‘Runners head to Big West Championship


Damian Lopez

Graphic by Damian Lopez/The Runner

Michael Canelo, Sports Reporter

The five seed CSU Bakersfield will take on the four seed UC Davis in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Air Force Reserve Big West Men’s Basketball Championship on March 11 at 2 p.m. in Las Vegas. 

  The winner will get an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.  

  The ‘Runners went 9-7 in the Big West Conference earning them a five seed in the tournament, but they did not play UC Davis in conference because the games were cancelled due to Yolo County health order.  

  CSUB is coming off a bye week. UC Davis finished 6-4 in the Big West.

  “We were really fatigued mentally and physically. It was a long haul, not having any pauses or breaks. We started at the beginning of the year, played every game we had on the schedule besides UC Davis,” said CSUB head coach Rod Barnes. 

  Senior Taze Moore, who earned First Team All-Big West, and senior Justin Edler-Davis will lead CSUB in the tournament.

  The ‘Runners will rely on their seniors to help them win this tournament. 

  A pair of sophomores who earned Second Team All-Big West honors, Elijah Pepper and Ezra Manjon, will lead the Aggies 

  “To have seniors that have been there, prepared, ready, and played their before helps us. I think it is hard for us, but I think also for them. The only thing about their team, they have difference players now, but I think we scrimmage three or four years ago, kind of familiar what coach strategy is in a sense how they run their offense and defensive,” said Barnes.  

CSU Bakersfield women’s basketball is ready to play after taking the last two weeks off the court. CSUB will take on Hawaii in the quarterfinals of the Big West Conference Tournament on Wednesday March 10 at 2 p.m. Las Vegas is the host city for the Big West Conference Tournament. 

  “There’s been a lot of ups and downs throughout the season, with the way we play at times. And of course, because of COVID we have been up and down. But overall, I am proud of the way we played this year too. Just the fact that things have settled and we came out to be a four seed and we took fourth in this conference is huge. That is a huge steppingstone for us and our program,” said CSUB head coach Greg McCall. 

  CSUB will come in as the four seed after going 7-6 in Big West Conference play. The Rainbow Warriors are the five seed with a 7-6 record in conference play. The ‘Runners got the higher seed because they swept Hawaii earlier in the season.  

  The ‘Runners will be led by their two captains, senior Vanessa Austin and junior Miracle Saxon. They will also get help from junior Jayden Eggleston who earned Second Team All-Big West.  

  “They have a really good coach. She does a tremendous job of continuing to develop players and develop the team where each and every year toward this time of the year they play extremely better than they did at the beginning of the year,” said McCall. 

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