Bakersfield College men’s basketball (13-12,4-3 Western State-South) erased a 20-point halftime deficit but still fell to West LA (16-12, 4-2), 85-84, on the road on Saturday. The loss was a big blow to BC’s hopes for a third straight conference championship and a state playoff bid.

West LA started the game “unconscious from 3,” according to Renegades head coach Rich Hughes. West LA made 12-of-20 3-pointers in the first half and led, 56-36, at the break.

“We didn’t start off real well,” Hughes said.

With his players wearing down a little, Hughes made the uncommon decision to switch into a zone defense with his opponent hitting deep shots. It worked and BC held West LA to almost half the amount of points it scored in the first 20 minutes.

BC slowly chipped away at the big lead until Marcus Jones tied the game at 80-80 with a layup with four minutes left. But West LA countered with a basket about 30 seconds later. The Renegades had an offensive possession with four seconds left but did not get a great shot off, Hughes said.

BC point guard Johnathan Murray had 16 assists and forward Jaylunn English scored 31 points.

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