Hoop teams head into conference play

Joe Macias

Roadrunners stumble early


Senior Writer 


The CSU Bakersfield women’s basketball team looks to establish a winning presence as it continues its Western Athletic Conference play with a 1-2 start.

“It’s disappointing,” said CSUB coach Greg McCall. “We don’t want to be in that position to be 1-2, but I’m happy with the way that we’re playing

right now.”

The Roadrunners (6-11, 1-2 WAC) opened up their WAC schedule with a 54-47 loss against Seattle University) on Jan. 7 in Seattle, Washington.

CSUB would get its first WAC win against the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 71-46 in their first conference home game on Jan. 12.

CSUB guard Alexxus Gilbert attempts to drive around Stanford’s Dijonai Carrington at the Icardo Center on Thursday, Dec. 1. No. 11 Stanford beat CSUB 77-56.
Photo by Ben Patton/The Runner

The Roadrunners followed that win with a 64-55 loss to WAC rival New Mexico State University on Jan. 14 at the Icardo Center.

“We had our moments where we did pretty well in that game and then there were moments where we could’ve did some things a whole lot better,” said McCall. “I think we let them off the hook a little bit where we had our opportunities to tie the game and to take leads and to do some good things to win that game.”

Redshirt-senior forward Erika Williams has gained a leadership role for the Roadrunners.

She leads the team in points per game (12.4), assists per game (2.4), steals (2.1), free throw percentage (81) and leads the conference in three-point percentage (46.9).

“We want Erika Williams to step up even more,” said McCall. “We want her presence to be felt on the floor at all times. We want teams to know that ‘hey, OK [Erika] is the person you have to come in to stop.’ If we can get her to do that level and [Erika] is not all the way there yet to that magnitude.”

Williams has become a threat to other teams with her all-around play for the Roadrunners.

Another player that could spark the Roadrunners is junior forward Aja Williams. Williams played great in the beginning of the season. She had a 35-point game on Nov. 20 against University of California Berkley. Williams also scored 27 against the University of Hawai’i and 21 against the University of Oregon.

“We’re expecting [Aja] to have at least maybe one or two more games like this, the blowout game, but not many,” said McCall. “We don’t need [Aja] to do that all the time. We just want her to stay consistent and be aggressive and attack and if those opportunities present themselves then yes we want her to do that.”

Over winter break, the Roadrunners earned a 3-5 record and look to improve their winning ways away from their home floor. CSUB has only won one of its seven games played on the road this season.

At the time of this publication, the Roadrunners had not yet played against Utah Valley University on Jan. 21 in Orem, Utah.

CSUB will return to the Icardo Center on Thursday, Jan. 26 as it takes on Chicago State University at 5 p.m.



CSUB prepares for stretch run


By Peter Castillo

Sports Editor


During the break, the CSU Bakersfield men’s basketball team had some close losses, strong performances and tipped off conference play.

CSUB is looking to repeat as champions of the Western Athletic Conference after opening its conference schedule with a 78-71 win over Seattle University on Jan. 9 at the Icardo Center.

CSUB finished its non-conference portion of the schedule with a record of 9-6.

Prior to a three game road trip, the Roadrunners defeated Bethesda University in a rout, 105-78 on Dec. 14.

The game was the second sellout of the season, with an attendance of 3,497 on hand.

“[The sellouts] say something about what our players have done, what the coaches are doing, and the commitment that administration is making to our programs here,” said CSUB head coach Rod Barnes.

CSUB’s forward Jaylin Airington puts ball pressure on Fresno State’s swingman Paul Watson. Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

The Roadrunners were led by senior guard Dedrick Basile who poured in a career-high 30 points on 11 for 20 shooting, including 6 for 12 from three-point range.

CSUB then embarked on a three-game road trip which began on Dec. 22 at Brigham Young University with an 81-71 loss to the Cougars. This defeat ended the Roadrunners’ three-game win streak.

The Roadrunners then travelled to Santa Barbara to take on UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 27. The Roadrunners fell in overtime, 62-60 despite leading by a score of 28-15 at halftime.

After the New Year, CSUB ventured to the East Coast to play Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire on Jan. 3.

The Roadrunners snapped their two-game skid with a 64-60 win.

Senior guard Justin Pride recorded the team’s first double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Basile also added a team-high 20 points.

After its conference-opening win over Seattle U, the Roadrunners hit the road to face the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Jan. 12. CSUB won by a score of 88-81.

They were led by redshirt-senior forward Matt Smith, who totaled a career-high 23 points and 9 rebounds.

In the first meeting since last season’s WAC Tournament championship game, CSUB was defeated on the road by New Mexico State University, 63-58.

The Roadrunners led at the break by a score of 31-24. The bench for NMSU outscored the Roadrunners’ bench by a margin of 19-14. CSUB was also outrebounded 46-30.

“I thought we played the game the way we wanted to as far as controlling the tempo, but they made some plays down the stretch and we had some breakdowns,” said Barnes.

At the time of this publication, the Jan. 21 matchup against Utah Valley University at the Icardo Center had not been played yet. The game was expected to be the third sellout of the season.