After clinching their first WAC regular-season title — its first outright WAC championship in any sport — CSU Bakersfield ends the regular season with a showdown at home against streaking Grand Canyon Saturday on ASN. (ASN's live stream will be here.)
Bakersfield took the WAC regular-season title over the weekend with a 69-49 drubbing of Chicago State as they led all the way in its 17th consecutive victory at home. The Roadrunners won the CCAA championship in 1997-98 when they were in Division II. They will be the top seed in the WAC Tournament, which begins March 9 in Las Vegas.
“I’m just proud of our guys, it’s a great accomplishment, something that’s unbelievable,” said head coach Rod Barnes. “I’m excited for our kids and our program, so much hard work from so many people.”
It's a continuation of firsts for CSUB. Last year, the Roadrunners beat New Mexico State for the first time in the WAC Tournament championship game to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time.
This year, CSUB has won with defense. They have allowed opponents to score more than 63 only once in the past 10 games, going 9-1 over that span. The Roadrunners lead the NCAA in defensive points per possession in transition and are second in the nation in defensive points per possession overall.
In their clinching victory over Chicago State, Bakersfield broke its Division I single-game record for blocks with 13. Moataz Aly and Fallou Ndoye had three each. James Suber and Damiyne Durham had two each.
When the teams met in February in Phoenix, Bakersfield needed a rally in the final minutes to beat GCU, 65-62.