Blue and Gold scrimmage


Mari Woodmansee/The Runner

Junior guard, Kate Tokuhara, tries to dribble the basketball around Senior, Dalis Jones, during the Blue Gold event held on Tuesday Oct. 22 2019 in the Icardo Center.

Dustin Tompkins, Sports Reporter

  Fans were lined up at the front doors of the Icardo Center waiting for an opportunity get the first look at the 2019-2020 Runner men’s and women’s basketball teams.  

  While this was just an intersquad scrimmage for both programs, there was no shortage of excitement at the event. Students, alumni, and fans of all ages came to support the teams before another year of competition kicks off.  

  This is an important year for both programs, as this is their last season competing in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) before moving to the Big West conference.  

  The night began with the introduction of the women’s basketball program. The lights went dark and the Jumbotron lit up the arena. One by one, the women came out on the court as they were introduced to the fans. After some motivation from the cheerleading squad, the game ensued, consisting of two five-minute halves.  

  The game was quite short, but gave the fans a glimpse of what to expect from next season.  

  After their game, the team had some fun with a three-point shootout competition. After the contest freshman point guard Lexus Green, a local athlete from Garces Memorial High School, said her focus is on helping bring a winning attitude to the program. 

  Green mentioned that helping to bring home the WAC championship is her goal for the rest of the season. 

  The men’s basketball introduction started right after in similar fashion. Each player had their own walkout song and got to dance their way to half court. After the players were introduced, head coach Rod Barnes addressed the fans, explaining how the players work very hard on and off the court, and that this is just the beginning.  

  Another two fiveminute halves started with what seemed like a Harlem Globetrotters game. Nearly every score was a slam dunk and all the players were getting involved.  

  This scrimmage was less competitive and more an opportunity for Runner athletes to showcase their talents for the fans. It is clear we have some incredibly talented athletes on our team this year.  

Junior guard, De’Monte Buckingham going for a slam dunk during the Blue Gold event held on Tuesday Oct. 22 2019 in the Icardo Center.

  Junior wing Justin McCall tallied the most slam dunks in the contest. Even with the offensive power of the men’s squad, McCall says the team must have a defensive mindset this season.  

 Much like the women’s squad, there are aspirations to win the WAC championship. McCall’s personal goal is to earn all-conference accolades, but winning the conference would be a much greater accomplishment. 

 Another athlete with a stellar performance in the outing was redshirt junior point guard/shooting guard Taze Moore. Much like McCall, Moore was dunking the ball left and right.  

  Moore sees himself as a model player looking to take on a leadership role for the younger athletes, saying, “My role is to make my teammates better.” His personal goal for the season is to earn WAC player of the year or WAC defensive player of the year, but says the conference championship is important to everyone. 

  Both programs showed they have what it takes in order to win some games this year, but this season is about more than that. It is about putting CSU Bakersfield on the map and letting the Big West conference know what’s coming next year.  

  The next home game for the men will come on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m., when they will battle South Dakota State in the Icardo Center. The women’s team will be traveling to Washington for two contests before returning home to face Fresno Pacific on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m.