Roadrunners slay goliath at Big West tournament

Isiah Santana, Sports Editor

CSUB women’s basketball celebrate on the court after defeating UC Irvine in the quarterfinals on March 8. Photo by Mayra Gomez / The Runner

The student fans were rowdy as the California State University, Bakersfield Roadrunners had the ball tied 59-59 against the University of California, Irvine Anteaters in double overtime.  

As the clock was winding down 24-23-22 Senior Guard Taylor Caldwell had a step back that made graduate student Forward Nyagoa Gony hit the floor before hitting the game sealing shot that would give the Roadrunners a 61-59 win against the first seed in the Big West. 

The Roadrunners were aided greatly by big games from Freshman Forward Kayla Morris and Caldwell. Morris had 18 points, six rebounds, and three blocks as well as a huge three that tied the game at 59 a piece in double overtime. Caldwell had 19 points, three assists, and six blocks as well as the game winning shot versus the Anteaters.  

Head Coach Greg McCall spoke on if playing the day prior gave them an edge up the competition, “I don’t know if it did or not. I just know that we were ready to come out to play.” 

Coach McCall said that the team was adamant about getting the Anteaters’ Junior Forward/Center Nevaeh Parkinson in foul trouble. McCall said that getting Parkinson in foul trouble was started by Morris hitting her first shot, which allowed her confidence to skyrocket when taking shots throughout the rest of the game. 

The game was very competitive until the final whistle.  

Both teams’ defenses were on point. Neither team wanted to let up. You could see it in both teams play that they wanted the game. Both teams were extremely passionate throughout each quarter. At no point did it look like either team was upset by the score of the game, they looked focused on the task at hand.  

The teams were so focused you could see the fire in their eyes. The Anteaters looked like they really wanted this win, the only problem for them was that the Roadrunners wanted it more. 

The students were ecstatic, losing their voices and yelling at the Anteaters throughout the game. When the last buzzer hit, that really made the fans rowdy, wishing the Anteaters goodbye.  

One CSUB student, Andrew Hernandez, said to the Anteaters team, “If you’re gonna lose in your first game then why even show up?” 

This was the second game of the tournament for the Roadrunners women’s team. Their first matchup was against the California State University, Northridge Matadors. The game was close the entire time, neither team giving anything free to the other.  

The Roadrunners were down 30-29 in the first half before mounting a comeback and beating the Matadors 55-52.  

CSUB student fan, Luis Herrera, said, “They had us in the first half not gonna lie, but we have too much heart to go down without a fight. We are the Roadrunners, we are going to get rowdy, and we are going to run over the competition.”