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Colorado State couldn’t slow down Cal State Bakersfield’s hot first half and fell to the visitors, 81-63, in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament, March 20. With the loss, the Rams ended their season at 24-12, while the Roadrunners improved to 24-9 and advanced to play UT-Arlington in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
CSU Bakersfield never trailed in the game after opening on a 13-2 run over the first five minutes of the contest, capped by Damiyne Durham’s three-pointer. Colorado State answered with a 10-0 spurt, with sophomore guard Prentiss Nixon scoring six of the points, closing the gap to 13-12 with 11:44 to play in the opening half. From there, the Roadrunners built their lead steadily over the remainder of the half, including a 10-0 run late in the half, and the visitors headed into the locker room with a 52-32 halftime lead. The Rams continued to battle in the second half, but couldn’t get the buckets to fall and got no closer than 16 the rest of the way as CSUB was up by as many as 26 in the game.
Colorado State shot just 34 percent (20-of-58) from the floor for the game, including a paltry 23 percent (6-of-26) from the three-point arc. CSU Bakersfield was solid overall at 48 percent (28-of-58) on field goal attempts and an even better 57.9 percent (11-of-19) on three pointers. CSU had a slight advantage on the glass in the contest, 39-33.
Senior guard Gian Clavell led the Rams with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Nixon added 15 as the only two CSU players in double figures. Redshirt-freshman center Nico Carvacho posted a season-high 13 rebounds in the game. CSU Bakersfield had four players in double figures, led by Jailyn Airington with 19 points. Dedrick Basile and Shon Briggs chipped in 17 and 15, respectively.
Featured Image Credit: CSU Men’s Basketball, Twitter