changed now. We feel like we’re in a good position.”
Jon Mettus can be reached at (661) 395-7389. Follow him on Twitter: @jmettus.