Roadrunners struggle on recent road trip

By Vincent Perez/ Assistant Sports Editor

By Vincent Perez

Assistant Sports Editor

The CSU Bakersfield women’s basketball team’s most recent road trip was not one to remember. The Roadrunners suffered two losses on the road, one at the University of South Dakota and one at UC Riverside.

 On Dec. 9, at South Dakota, the Roadrunners (3-6) lost 66-50 to the Coyotes (6-4). CSUB did not shoot well from downtown, tallying up only 3-for-12 in the first half and 2-for-9 in the second.

Senior forward Aja Williams led the squad with 16 points and was second on the team with two steals. She was the only Roadrunner in double digits. Williams also had three turnovers against the Coyotes.

Jerice Fears, a junior forward, struggled in the Dec. 9 game. Fears shot 0-for-4 and committed a turnover.

 She detailed the team’s issues against the Coyotes.

 “We just had a lot of defensive break downs. They got open shots,” said Fears.

 Fears said they weren’t making a lot of their shots. However, Fears said that the Roadrunners would be ready for Western Athletic Conference play in January.

“[We’re going to] practice how we’re going to play,” said Fears.

Redshirt-junior Jazmine Johnson, shot 2-for-8 at South Dakota, with nine points and two steals. Johnson said that she is not one for motivational speeches.

“I’m more of do-er than a sayer. I just go out there and try my hardest.” She added, “I do whatever it takes to win.”

To improve their record, Johnson said that everyone needs to take more shots.

The grueling travel for non-conference opponents is tough said Johnson. Yet, she said the games allow the team to find their groove.

“[We get to] see what works and doesn’t work,” said Johnson. “We learned valuable lessons on preparation,” added Johnson.

Head Coach Greg McCall said on the 1-4 road trip, “They learned a lot on the road. The road can be brutal when you’re on someone else’s court.”

CSUB is 1-6 on the road this season.

McCall said the team didn’t get on the right track until late in the second half at South Dakota.

“By that time, it was too late,” said McCall.

Yet, he does not question his team. He said, “This is a different team. They’re really hungry.” McCall added, “I can never question effort. Mistakes cost us. We’re going to be okay.”

Low assists and low scoring do not help the team said McCall. However, he said these problems can be fixed come WAC games in January.

“There are teams [in WAC] that we feel good about. There’s opportunity for us to play extremely hard,” said McCall.

 At UC Riverside, the Roadrunners lost 68-65 on Dec. 6 to the Highlanders (3-7). CSUB shot 39 percent in shooting compared to Riverside’s 42.

Johnson led CSUB with 15 points, had an assist and two steals. Williams and junior guard Alexxus Gilbert each had 12 points.

The Roadrunners return home for a double header with the men’s team, Dec. 16. They face Whittier College at 4 p.m. in the Icardo Center.

The CSUB men face Georgia Southern University at 2 p.m.

The Roadrunners face Omaha at home two nights later, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m.

After their home stand, CSUB hits the road again, taking on Boise State, Dec. 20 and Cal Poly, Dec. 29.

CSUB Junior forward Jerice Fears defends South Dakota freshman guard Monica Arens in a game in Vermillion, S.D.

Photo courtesy of the University of South Dakota Athletics.

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