Hachimura leads No. 7 Zags over Cal State Bakersfield 89-54

Cal State Bakersfield guard Jarkel Joiner (0) shoots while defended by Gonzaga forwards Rui Hachimura (21) and Jeremy Jones (22) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Spokane, Wash., Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

The Cal State Bakersfield men’s and women’s basketball teams open Western Athletic Conference play this week.

The men will be at home against Seattle and Utah Valley for Thursday and Saturday games. Each contest is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The women will be on the road to face the Redhawks and Wolverines. Their games will tip off Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m.

Both men’s and women’s programs look to bounce back after suffering losses entering conference play.

The men fell on the road Monday to No. 7-ranked Gonzaga, 89-54. The Roadrunners, who had won five straight entering that game, are 8-5 on the season entering the WAC opener.

The CSUB women are 4-9 on the year after dropping seven straight. Their most recent loss came at home to UC Riverside, 79-67.

Pick up a copy of Thursday’s Californian for complete WAC previews for each team.

Soccer adds international flavor

The CSUB women’s soccer program announced the signing of its 12th incoming freshmen with the addition of Croatian center back Iva Tomkic to a National Letter of Intent.

Tomkic is a 5-foot-8 defender who will join the Roadrunners on the field and in the classroom this upcoming fall after graduating from the School of Natural Sciences Vladimir Prelog this spring. She has enjoyed a prolific international prep career, as she garnered consecutive titles with her high school team and tabbed multiple wins with the U17 and U19 Croatian national football teams.

"Iva brings a wealth of international experience to our young roster in 2019," said CSUB head coach Sebastian Vecchio. "She has played at the highest level in Europe, domestically and internationally, and we will be counting on her experience and leadership to enhance our group next season."

A well-rounded and aggressive athlete, Tomkic also competed in judo, boxing and volleyball in Croatia at the amateur level. Her international experience in soccer and unique skill set from other sports gives the Roadrunners a new kind of athlete on the back line. A future 2023 graduate, Tomkic plans to continue playing soccer professionally or become a coach.

Wrestling hits mats in big tournament

CSUB wrestling is back in action this week when the team competes in the 15th annual Southern Scuffle at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The tournament began on Tuesday and continues Wednesday.

The Roadrunners will compete against some of the top competition in the country. The field will include full representation from No. 1 Penn State, No. 3 Oklahoma State, No. 19 Lock Haven and No. 23 Iowa State.

No. 7 N.C. State, No. 12 North Carolina, No. 14 Virginia Tech and No. 21 Lehigh will also send partial squads to the tournament.

In total, there are 19 All-Americans, four NCAA Champions and 50 ranked wrestlers.

"It's a great opportunity to prove ourselves nationally," said CSUB head coach Manny Rivera. "Guys can break into the rankings with big wins this weekend. It also gives us a chance to wrestle teams we don't normally see."

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