Kennedy Nielsen led BC in points scored and pulled down half a dozen rebounds to lead Bakersfield College to a dominant 90-35 victory over LA Pierce to open conference play Wednesday on the road.
"The score doesn't indicate it, but we didn't play with as much energy as we usually do, but we are glad to start the (conference) season with a nice win" Coach Paula Dahl said.
BC has recovered from a frustrating 0-5 start to become a front-runner for the conference title.
But first they'll have to face down Santa Monica this Saturday at 5p in the Gil Bishop Sports Center.
While post player Mackenzie te Velde has matured into a formidable prescence in the paint for the 'Gades, notching at least half a dozen double-doubles in points scored and rebounds this season, Santa Monica has forbidable bigs in 6'3" freshman Jada Gambrah and 6'2" Sophomore Mosou Secka.
The vertically unchallenged pair have both racked up considerable minutes, points, and rebounds for the Corsairs and they aren't alone; Forward Lauren Davis is averaging 21.8 points per game and 10 rebounds per game.
Despite the shadows those talents seem to cast on BC's hopes, the Renegades have plenty of Davids to counter those Goliaths.
Guard Marissa Figueroa has done a little bit of everything this season, and is coming off a 22 point outburst against EC-Compton Center on 71 percent shooting, while pulling down five rebounds and dishing four assists.
te Velde's partner in rebounding crime would have to be Angie Kroeger; it would be a mistake to call her a defensive specialist because really, Kroeger does what Coach Dahl asks of her. In a December win over San Bernardino, Dahl dialed up Kroeger's "score points" setting and got a 23 point explosion on 61 percent shooting from the floor, in just 21 minutes.
And then there's the steady Julie Olvera, recently returned after nearly a month on the injured list, and she doesn't seem to have lost a step. Bianca Zamora, on the other hand, seems to have found her step; she has been a quiet performer from three point land in limited duty, but Dahl turned her loose against Pierce and she scored a career-high 15 points.
The Corsairs have obvious strengths and Coaches Dahl, Clarence, and Jesse will have to gameplan accordingly to limit the damage they can inflict in this key...as Dahl calls it "THE game we've been preparing for"-conference contest, Santa Monica has to account for threats from everyone in a BC uniform.
Action begins at 5p in the Gil Bishop Sports Center.