CSUB wraps up Big West Conference


Carlos Hernandez

The Runners forced 11 turnovers on the night and held CSUn to a 32.6% field goal percentage.

Michael Canelo, Special to the Runner

The big story heading into the 2022 Big West Championships Tournament was that both CSU Bakersfield men’s and women’s basketball were aiming to get their first wins in the tournament, coming back from their early exits in the first round during last year’s tournament. Both teams went up against CSU Northridge, and both came away victorious. CSUB men’s won 58-45, and CSUB women’s won 63-62.  

The next round was tougher as both teams went up against their respective number one seeds, with the women facing Hawai’i, and the men facing off with Long Beach State. The women almost pulled off an upset, falling just short of the champions with a final score of 48-47. The men fought hard, but lost as well to Long Beach St at 72-61. Both teams got knocked out in the quarterfinals, with CSU Fullerton defeating Long Beach State in men’s, and Hawai’i maintaining their champion status in women’s. 

Students, staff, and fans returned to the Big West Championship tournament for the first time in two years. In 2020, the buses had to come home during the tournament due to the pandemic surge, and in 2021, it was held without fans due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The cheerleader’s dance team, band students, and staff left CSUB on Tuesday at 6 a.m., arriving at the Dollar Loan Center in Henderson, Nevada just in time for the tip off of the women’s game versus CSU Northridge. The student section was rocking, and the women’s team felt it all the way to the end as they defeated CSU Northridge at 63-62 in overtime.  

“I want to thank all of you for coming and for making this such a spirited and wonderful occasion. Thank you for making me so happy. Students, this is all about you. All about you. You are the best students. We would not trade you for any students on earth,” said CSUB President Lynnette Zelezny.  

The action did not stop there as the Runners’ men’s team took the court at 6 p.m. with the rowdy section back in force. The men’s team gave the band, students, and cheerleader’s a lot to cheer about as they pulled together for a win over CSU Northridge at 58-45.  

“From the very beginning and we stuck with them, obviously, through overtime and we got that win. And that is partly because of you. You guys did a really good job on that,” said head cheerleading coach and spirit coordinator Arthur Smith.  

All the students, staff and fans that made the trip were a huge support and helped CSUB basketball get their first two wins in tournament history for both men’s and women’s. If both teams are going to make a run at the title, they are going to need all the fans to be loud in the stands.