Season ends for Roadrunners in first round of WBI


Senior JJ Johnson drives through the lane past four Fresno State defenders during the WBI Tournament on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 in the Icardo Center.

Johnathan Wheatley

Assistant Sports Editor

After a close loss in the Western Athletic Conference final against Seattle University, CSU Bakersfield received the message that it was invited to the Women’s Basketball Invitational on Monday, March 12.

The Roadrunners hosted Highway 99 rival Fresno State in the first round of the WBI on Wednesday, March 14, but a fourth quarter comeback that saw CSUB tie the game after being down 13 was not enough as CSUB fell 77-66.

“I want to thank our fans. Our fan support was so great and we gave them something to cheer about all season long,” said CSUB head coach Greg McCall. “Now they know even more about our style and ‘runner basketball and I think they will be even more enthused next year.”

The first quarter began with each team trading blows in the first two minutes. The scoring began with a mid-range jumper by junior guard Jazmine Johnson.

Fresno State scored the next four points until freshman forward Vanessa Austin grabbed an offensive rebound and put back tying the game at 4-4.

Johnson had 16 points and 7 rebounds leading the Roadrunners in both categories. Austin added 10 points and 4 rebounds.

A three pointer by sophomore guard Kate Tokuhara gave CSUB its last lead of the game at, 7-6. Fresno State, with 7:11 remaining in the first quarter took the lead and control of the game.

The Bulldogs expanded their lead to seven in the quarter and took the lead going into the second quarter, 26-19. Fresno State shot 6 of 11 from behind the three point arc in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, both teams continued trading buckets. Johnson and Austin opened the scoring for the Roadrunners. CSUB was outscored by four in the second quarter and went into halftime down, 43-32.

Fresno State had its largest lead of the game after an opening three pointer extended the Bulldog lead to 14. That three put up the Bulldogs 46-32.

Johnson brought the lead to within five after a jumper with 1:30 left in the third quarter, but Fresno State ended the quarter on a 8-0 run to go into the final quarter with a 13 point lead, 58-45.

CSUB down 13, fought back in the fourth quarter and managed to tie the game at 60-60 with just under five minutes to play in the quarter.

Senior guard Aja Williams began the comeback with a layup and later on added a steal and two more scores to tie the game.

Williams, in her final game as a Roadrunner finished with 8 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals.

“I’m excited. I played in a situation I wasn’t used to and my teammates were right alongside with me and we came along way,” said Williams.

Just as the Roadrunners tied the game, the Bulldogs slowly pulled themselves back into a commanding lead and finished the game on a 17-6 run, eventually beating CSUB, 77-66.

The Roadrunners will try to make history once again next season, but this time will be for winning a championship.

“I think we can use this season as motivation, especially for the returners,” said junior guard Alexxus Gilbert on returning to the WAC Championship.

CSUB will continue to work this offseason to prepare for the upcoming season in hopes of winning a WAC championship and making it to the NCAA Tournament.

Junior Malayasia McHenry drives to the basket during the WBI Tournament against Fresno State on Wednesday, March 14 in the Icardo Center.


Junior Jazmine Johnson pulls up for a jump shot during the WBI Tournament against Fresno State on Wednesday, March 14 in the Icardo Center.

All photos by Ana Canales/ The Runner