December 01, 2016

Cardinal fends off the Roadrunners

The Icardo center at Cal State Bakersfield is a small square building, very reminiscent of McKeon pavilion at St. Mary's or Firestone Pavilion at Pepperdine.

This was a feel-good game for the McCall family. A number of local fans greeted Bird when the team took the floor with large banners and cheers.

Greg McCall, Bird's father and coach of the CSUB Roadrunners, said before the game that his team would "play tough, physical and aggressive". That the Roadrunners did, swarming any Stanford player who brought the ball toward the basket, and in the process committing a lot of fouls, many of which were called. In the end Stanford shot 23 free throws and CSUB only two.

In the first quarter the Roadrunners' defense seemed to bother Stanford; the Cardinal missed a lot of shots and turned the ball over several times. That quarter ended at a tie, 11-all.

In the second quarter Stanford pulled their own defense together and stifled the CSUB offense. That quarter ended with Stanford up 40-26, the Roadrunners having scored only six to Stanford's 20. Stanford continued to out-score CSUB in the following quarters, although not by such a margin.

The Cardinal's size and skills showed clearly in rebounding where they dominated, 51-22. That was the only stat in which the Cardinal dominated this opponent. The Roadrunners showed good abilities in defense and in ball movement, and in the end they shot the ball almost as well as the Cardinal, 40% to 47%. They made six three-pointers to Stanford's four, and committed fewer turnovers.

The 21-point victory margin includes 13 points from free throws. Without the generous contribution of fouls from the Roadrunner defense, the game would have been much closer.

Bird had a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Karlie had 14 points. Nadia came off the bench to make 13. Alanna almost had a double-double, with 10 points and 9 rebounds, and Brittany rounded out the high scorers with 9 points.

Following the game, the team was to have a late supper prepared by Bird's mother and grandmother and then a long bus ride home.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

The game highlights video.

And the press conference audio, with Greg McCall, Erica McCall, Justin McCall and DeWanna Bonner

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