Cal State-Bakersfield (16-14) at Utah State (17-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 14, 10:00 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270) -- Logan, Utah. Television: None. CIT Record: CS-Bakersfield 0-0, Utah State 0-0 Series Record: Utah State leads, 6-0.
GAME NOTES: The Cal State-Bakersfield Roadrunners and the Utah State Aggies will each make their first appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament when the squads collide in the first round of the event at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum tonight.
CS-Bakersfeild is enjoying the best season it has ever had in Division I basketball, as the Roadrunners racked up a 16-14 overall record this season. The Roadrunners moved up to Division I in the 2006-2007 season and have never had a record over .500 before this season. The Roadrunners are still without a conference playing as one of three Independent schools in Division I but ended the season on a three-game winning streak.
Utah State meanwhile is in the midst of a down year for a squad that has made a number NCAA Tournament appearances, including last year's team that entered the postseason with a sparkling 29-3 record. This season the Aggies went just 17-15 and exited the Western Athletic Conference Tournament in the first round in a loss to Louisiana Tech. This will still be the 13th straight season the Aggies have been in a postseason tournament, although the first time in the CIT.
These teams have met six times previously and Utah State has won each one of those matchups by double figures, including the four matchups since CS- Bakersfield made the move to Division I.
CS-Bakersfield finished off its regular season by hosting Nebraska-Omaha, a Division II opponent, and didn't have an issue in posting an 84-63 rout of the Mavericks.
Among the Independent squads, CS-Bakersfield finished with the best record despite having the lowest numbers in scoring (68.4 ppg) and rebounding (31.3 rpg). The team managed to stay above .500 despite giving up more points (69.3) per game than it scores. Stephon Carter (12.2 ppg) is the leading offensive option and one of only two players averaging in double figures this season. Carter was stellar in the win over Nebraska-Omaha, pouring in 23 points which was the third time this season he has scored at least 20 points in a game. Donald Johnson (9.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg) pushed his average almost to the double- digit plateau by scoring 21 points in the win which was season-high for the senior forward. Isiah Grayson (10.4 ppg, 5.8 apg) is the second best offensive option and has also done a good job running the point for the Roadrunners, while Rashad Savage (4.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg) leads the team on the glass.
Utah State trailed by 10, 69-59, with just over four minutes to play in its quarterfinal matchup with Louisiana Tech but ripped off a 10-2 run to make the game interesting at the end. Unfortunately the Aggies couldn't push themselves ahead and Utah State was sent packing after a 72-70 decision. Utah State shot a respectable 45.8 percent for the game but was outdone by the 52.9 percent efficiency by the Bulldogs.
The Aggies were near the bottom of the conference in scoring as a team this season (67.2 pg) finishing the year ranked second to last in the WAC despite shooting the second best percentage from the field this season (.472). The team's defense was much stronger, surrendering only 64.2 points per game. Utah State's best offensive weapon is Preston Medlin. The sophomore guard (16.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.3 apg) did a bit of everything for the Aggies this season but was most dangerous as a shooter from beyond the arc. On the season, Medlin has the 16th highest three-point field goal percentage in Division I but was held scoreless from three point range in the loss to Louisiana Tech. Brockeith Pane (12.4 ppg, 3.9 apg) is the team's leading player in terms of assists while also ranking second in scoring as the only other Aggie in double figures this season. Morgan Grim (8.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg) is the teams leading rebounder, while Kyisean Reed (9.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg) provides scoring in the paint.
Utah State has never had an issue with dispatching of the Roadrunners before and even in the midst of its most successful season since joining Division I, CS-Bakersfield just doesn't have the team to reverse that trend.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Utah State 74, CS-Bakersfield 60
03/14 10:35:11 ET