Damiyne Durham and Cal State Bakersfield had just beaten Chicago State by 30 points, but the CSUB guard wasn’t going to make too much out of one game.
“I was expecting it,” Durham said Thursday night after the win. “... We got another one Saturday we gotta go get to really test us, to see where we’re at.”
While CSUB did easily dominate the Cougars, it earned the Roadrunners just their second Western Athletic Conference win of the season. Both wins were over Chicago State, which hasn’t won a Division I game this season.
Next up, which is where Durham's mind already was, is Missouri-Kansas City (6-18, 1-6 WAC) on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Icardo Center. CSUB (9-13, 2-5) has a chance to prove it can beat someone other than Chicago State and avenge the close loss they suffered at UMKC on Jan. 18.
“We’ve been working,” Durham said. “We’re ready for them. We’re ready to play them.”
Last time around, UMKC guard Xavier Bishop made a step-back 3-pointer in front of CSUB’s Shon Briggs at the top of the arc with 1.4 seconds left in the contest. The Kangaroos came away with a 62-59 win and CSUB dropped to a program-worst 0-4 start to conference play.
UMKC made eight of its first 12 3-pointers in the first half and scored 19 points off 15 CSUB turnovers.
“They’re a good team,” Roadrunners guard Rickey Holden said. “They’re scrappy and everything, but we’ve been working so hard I feel like we can beat them with our defense. We’ve picked up more on our defense and just talking more, communicating more on defense. It should be a good game.”
Roadrunners head coach Rod Barnes liked the defense he saw against Chicago State on Thursday night. He thought his squad was finally able to convert turnovers into points.
Barnes was also pleased with the energy and aggression level, he said, which was lacking in previous games.
“Hopefully Saturday I’m in here talking about some consistency that has now happened two games in a row,” Barnes said.
CSUB women aiming for longest winning streak of season
A victory on the road in Kansas City would give Cal State Bakersfield women’s basketball its longest winning streak of the season at four games. The Roadrunners (11-10, 5-2 WAC) are heading to Missouri-Kansas City (8-14, 4-3) for an 11 a.m. game on Saturday.
CSUB’s last loss came at the hands of the Kangaroos in the Icardo Center on Jan. 18. UMKC guard India Johnson made a layup with 1.7 seconds left to down the Roadrunners, 60-58.
Roadrunners head coach Greg McCall described himself as “disappointed” and “very angry” afterward. Two days earlier, he had declared his group the more talented team.
“Just take care of us, which will set up a good match for us against New Mexico State if we take care of business on the road,” McCall said Tuesday regarding what his team needs to do this week.
If CSUB beats UMKC, it could face NMSU (11-9, 5-1) at the Icardo Center with the Aggies in first place and one game ahead of the Roadrunners in the standings.