By Nate Tenopir, Sports Editor
Zach Lamb’s 22 second half points led Cal State Bakersfield to a 75-65 win over UNO Sunday afternoon as the Roadrunners were able to shake off a bad first half and win on Senior Day at Sapp Fieldhouse. The Mavs never quite got in a shooting rhythm and couldn’t find enough plays down the stretch.
“Like I just told our guys, it comes down to three or four plays,” UNO Head Coach Derrin Hansen said. “Four or five plays here or there and we might be the team shooting free throws down the stretch but we weren’t.”
Four or five of those plays include Bakersfield’s Stephon Carter hitting two threes then being fouled on another and converting two shots. Prior to Sunday afternoon Carter had made just six threes on 33 attempts all season.
“Number 44 (Carter) for them give him credit,” senior Mitch Albers said. “He had what five threes coming into tonight and he hit two of them tonight? We’re playing the percentages on that. He’s shooting what, 20 percent from three and he knocks two in which are two big threes.”
One of those shots came with the score tied 56-56 and 4:33 left in the game. Carter’s three gave Bakersfield a 59-56 lead then teammate Issiah Grayson made a shot to push the Roadrunner lead to five. Carter was fouled shooting another three and he made two free throws to push the Roadrunner lead to 63-56 with just 2:07 left.
The Mavs were forced to foul and hope for free throw misses the rest of the way.
Mitch Albers’s 24 points led the way for the Mavs and John Karhoff had 18 points, 8 rebounds and shot 9 of 12 from the free throw line. But Karhoff was just 4 of 11 from the field.
Neither he nor the rest of the team could get it going on an afternoon where UNO shot just 20 of 55 for 36 percent.
UNO built a six-point halftime lead over Cal State Bakersfield but the 32-26 lead was shaky at best. In the first half the Roadrunners turned the ball over 12 times, shot just 38 percent and made only 1 of 5 from long range.
Bad fouls on the offensive end allowed UNO to get to the bonus before the game was 10 minutes old. The Mavs used five free points from the line, two threes and two three-point plays to mask their 36 percent shooting and 9 first half turnovers.
Bakersfield cleaned it up in the second half, UNO did not. The Roadrunners turned it around and shot 52 percent in the second half and cut their turnovers down to five.
UNO stayed cold, shooting 37 percent, committing nine turnovers and allowing eight offensive rebounds. By the end of the game, Bakersfield had gotten 25 points on 18 turnovers and grabbed eight more boards than the Mavs.
Though the Roadrunners committed 17 turnovers of their own, they got 12 more points on giveaways. In the first half when Bakersfield couldn’t get a handle on the ball, the Mavs never took advantage, scoring only seven points off turnovers.
“As the game went on, they made more plays than us down the stretch,” Albers said. “They seemed to keep coming at us. They threw the punch, and we just kinda accepted it and we didn’t really fight back. But we got a quick turnaround. We got Kearney on Wednesday and we’ll be ready.”