CSUB loses down the stretch to UTPA in semifinals

By Esteban Ramirez
Sports Editor

CSUB senior guard Brooklynn Hinkens shoots a layup against the University of Texas-Pan American at the Orleans Arena on March 13. Photo courtesy of Mark Nessia.
CSUB senior guard Brooklynn Hinkens shoots a layup against the University of Texas-Pan American at the Orleans Arena on March 13.
Photo courtesy of Mark Nessia/The Bakersfield Californian

Despite a double-double performance from redshirt-senior guard Tyonna Outland and having a double-digit lead late in the game, the CSU Bakersfield women’s basketball team fell to the University of Texas-Pan American 76-70 in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on March 13.
The No. 2-seeded Roadrunners (23-8) had just built a 66-54 lead after a three pointer from sophomore forward Erika Williams with 8:27 left in the game, but then the No. 3-seeded Broncs (19-13) responded by going on a 22-4 run to finish the game.
CSUB coach Greg McCall said that when junior guard Alyssa Shannon got her fourth foul with , and he subbed her out that’s when momentum swung over to UTPA.
“When I took her out, the momentum changed,” McCall said. “Maybe I should’ve just kept her in with four fouls. She is a tough kid and smart kid but it was a coach’s call to make and that’s when the momentum changed.”
McCall said that during the time when UTPA regained the momentum, it felt like they were fighting uphill.
“As a coach, it’s like what can we do,” he said. “The ball just didn’t bounce our way. We had so many opportunities. We missed so many layup, and we had a brief opportunity but we just missed layup after layup. It’s just one of those things. The basketball Gods just wouldn’t let the ball go in for us.”
McCall added that despite not reaching their, he’s still proud of the Roadrunners.
“I’m very proud of these young ladies even though we didn’t get the opportunity we thought we were going to get,” McCall said. “We thought we were going to get to the championship and get to play for the NCAA Championship but we fell short for the second year in a row.
“This season is a disappointment but definitely not a bust because look at where we came from and look at where we are at now. I’d rather be sitting in this position because 7-22 is a bust season, 12-17 is a bust season but this is a disappointing season. But overall, I’m very happy with my players.”
Outland, who finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, said that she knew that the game would be very emotional so she wanted play all out.
“My whole thing was just leaving it all out on the floor because it’s my last year and I just didn’t want the same thing to happen that happened last year,” Outland said.
CSUB and UTPA started the game on fire. Both teams traded the lead early on, but the Broncs were able to take control of the game and took a 43-41 lead into halftime.
The Broncs once again started second half on fire and looked poise to extend their lead but a steal by Outland sparked a run for the Roadrunners. CSUB went on a 25-8 run before UTPA responded with its run to finish the game.
Williams also put on a good performance as she scored 21 points and added eight rebounds for CSUB.
UTPA will play No. 1 seed New Mexico State tomorrow at the Orleans Arena at 2:30 p.m. CSUB will wait to see if they will play in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament.
“I’m really proud of my team,” McCall said. “I know we will continue on and continue to play. We will try to win the championship at the WNIT or wherever the postseason leads us.”