For Brandon Boyd and the California Baptist Lancers, getting back on the floor was essential. The Lancers had a seven-game win streak and five-game home winning streak snapped in Saturday night’s home loss to New Mexico State.
And for the Idaho State transfer, the night was a struggle. Three times Boyd was called for an offensive foul, and the shooting struggles were real. Boyd was 2-9 from the field including 1-6 from beyond the 3-point line.
So, getting back on the floor, on the road, against the other California team is exactly what was necessary.
Boyd scored a team-high 23 points and finished 13-14 from the free throw line as CBU beat CSU Bakersfield, 83-75, at the Icardo Center on Wednesday night.
“Boyd was obviously tremendous but we’re gaining experience with each passing game,” CBU head coach Rick Croy said. “We’re fighting for our Brotherhood every week. But what doesn’t show up on the stat sheet is leadership and we’ve got a lot of it in our program.”
Not only was Boyd really good on Wednesday night, but a whole cast of Lancers were really good. Bul Kuol had 16 points on a perfect 6-6 shooting night, including 3-3 from 3-point land. It is just the third game of the season for Kuol. In fact, following his first basket, Kuol scored nine straight points to push the CBU lead to 24-18 with seven minutes left in the first half.
Zach Pirog and Milan Acquaah were also in double figures for CBU with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Sometimes, the stat sheet doesn’t tell the whole story. CBU got a wake up call to begin the second half. CSU Bakersfield began the second half on a 15-6 run behind De’Monte Buckingham that made it a 5-point game.
The Richmond transfer finished with 23 points and helped the Roadrunners overcome a 14-point halftime deficit. CSU Bakersfield cut the lead to one about five minutes into the second half. But every time, CBU had an answer, including a dagger 3-pointer with just under two minutes to play.
And Croy attributes that to the leadership and poise his team showed.
“We’re learning what it takes to win on the road and also what it takes to protect home court. So, we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Ferron Flavors Jr. hit his lone 3-pointer of the game with 1:52 remaining that gave CBU a 72-64 lead and was really the dagger.
“Flavors showed leadership, you know that three he hit was massive,” Croy said. “And he doesn’t hit that three if he doesn’t keep his head right the whole way.”
— CBU Men's Basketball (@CBUmbb) January 9, 2020
For Boyd and the Lancers, the trip back to Riverside was a good one. CBU wins the first Battle of California and now has to travel to Phoenix to take on GCU on Saturday. And Rick Croy wouldn’t have things any other way.
“I think a lot of areas to improve, but tonight was huge,” Croy said.