CSUB set for showdown with New Mexico State

Cal State Bakersfield men’s basketball coach Rod Barnes wants to keep things simple when the Roadrunners face Western Athletic Conference-leading New Mexico State on Thursday night.

“We are going to play very good defense and very efficient offense,” Barnes said during a Tuesday appearance on “First Look with Scott Cox.”

The Roadrunners (15-7) are 6-1 in the WAC, while New Mexico State (22-2) is 8-0. The visiting Aggies swept the Roadrunners en route to the WAC regular season title, but the Roadrunners stunned the Aggies with a last-second shot by Dedrick Basile in the conference tournament title game.

On Thursday, the Aggies come into Bakersfield with a 20-game winning streak, and New Mexico won the first meeting between the teams on Jan. 14, 63-58. The Roadrunners defeated Grand Canyon in Phoenix on Saturday night to set up this showdown for first place on Thursday.

“It’s probably the biggest game we’ve had here as far as conference play,” Barnes said. “It’s a huge game for us.”

The game is set for 7 p.m. and Cal State Bakersfield officials are expecting a sellout at the Icardo Center. The game will be broadcast live on Newstalk 1180/96.1 KERN.

The Aggies are led by Ian Baker, who is scoring 16 points per game, and former Mira Monte High School star Braxton Huggins, who is averaging 14 points per game. Huggins leads the Aggies in three-point shots with 66 on the season

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