Week in Review: Men’s Basketball

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Week in Review: Men’s Basketball

Amber Hayden

Amber Hayden

Amber Hayden

Bakersfields' DJ Wooley (34) drives against Citrus' Tyler LaCour (34). Wooley finished with 11 points enroute to a 74-68 Renegade win.

Mohamed Bafakih, Sports Editor

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Men’s basketball: With only four games remaining, the Bakersfield College men’s basketball team (15-9 overall, 5-5 Western State Conference – South) have found themselves in playoff contention despite a very slow first half of conference.

“If we can get teams in the 60s we got a high percentage chance to win,” said head coach Rich Hughes following the first three-game winning streak of the season since late last November.

In that first half, the Renegades went 2-5 and were at one point in the bottom half of the conference standings allowing an average of 73 points per game.

The tables have turned, however. BC is currently riding a three-game winning streak after very impressive wins against L.A. Valley and two teams who are also fighting to make their way into the postseason in West L.A. (13-8, 4-6 WSC) and Citrus (14-8, 7-3 WSC) this past week.

 

Bakersfield 59, West L.A. 53: The Renegades lost to West L.A. in the first meeting 74-67 behind 29 points from the Wildcats’ Brandon Hood although BC’s Deandre Dickson and Jameik Riviere combined for 37 points and a double-double from D.J. Wooley (10 points and 14 rebounds).

In the second meeting on Feb. 4, the Renegades clawed out of a double-digit deficit in the second half and sent it to overtime behind a huge three-pointer by sophomore guard Isaiah Rogers to get within two followed by the game-tying lay-up by Riviere to nod it up at 48 with five seconds remaining in regulation.

BC came in 0-2 in overtime games played this season but the guys new their season could have been in jeopardy if they let this one slip.

“We have been in that position before and lost in that position before… when we got here again, it was about who wanted it the most and we wanted it,” said Demontrey Mitchell who finished with 11 points.

It was all Renegades in overtime as BC outscored West L.A. 11-5 with Wooley accounting for seven of those points.

It was also a season-high and team-high for Wooley as he ended the night with 12 points on 4-for-4 shooting and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line.

“I played my hardest but I could have played a little harder,” said Wooley.

 

Bakersfield 74, Citrus 68: Eyeing a season sweep of conference rival Citrus, the Renegades hosted the Owls on Feb. 8 at Gil Bishop.

The Owls, however, came into conference with a huge win over arguably the state’s best team in Mt. San Antonio College (23-1, 5-0) and have enjoyed success in conference play as they sit in second place behind Antelope Valley.

Once again with their backs against the wall, BC climbed out of a double-digit Citrus lead in the second half after a 13-point first half performance by Citrus’ John Roach.

The Renegades forced the Owls to shoot 7-for-30 in the second half and held Roach to just six points. For BC, D.J. Wooley led the team in scoring in the first half, but Deandre Dickson and Jameik Riviere found life in the second half as Dickson scored 12 of his 19 points to go along with 10 rebounds in the second and Riviere with 14 of his own 19 in the second as well. Isaiah Rogers hit another crucial three-pointer down the stretch as he finished with 9 points while CJ Johnson added eight points and eight rebounds off the bench.

The Renegades made a surge late in the second half as they went on a 14-3 run to take its first lead of the night and didn’t look back after despite two technical fouls by Riviere and Wooley.

BC outscored Citrus 44-32 in the second half and went to the line 28 times (making 20 of them) and capped off the season sweep of Citrus with a final score of 74-68.

“It’s huge,” head coach Rich Hughes said on sweeping conference rival Citrus. “They’re a great program… we’ve had some great games with them, and for us to sweep them we haven’t done that in a while.”

 

Key notes: In the midst of this three-game winning streak, the Renegades’ hoops team has forced teams to shoot an average of 58.6 points per game; lower than Hughes’ expectations.

Bakersfield is in the middle of a three-way tie for third (and possibly last playoff spot) place at 5-5 in the WSC-South standings with College of the Canyons (COC currently owns tiebreaker – next meeting: Feb. 18 at BC) and Santa Monica (SM currently owns tiebreaker – next meeting: Feb. 11 at SM).

BC also has four remaining conference games against teams that they went 0-4 during that stretch this season. Hughes mentioned the guys are aware of this, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Renegades will respond to their opponents as they look to continue to build on this win streak and continue to keep their playoff hopes alive which have increased tremendously.

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