CSUB looks for return to WAC championship

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CSUB looks for return to WAC championship

Senior forward JJ Johnson drives through several Fresno State defenders during the Women's Basketball Invitational last season.
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Senior forward JJ Johnson drives through several Fresno State defenders during the Women's Basketball Invitational last season. Runner Archives

Senior forward JJ Johnson drives through several Fresno State defenders during the Women's Basketball Invitational last season. Runner Archives

Senior forward JJ Johnson drives through several Fresno State defenders during the Women's Basketball Invitational last season. Runner Archives

Briana Gutierrez

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As the basketball season approaches, the CSU Bakersfield women’s basketball team prepares for a return to the Western Athletic Conference Championship after a close loss to Seattle University, 57-54.

Senior Malayasia McHenry and senior JJ Johnson were named to the WAC all-tournament team.

The Roadrunners returned home after the WAC tournament to the Icardo Center to face Fresno State in the Women’s Basketball Invitation where CSUB lost 77-66.

With new faces joining the Roadrunners and being one of the senior leaders this year, JJ Johnson has taken up the responsibility and has a good look on this season to come.

“Being positive, and showing up to the younger players. Teach them things, that way they don’t have to go through the same mistakes that I made or anyone else made,” said Johnson.

With plans of bringing the WAC championship home this season, the Runners know exactly what needs to be worked on this coming up season to make that happen. Even if it means changing a few things up during practice.

“As a team I would like to see us ranked higher not only just defensively,” said sophomore center Vanessa Austin.

Last season the Roadrunners were ranked 23rd in the nation on scoring defense, according to NCAA.com

After having the championship fall just off their fingertips, the Roadrunners have a fire burning under them that will keep them motivated this season.

“Just knowing that we were close to winning and knowing all the little mistakes added up to the big game. [We’re] fixing that in the beginning of the season so it does not happen again,” said Johnson.

“The fire is hot, it is burning up really hot. Their excited about it [WAC] and I am too,” said CSUB head coach Greg McCall.

This year the WAC added California Bapitist University and with another team added, CSUB women’s basketball team is determined to show up and show out during conference play.

“I am ready to go at it during the WAC. I’m ready to be competitive,” said Johnson.

There is one team that CSUB has its eyes on for the season and the team will get to begin WAC play against them.

“Mainly Seattle U, just because I have that taste in my mouth from last year. Three points away, that’s not happening again,” said Austin.

The Roadrunners are also going to be able to enjoy the newly renovated Kern Schools Court that was installed in the Icardo Center this year.

“I love it. It’s totally the upgrade we needed,” said Austin.

CSUB will have only four of its 13 nonconference games played at the Icardo center before the team heads into conference play.

The first game of the season for CSUB will be at the Icardo Center on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. against Wright State University.

The Roadrunners will head to Seattle U to being conference play in a rematch of last years WAC championship on Jan 3.

The WAC tournament will begin in Las Vegas on Wednesday, March 13 at the Orleans Arena.

Senior forward JJ Johnson drives through several Fresno State defenders during the Women’s Basketball Invitational last season.
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