CSUB Leads USC Late On Road But Falls To Trojans
LOS ANGELES – CSU Bakersfield’s men’s basketball team held a lead over the USC Trojans with under six minutes to go in Sunday’s road contest, but the host team rallied to take a win over the Roadrunners. Bakersfield led by two points at halftime and gained a seven-point lead halfway through the second period, but USC’s potent offense surged for a 90-75 victory in the Galen Center.
“For 30 minutes there we controlled the game and kind of contained what [USC] was doing,” said Rod Barnes, Head Coach of the `Runners. “But when you are playing against a team that good, you can expect that they are going to make a run. It just happened at the wrong time for us tonight…I’m proud of our guys and proud of the effort we played with tonight.”
The `Runners and Trojans played with fervor in the opening 20 minutes of Sunday’s matinee. After holding an early, 8-4 lead on the road, CSUB saw a 10-0 run by USC flip the script. The Trojans were able to maintain a lead until Taze Moore knocked down a pair of free throws to tie the score at 31-31 with 6:19 left in the half.
The pace of play intensified near the end of the first period as the two teams combined for seven field goals in the final two minutes and 37 seconds. CSUB’s defense created multiple scoring opportunities over that span and the `Runner offense converted often enough to see Bakersfield take a 46-44 lead into the locker room. Redshirt senior Damiyne Durham posted a game-high 16 points in the period while redshirt sophomoreGreg Lee followed close behind with 12 points of his own.
CSUB went ten men deep into its roster during the first half with only one of those `Runners playing less than eight minutes. Meanwhile, USC relied on just eight Trojans with two playing less than five minutes. Bakersfield’s bench outscored USC’s 24-13 in the opening period while CSUB’s defense produced nine points on turnovers to the Trojans’ two.
Bakersfield continued to lead the Trojans in the second half with Durham’s touch from beyond the arc remaining hot. The 6-foot-4 guard’s sixth trey of the game put CSUB ahead 65-58, Bakersfield’s biggest lead of the game, with just under 12 minutes left in the game. The `Runners maintained their lead until a 6-0 USC run put the Trojans ahead 68-73 with 5:38 on the clock.
USC continued its run, eventually making it a 25-5 sprint, taking an 83-70 lead on the `Runners with two and a half minutes to play. CSUB hustled to the end and was able to cut the deficit to 10 points at one point, but USC held its visitors off to complete the victory, 90-75.
Durham, who hails from Oakwood, Texas, posted a game-high 22 points on the night behind six three pointers. Fellow redshirt senior James Suberput together a solid performance in the paint, pulling down nine rebounds for the `Runners against a pair of nearly-seven footers on the USC side. Lee, a Rockford, Ill. native, finished the game with 12 points and seven rebounds.
The `Runners (3-3) will have five days to prepare for their next test as Bakersfield is set to play at South Dakota next weekend. CSUB will clash with the Coyotes on their home court Saturday, Dec. 1, before returning to the Icardo Center Dec. 4 for the Bakersfield’s first home game in nearly a month.