BC starts solid in WSC at 3-2

Martin Chang

Jason Reed, Sports Editor

After a slow start to the 2012-2013 season, the Bakersfield College men’s basketball team has started Western State Conference play with a 3-2 record. BC  has been below .500 this season with a 9-10 overall record. In the past week, the Renegades lost to Citrus 70-61 and beat LA Valley 66-59 on Jan. 26.

BC head coach Rich Hughes talked about how pleased he’s been with his players since the break and is confident that they can get it going and get back into the top of the conference race.

“We’ve played better, we’ve had some good wins and we won some close games,” Hughes said.

Hughes said before the start of the season, he was looking for toughness in his team this year. He said that the team has improved on their toughness. He also went on to explain that there is room for more improvement and they can definitely get better.

“We’re a little tougher, but there is always room for improvement, and that’s what we’re looking for with our guys,” he said.

BC’s won its first two conference games after a 6-8 non-conference start, but that streak ended Jan. 16, at College of the Canyons when the Renegades  lost 84-81.

BC led 41-36 in the first half, but was outscored by eight in the second half by the Cougars.

Forward Conroy Lester led the Renegades in scoring with only 13 points on 6-for-12 shooting. Temjae Singleton of Canyons was the game’s leading scorer with 24 points.

With that loss BC fell to 2-1 in the WSC.
BC’s losing streak extended to two Jan. 23, when it collapsed in the second half, falling 70-61 to Citrus College.

The loss dropped BC to 4-4 at home and two games below .500 with an 8-10 overall record. Citrus improved to 3-1 in the conference and 10-7 overall, winning five of its last six games.
“We didn’t box out that well in the second, which led to them getting some easy shots inside,” BC coach Rich Hughes said.

“Big difference in the second half is that we got almost no transition points, which we got a lot in the first half. When we get transition points we have a lot more confidence in ourselves offensively and we got barley any in that second half.”

BC led Citrus 40-29 after the first half, but was outscored 41-21 in a second half. Citrus took its first lead of the game when center Brent Watkins scored inside on a put back basket.

BC had no answer for Watkins as he carved up 24 points with 9-for-10 shooting, including 5-for-6 at the free throw line.

“We didn’t defend well, when our big guys have to rotate and stop penetration, that leaves big guys open against smaller guards and we didn’t do a good job of stopping their penetration,” he said on his team’s effort defensively inside the paint.

Watkins was one rebound shy of a double-double, with nine.
BC will take its next game on the road. On Feb. 2, BC will visit (10-6) Santa Monica.