Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Basketball team took part in their second exhibition game this past weekend as they pushed Division II Cal State Bakersfield in an 88-66 loss inside the Icardo Center.
The Purple & Gold started off hot, converting on a trio of three-pointers in the first six minutes from Jacob Aruta (Stockton, Calif.), Eric Davis (Ventura, Calif.), and Victor Nwaba (Los Angeles, Calif.) giving the Poets a 9-2 lead. They stayed in front a majority of the first half as they received another two triples from Jordan Lingard (Colac, Australia) and Joey Toyama (Pasadena, Calif.) along with a jumper from Reggie Dixon (Oxnard, Calif.). But this advantage would be short-lived as the Roadrunners would come back erasing the eight point deficit to go in front 24-22 for the first time.
Aruta and Conner Longmire (Tarzana, Calif.) tried to keep WC close with back-to-back layins with under five minutes to play but an ensuing 7-0 run by CSUB would open the lead up to 34-26. Ryan Henry (Fontana, Calif.) stopped the run with a three-pointer at the 3:03 mark and then tacked on a jumper soon after but the Roadrunners would close out the half on a 7-0 spurt that moved the score to 44-31.
In the second half CSU Bakersfield stormed out in front quickly with a 13-4 run, which opened the game up giving the Roadrunners a 22-point lead within the first four minutes. The deficit got to as many as 31 at one point in the second half but WC managed to fight back to keep the loss at a 22-point differential.
Toyama led all Poet scorers with 11 in 12 minutes of action going 4-7 from the field along with four assists. Longmire had 10 points off the bench to go with nine boards and three assists and Dixon chipped in with eight points on 3-4 shooting.
Whittier shot 41% from the field and was at a 38.5 clip from behind the arc. They forced 16 turnovers and earned 21 points off of them but managed to get just 12 points in the paint, while being outrebounded 48-31.
Whittier opens up their season this weekend as they travel to Santa Cruz, Calif. They will take part in the Mission Inn Tipoff Classic facing Linfield (Fri., Nov. 17 @ 1:30pm) and UC Santa Cruz (Sat., Nov. 18 @ 1:30pm).