CSUB Basketball Winter Recap

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CSUB Basketball Winter Recap

Ronne Readus and Greg Lee celebrate basket during basketball game against Cal Baptist on Wednesday Jan. 8 at the Icardo Center

Ronne Readus and Greg Lee celebrate basket during basketball game against Cal Baptist on Wednesday Jan. 8 at the Icardo Center

Mari Woodmansee

Ronne Readus and Greg Lee celebrate basket during basketball game against Cal Baptist on Wednesday Jan. 8 at the Icardo Center

Mari Woodmansee

Mari Woodmansee

Ronne Readus and Greg Lee celebrate basket during basketball game against Cal Baptist on Wednesday Jan. 8 at the Icardo Center

Chris Burdick, Sports Co-Editor

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While some of us were relaxing over the holiday break with our families and friends, the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners were busy preparing for their final run in the Western Athletic Conference by taking on some of the nation’s toughest competition.

The CSUB men’s basketball team came into the break with a less than stellar 4-8 record but were able to get things rolling during the start of the winter break with two hard-fought wins.

The Roadrunners’ first road victory of the season came on Dec. 21 against future Big West conference rival Cal Poly University, beating the Mustangs easily with a final score of 72-50.

CSUB returned to the court on Dec. 29 with the hopes of continuing their win streak in their final game of non-conference play against the No. 22 ranked Texas Tech University Red Raiders. The Roadrunners showed their ability to be a presence in the paint by out rebounding the Red Raiders 36-29 and outscoring them close to the basket 22-20. But the Red Raiders were able to pull away behind a solid second half of shooting offensively, winning the game with a final score of 72-50.

CSUB has sense begun its final season of WAC conference play with a record of 1-1. Securing an exciting win against the Grand Canyon University Lopes (69-62) on Jan. 4 and picking up a loss at home on Jan. 8 against the California Baptist University Lancers with a final score of 83-75.

The biggest question for this team going forward this season is how the team plans to improve their play while the road where they are being outscored by a margin of 12-points. The Roadrunners’ struggles to find their stride offensively while away from the Icardo Center have led to a road record of 1-6.

But CSUB currently shows plenty of signs of hope for the remainder of conference play. Currently the Roadrunners sit strongly in second place in the WAC in rebounds per game (38.6), third place in points per game this season (72.6), and first place in the WAC and No. 12 nationally in offensive rebounds per game with an average of 13.7.

If the team continues to hold their current rebounding margin against opponents (8.6) there should be no problem turning those extra possessions into easy scoring opportunities going forward.

The CSUB women’s basketball team came into the holiday break with a record of 8-3 and hold an impressive 8-0 record at home. Winter break introduced a new challenge to face for CSUB in the form of a four-game road trip.

The first stop of this four-game road trip for the Roadrunners shaped up to probably be the toughest battle they would have all year, as they on Dec. 29 to take on the No. 3 ranked Oregon State University Beavers.

CSUB came out strong in the first period to hold the lead twice against the Beavers, before OSU’s stunning defense shut CSUB down in the second period. Sophomore forward Jayden Eggleston led the Roadrunners with 15 points in the game and sophomore point guard Ashley Austin contributed as well with a solid 10 point and 4 steal performance, but they fell short to the Beavers with a final score of 69-50.

The Roadrunners attempted to rally in their final non-conference game of the season against the University of California, Riverside Highlanders on New Year’s Eve. Where a last second miss from the free throw line sealed the Roadrunners fate as they fell to UCR 53-52.

CSUB has since been able to turn things around to begin WAC conference play with two solid wins against rivals GCU (59-54) and CBU (66-61) currently sitting them in first place in the WAC.

The question for this team is how they can continue their great defensive play and keep this home winning streak going.

The Roadrunners currently sit first in the WAC in steals per game (10.1), second in caused turnovers (18.3), and third in points scored per game (68.3) and points scored against (65.5), establishing themselves as a consistent headache for offenses to deal with.

We know that Head Coach Greg McCall preaches activity on the defensive side of the ball, so if the team continues this trend of tough defense then there is no doubt that they will find themselves towards the top of the standings come tournament time.

With the beginning of the final WAC conference run for both of these squads starting up, the hope from fans is that the CSUB Roadrunners can create some sort of magical championship send-off before it’s too late.