Playoffs still alive for men

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Playoffs still alive for men

Amber Hayden

Amber Hayden

Amber Hayden

Bakersfield guard, 5-8 Jameik Riviere (1), elevates over 6-7 Glendale forward Dillion Biggs (45) for an and-one. Riviere with a season-high 29 points despite the loss.

Mohamed Bafakih, Sports Editor

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It was a rather rough patch in the last half of January for head coach Rich Hughes and the Bakersfield College men’s basketball team (13-9 overall, 3-5 Western State Conference – South).

With sophomore Alex Daniels missing five games in January due to a knee injury, along with the team’s leading scorer and state’s fourth leading rebounder Deandre Dickson missing one game (ankle), it resulted in a stunning 78-69 loss to Glendale (3-16, 2-6 WSC) on Jan. 21.

However, freshman point guard Jameik Riviere has reached his prime in January, averaging 20.5 points per game.

Despite Riviere’s scoring and playmaking, the Renegades haven’t really found an answer offensively outside of Dickson and Riviere.

“We need that third or fourth guy to get in that 10-12 [points per game] range,” head coach Rich Hughes said.

Nevertheless, it’s a new month and the team is healthier and looking for a new streak to build on. After losing their previous four games prior to the season sweep of L.A. Valley on Jan. 31, the last game of a three-game road-trip, 73-55.

“Anytime you have to play at L.A. Valley, it’s just a tough environment,” assistant head coach Aaron Chávez said. “We knew eventually we’d turn it on and toward the second half we just went on a little run on them… Deandre [Dickson] hit a big three and after he hit that shot we could see Valley’s body language wasn’t there.”

Bakersfield plays host to two games this week. First game will be vs. West L.A. (13-6, 4-4 WSC) on Feb. 4, who Bakersfield lost to in the previous meeting 74-67 behind Brandon Hood’s 29 points. The Renegades will also face Citrus (13-7, 6-2 WSC) on Feb. 7, who Bakersfield went into ‘The Owl’s Nest’ and beat in the last meeting 68-61 – snapping an eight-year drought on their floor.

BC will need to be dialed in on all cylinders and control their own destiny to make a push for the playoffs.

“Both games are huge… every game at this point is critical for us to make the playoffs,” Chávez added.

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