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Home win gives Roadrunners advantage in conference

By Johnathan Wheatley
Assistant Sports Editor

The Roadrunners came into their game on Thursday, Feb. 8, against the Aggies with one goal and that was to get revenge after their tough loss in Las Cruces, New Mexico. They previously lost on Jan. 13 at New Mexico State University 56-48 this season.

With a win against New Mexico State (12-10, 6-2 WAC), CSU Bakersfield (13-10, 7-2 WAC) takes a half game lead in the Western Athletic Conference standings and controls its fate for the remainder of the conference play.

“I’m proud of these young ladies, the way they fought and hung around,” said Head Coach Greg McCall.

The Roadrunners continued their dominance and currently hold a 5-game win streak as they head down the homestretch of conference play.

“Huge win for our team, gets our momentum up,” said senior guard Alize Lofton.

Lofton scored 14 points while adding 5 assists.

The first quarter started the way of CSUB as it went on a 5-0 run to begin the game, but the Aggies quickly responded and tied the game up at 5 points each.

Both teams battled back and forth for a substantial lead until NMSU were able to separate themselves 14-11 after the Aggies knocked down a layup and made the ensuing free throw.

The first quarter ended with the Aggies ahead 16-11. CSUB shot just 25 percent from the field, making 4 of its 16 shots.

The second quarter started of slow with NMSU making the first basket a minute and thirty seconds into the quarter.

The Aggies extended their lead to seven points, but a quick response by the Roadrunners closed the gap to two after a three pointer by senior forward Aja Williams and a layup by Lofton.

Down 29-22 with less than a second left on the clock, Redshirt-junior guard Jazmine Johnson knocked down the buzzer beater three off the glass to close out the half with CSUB down 29-25.

The second half saw the Roadrunners firing on all cylinders on offense and defense.

Sophomore guard Kate Tokuhara opened the scoring with a three pointer and closing the NMSU lead to just one.

A step back jumper later in the quarter gave the Roadrunners a 37-35 lead but the Aggies would tie it after two made free throws.

The third quarter ended with the both teams at 37 points.

The fourth quarter did not see a CSUB collapse, but quite the opposite happened. The Roadrunners shot 72 percent from the field and making 8 of 10 free throws.

A spin move by Johnson drew a foul and made both of her free throws giving CSUB a 39-37 lead.

The Roadrunners continued the pressure and extended their lead to 46-37. The Aggies could not recoup from the 9-0 run by the Roadrunners and could only bring the lead to within six points.

CSUB continued to make shots and would win by 12 points, 62-50.

The Roadrunners control their destiny as they are just weeks away from the WAC tournament.

“Stay focus, don’t be cocky and stay humble,” said Johnson on being the team others are chasing after.

The Roadrunners will look to extend the winning streak and stay in first place in the WAC. The next game for CSUB will be Saturday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. against University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (11-12, 1-7 WAC) at the Icardo center.

Photos: Simer Khurana

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