BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer email@example.com
LOS ANGELES -- Another key injury and a five-minute scoring drought in the second half doomed Cal State Bakersfield Saturday night.
The Roadrunners dropped a 73-66 decision at Loyola Marymount to drop to 5-10 this season. CSUB has a quick turnaround, with a 4 p.m. game today at Rabobank Arena against North Carolina A&T.
It was CSUB's fourth loss in its last five games.
Tyrone White, who has taken over as the Roadrunners' starting point guard and averages 11 points per game, suffered an ankle injury at Thursday's practice and was not suited up Saturday.
It was the third game this season White has missed. CSUB has already lost guards Issiah Grayson and Zach Lamb and forward Mo Hughley for the season because of injuries.
"It's the toughest year I've had as far as guys going down," said CSUB's Rod Barnes, who is in his 13th year (second at CSUB) as a head coach.
White's absence was felt Saturday, he added, particularly during a 13-2 LMU scoring run that gave the Lions (7-6) a 56-45 lead with 7:54 left in the game.
"It hurt us. We needed his 10 points tonight," Barnes said.
"We had that stretch when we didn't score and he gives us a guy who can shoot the basketball and we run plays for him," Barnes said. "And he was coming off a good tournament last weekend in Vegas."
Barnes' son, Brandon, picked up some of the slack, scoring a CSUB-leading 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Stephon Carter, who played the final 11:20 with four fouls, finished with 18 points -- 12 coming after he was called for his fourth foul.
"I just had to keep my head in the game and when I got back in, I had to take advantage of my opportunities," Carter said.
Once LMU built the 56-45 lead, the Roadrunners battled back to pull within four points three times but could get no closer.
The Lions built the lead back to 10 with a minute to play to clinch it.
"Even when we got down, I didn't question whether we'd get back into the game," Rod Barnes said. "I wondered if we had enough to get over the hump."
Foul trouble hampered several CSUB players. Adam Young, a 6-foot-8 senior, had one foul at halftime but picked up three in the first 4:10 of the second half.
Once he departed, CSUB used 6-foot-7 Cory Hall and a combination of players, none who were taller than 6-foot-3.
"It's tough, but I'm as strong as those guys," Brandon Barnes said. "I'm just as strong as those guys. I've got to out-work them and I'm quicker -- no matter how tall they are."
LMU junior guard Anthony Ireland was a handful for whichever Roadrunner tried to defend him.
Ireland, who entered the game as the West Coast Conference's leading scorer at 20.3 points per game, finished with 27 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
Freshman Britton Williams was assigned to defend Ireland at the start of the game, but Ireland worked inside and sank several short jump shots with Wiliams unable to stop him.
CSUB's Javonte Maynor was next and he was somewhat more effective defending Ireland, but the LMU guard still sank key shots.
Ireland had 26 points and nine rebounds when LMU beat the Roadrunners 76-73 in the Icardo Center on Nov. 17.
"He's averaging 20 points, so it's not just the 20 he gets against us, he's averaging 20," Rod Barnes said. "We tried to take some things away. He made some tough shots. He's a hard guy to guard."
Maynor had 13 points and Young scored 10 for CSUB. Supporting Ireland was forward Ashley Hamilton, who had 14 points, and guard Ayodeji Egbeyemi, who had 12 points and nine rebounds.