In Cal State Bakersfield point guard Brent Wrapp’s mind, complacency was the problem.
The Roadrunners were home for the first time since Nov. 10 after weeks on the road as far away as Georgia, Alaska and Texas. They were facing a Northern Arizona team that was 0-7 on the year. Everything was going to go the way they wanted to, Wrapp said they thought.
But that wasn’t the case. The complacency manifested itself into a 60-52 loss at the Icardo Center on Saturday night. Northern Arizona (1-7) earned its first win of the season and CSUB (4-5) lost for just the fifth time in 30 games on its home floor since Jan. 1, 2015.
“We struggled the whole night,” Wrapp said. “... We weren’t ready to go from the jump.”
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CSUB’s 25 turnovers were its most in a game since at least 2012-13 season. CSUB athletics does not have game-by-game stats available online earlier than the 2013-14 campaign. Forward Shon Briggs and center Moataz Aly led the Roadrunners with 11 points each, but Briggs turned the ball over six times and Aly lost it five times.
With about two minutes left, Damiyne Durham tried a no-look pass to Wrapp in the lane that was intercepted and turned into an easy layup on the other end. Wrapp drove hard to the basket on the next possession, giving the ball away on a charge.
CSUB fell behind by nine as a result.
“I think it was selfish play in a way,” Wrapp said of the turnovers. “I think guys trying to do too much or they see things not going well and so we try to take things in our own hands. That’s not what we need to do in those situations. We need to move the ball more and just play as a team more.”
The Roadrunners missed their last four free throws of the game and five of their last six. The last pair would have brought CSUB within three with more than two minutes left.
But the problems extended further than the last few minutes — it spanned the entire game.
CSUB head coach Rod Barnes recognized it early and tried to rotate several players off the bench to get the energy up. The same missed plays and failures in execution continued, he said. There were late passes, missed cuts and plays run the opposite direction they should have, Barnes said.
Even though CSUB let up just 24 points in the first half, Wrapp said the defense had no idea what it was doing.
The offense was forced to hold the ball in the final few seconds of the shot clock. “Mental lapses” turned into turnovers, Barnes said.
“We just had some — really — plays that our guys don't normally make whether that's a rebound and a pass out or a pass to the post and the ball goes out of bounds,” Barnes said.
Coming off a strong performance against UCLA where CSUB led for 14 minutes in the first half and lost by just nine points, it suffered a let down.
Wrapp is the clear leader on the team as the longest-tenured player, point guard and only player made available to the media after the game. But he had no message for the team. He didn’t need one, he said.
“That games speaks for itself,” Wrapp said. “If you don't have a sick taste in your mouth after that type of game at home then you’re not a competitor.”