Cal State Bakersfield head coach Rod Barnes looks on during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Gonzaga in Spokane, Wash., Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
- Cal St Bakersfield plays the first of two straight home games against Big West opponent Cal St Fullerton on Friday
- The teams are meeting for the first time in conference play after Cal State Bakersfield joined the Big West in all sports this season
- Check the odds, analysis and our betting prediction below
Cal St Fullerton vs Cal St Bakersfield Odds
|Cal St Fullerton||-550||+11.5 (-110)||130.5 (Over-108)|
|Cal St Bakersfield||-835||-11.5 (-110)||130.5 (Under-113)|
Odds from DraftKings Jan. 28
Cal St Bakersfield Liking The Big West
Cal St Bakersfield (10-5, 6-2 Big West) has needed little adjustment in its first season as a full member of the traditionally stronger and more athletic Big West after competing in the Western Athletic Conference the previous seven seasons. The Roadrunners had won six in a row before falling at Cal Riverside last Saturday.
Cal St Bakersfield won the WAC postseason tournament in 2016 to advance to their only NCAA tournament appearance, and they won the WAC regular season in 2017. They were 53-51 in seven seasons in the WAC.
“The move to the Big West is huge for us,” said coach Rod Barnes, the 2001 SEC coach of the year at his alma mater Ole Miss. “There were times in the WAC that I would kind of tone down to give our guys rest from the mental and physical fatigue from traveling so much and into different kinds of climate.”
Cal St Bakersfield won the lone recent meeting, 66-58 at Fullerton in the 2019 Collegeinsiders.com postseason tournament. It was the first game between the two since 2012-13.
The Numbers Game
Cal St Bakersfield is giving up 60.9 points per game, which is 14th fewest points in NCAA Division I, and it is outscoring opponents by 9.2 points per game. The Roadrunners have done that by controlling the tempo — they are 330th of the 357 Division I teams in adjusted tempo in KenPom. They are 37th in Division I in limiting opponents to 39.7% shooting from the field, and only two teams have scored more than 75 points against them this season, Arizona and Long Beach State (twice).
Game 2 Highlights vs CSUN #TusksUp | #DevelopU pic.twitter.com/p9yWrm198c
— Titans Men’s Basketball (@FullertonMBB) January 20, 2021
Cal St Fullerton (4-5, 3-5) is averaging 75.4 points a game and giving up 73.1. Bakersfield is 10th in Division I in rebound margin with plus-9.8 rebounds per game against a schedule that has included Pac-12 teams Arizona and Stanford. Fullerton has been out-rebounded by 3.1 per game.
The Roadrunners are 5-0 at home, 1-1-1 against the spread since two were off the board. They are 7-2-1 against the spread since falling to Stanford 63-50 as a 14.5-point favorite Dec. 21.
Cal St Fullerton is 0-2 on the road in the Big West, 1-1 against the spread after losing twice at UCSB on Jan. 1-2, its first two league games of the season. The Titans played only once before Jan. 1 because of COVID-19 issues in the program, when eight games were either cancelled or postponed. The Titans lost their first three once play resumed after the 18-day layoff.
2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds Tracker
Veteran Roadrunners vs Inexperienced Titans
Cal St Bakersfield has one of the most experienced teams in NCAA Division I, with four returning starters among a core group that has played in 593 college games. The Roadrunners are one of 17 Division I teams that brought back at least 70% of its production in five categories: points (76%), rebounds (81%), assists (77%), steals (80%) and blocked shots (73%).
TAZE MOORE (@TazeMoore) WITH THE GAME WINNER! CSUB wins it on the road at UC Riverside, 47-45.
Moore finished with a game-high 14 points and 4 rebounds. The Runners move to 6-1 in Big West Conference play.@CSUB_MBB @CSUBAthletics pic.twitter.com/is9lxhtWbU
— Adam Waybright (@WaybrightAdam) January 23, 2021
Leading scorer Taze Moore, a 6-foot-5 senior forward, leads balanced attack (11.0 points per game). Five others are scoring between 9.7 and 6.9 points for a team that is averaging 70.1 points a game, and eight players are averaging at least 16.8 minutes. Moore, who averaged 11.5 points and made 25 starts last season, has been used as a starter and a sixth man this season and has averaged 13.3 points since returning to the starting lineup the last four games.
The Roadrunners’ 6-4 Justin Edler-Davis, like Moore a fifth-year senior, is averaging 9.7 points. Former Richmond guard De’Monte Buckingham is averaging 8.6 points and a team-high 5.3 rebounds.
JUSTIN EDLER-DAVIS WITH THE PUTBACK DUNK!
Runners lead 54-41 with 4:13 remaining!@CSUB_MBB @CSUBAthletics pic.twitter.com/0KpplCtko2
— Adam Waybright (@WaybrightAdam) January 10, 2021
Cal St Fullerton’s four returnees averaged a combined 20 points a game last season. Three Titans are averaging in doubles figures scoring — Oakland junior transfer Tray Maddox Jr. (14.6), Vincent Lee (12.1) and Wayne Arnold (11.0). Lee is third in the Big West in rebounding at 7.2 per game.
Big West Scheduling Trends
Big West teams are playing on consecutive days at the same site each weekend in attempt to address the COVID-19 pandemic this season. Of the 27 two-game sets played, 13 have been split. Bakersfield has split two of four. Fullerton, three of four.
Bakersfield has won the first game times, their lone defeat a 90-89 overtime loss at Long Beach State on Jan. 1, the first conference game for both. The Titans are 1-2 in the first game of their three back-to-back Big West series. They beat visiting Hawaii by 16 last Friday and lost by 23 on Saturday. Hawaii out-rebounded Fullerton 48-21 in its 76-53 victory.
The pick: Cal St Bakersfield -11.5 (-110)
Jack has covered college and professional sports for various Arizona media outlets and has written for the AP, USA Today and Baseball America, among others. He staffed the 2015-17 World Series and has staffed four Super Bowls.