Drake drops Bakersfield for Classic title

FRESNO, Calif. – Richard Carter scored 14 of his game-high 18 points in the second half as the Drake men’s basketball team held off Cal State-Bakersfield, 65-57, in Sunday’s championship game of the Fresno State Classic.

The Bulldogs (6-1) secured their third win in as many days by withstanding CSU Bakersfield throughout the second half. The Roadrunners (5-3) twice used 8-0 runs to get within one possession, but Drake held them at bay each time.

“For this group to come together in a short amount of time and win a championship is something special,” said Drake first-year coach Ray Giacoletti. “It’s great to be on the road and get three wins.”

The Bulldogs defeated tournament host Fresno State on Friday (84-74) and Northern Arizona on Saturday (76-56).

Carter, named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, scored the Bulldogs’ last five points, including a three-point play with 1:24 remaining to make it 63-57. Bakersfield missed on its final three field-goal attempts and turned the ball over twice more, and Carter made a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left to bring the score to its final.

Gary Ricks Jr. finished with 11 points and four assists on his way to all-tournament team selection, and Karl Madison contributed 10 points off the bench for Drake.

Chris Caird (Marshalltown CC) chipped in five points.

Issiah Grayson scored 11 points to lead CSU Bakersfield, while Zach Lamb and Corey Hall had 10 apiece.

Drake now takes the week off before facing Iowa in the finale of the Big Four Classic on Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Iowa State and Northern Iowa square off at 5 p.m., and the Bulldogs meet the Hawkeyes at 7:30 p.m.