Bakersfield College’s men’s basketball team was without its leading scorer Wednesday night and the Renegades could have used a few more makes. BC (8-11, 2-1 Western State-South) led with about five minutes left but lost, 83-77, to West Los Angeles (17-4, 2-0) in the Gil Bishop Sports Center.
The Renegades had five different players with 10 or more points, but the absence of Jamar Hammonds’ 23.7 points per game was significant. Hammonds, who was the division’s player of the year last season, is suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules, BC head coach Rich Hughes said.
After two Henry Galinato rebound and scores, the Renegades were down just 74-72 with fewer than three minutes left in the game. Point guard Johnathan Murray limped off the court shortly after, allowing West LA to pull away. The Renegades turned the ball over on the next two possessions.
“Our depth at that point made a difference,” Hughes said. “(West LA) made every big play they needed to. We couldn’t get stops when we needed to. It was a hard-fought game.”
West LA outscored BC 53-42 in the second half after the Renegades had a 35-30 lead at halftime. West LA guard Traonte Jones led all scorers with 28 points.
Jaylunn English led the BC scoring effort with 22 points. He had six blocks on defense. Galinato had 14 points and 17 rebounds. Murray dished out seven assists.
Bakersfield only got two points from its non-starters. West LA had 26 points from the bench.
“It just didn’t go our way in the second half,” Hughes said. “We have to rebound in the conference race.”