Sunday, Dec 01 2013 09:46 PM

CSUB men stuck playing catchup in loss to Drake

BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer

FRESNO -- Call it brunch with the Roadrunners.

Tipping off at 11 a.m. Sunday, barely 14 hours after an emotional overtime loss Saturday night, Cal State Bakersfield couldn't recover from a nightmare stretch in the first half and lost 65-57 to Drake at the Fresno State Classic.

CSUB (5-3) was outscored 17-2 during a six-minute span midway through the first half and never caught up.

The Roadrunners pulled within three points twice in the final 15 minutes, including 60-57 with 1:42 left in the game.

But CSUB didn't score another point.

On Saturday, a 96-86 overtime loss to Fresno State, CSUB rallied to force overtime after trailing by 11 with 32 seconds left in regulation.

"On the third (straight) day of a tournament like this, you do that and it puts you in a difficult position," CSUB coach Rod Barnes said of Drake's 17-2 spurt.

"It just takes too much to come out of that situation," Barnes said. "We did it last night, but last night we had more energy."

Drake (6-1) got solid play from its guards. Tournament MVP Richard Carter had a game-high 18 points, including a back-breaking three-point play with 1:24 left that extended the Bulldogs' lead after the Roadrunners had pulled within three.

Drake guards Gary Ricks, also an all-tourney pick, and Karl Madison added 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Issiah Grayson had a CSUB-leading 11 points and earned all-tourney honors. Zach Lamb and Corey Hall added 10 points each.

Lamb missed the entire Fresno State game and played only four minutes on Friday against Northern Arizona after aggravating a right ankle injury Friday. On Sunday, Lamb played 22 minutes and chipped in a game-high five assists.

CSUB's win Friday gave the Roadrunners a Division I-program record five-game winning streak.

Barnes said the tournament was beneficial because it will help CSUB improve as it looks ahead to December's non-conference games and the Western Athletic Conference regular season in January and February.

"We got exposed in some areas that we now realize we've got to work on," Barnes said.

"We've got to work on some zone (defense) stuff. We made some mental mistakes as far as fouling at the wrong time. But things like that are correctable.

"The encouraging thing is we've got the quality to have a real good season because we play hard, we play together and we've got people who can play."

Drake went 3-0 in the tournament.

"For a new group that just got thrown together, it was a real good weekend," first-year Drake coach Ray Giacoletti said. "I'm just proud of the way the guys are buying in and believing in something."

Giacoletti added: "Coach Barnes is a hell of a basketball coach. His teams are extremely well disciplined and play pressure defense. He gets them to play their butts off.

"People in Bakersfield should be happy he's at the helm there. I've fought with him over the years and I've always been impressed with his teams."

CSUB's next game is 7 p.m. Thursday against Santa Clara in Rabobank Arena, the only Roadrunner home game in December.

Fresno State 71, Northern Arizona 67, OT

Cezar Guerrero dropped a deep jump shot -- originally scored a 3 -- that boosted Fresno State past Northern Arizona after an agonizing chase through overtime in the final of the Fresno State Classic.

Five times during regulation Marvelle Harris, with a game-high 27 points, pulled Fresno State into a one-point lead or a tie down the stretch.

Four times they lasted for just one possession but the fifth forced overtime.

Harris broke the tie with a 3-pointer in OT, added a free throw to tie again at 66 and Guerrero's jumper with 34 seconds left finally put the Bulldogs up for good at 69-67 in a game that saw 12 lead changes and seven ties.

Northern Arizona jumped out 15-5 and between Max Jacobsen (21 points), Jordyn Martin (10) and Gaellan Bewernick (10 points, 10 rebounds) had an answer for Harris until the end.

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