SUU Faces Cal State Bakersfield in Second Round of CIT

CEDAR CITY, Utah — The Southern Utah University Men’s Basketball team will continue their run through the Postseason Tournament against California State Bakersfield Monday night.

The game comes after a resounding overtime win against Drake University last Friday. The 80-73 victory was the program’s first ever postseason victory. Now SUU will look to double their postseason win total against the Roadrunners.

The T-Birds are led by Cameron Oluyitan (13.1 PPG), Brandon Better (11.9 PPG) and Harrison Butler (10.3 PPG). Butler is coming off a career high 21 point performance against Drake. He also pulled in 11 rebounds in the contest.

The historic victory did not come easy however, and SUU will again have their hands full against CSUB (17-15, 8-9 WAC). The Roadrunners finished fifth in the Western Athletic Conference and beat mutual opponents Weber State, San Jose State, Idaho, Portland State and Seattle.

First team all-conference guard Jarkel Joiner leads the team with 16.1 PPG. Ricky Holden (10.7 PPG) and Justin Edler-Davis (8.9 PPG) have also been major contributors this season.

The Roadrunners won at Cal State Fullerton last week to advance and face SUU. It’s been an up and down season for CSUB. They started out conference play with a 7-1 record, but finished the season on a 1-8 losing spell.

Southern Utah has also struggled with bouts of inconsistency throughout the season, but have been playing their best basketball of late. The T-Birds have won three of their last four elimination games and are 11-3 at home this season.

Joiner is the heart, soul, offense, defense and linchpin of CSUB. As he goes, the team goes. When Joiner is scoring and facilitating the offense, CSUB is tough to stop. On the other hand, the Roadrunners struggled in the second half of the season as teams keyed in on slowing him down.

CSU Bakersfield has been decent on the road this season with a 6-9 record away from home. The Roadrunners are a very deep team. Coach Rod Barnes often rotates in more than ten players to keep the team fresh.

The winner of the contest will advance to the quarterfinals of the Postseason Tournament on Thursday, March 28.

The game will be Monday night at 6 p.m. at the America First Event Center. The game will be streamed on WATCHCIT.COM and aired on KSUB 590 AM radio.

Story by: Connor Sanders
Photo courtesy of SUU Athletics Strategic Communication