BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Cal State Bakersfield men’s basketball team has opened the Big West Championship with a hard-fought first-round win for the second straight year. On Tuesday evening, the Roadrunners eliminated the CSUN Matadors with a 51-47 victory at the Dollar Loan Center in Henderson, Nevada.

The CSUB offense was led by forwards Antavion Collum, Travis Henson, and Cameron Smith, who all scored in double digits while contributing on both ends of the court. Sophomore guard Ivan Reynolds had six points, six assists, and seven rebounds and also played a crucial role in defense, limiting CSUN’s top scorer, Atin Wright, to 10 points on 3-of-17 shooting. Despite trailing by two points at halftime, the Bakersfield defense held CSUN to 22% shooting in the second half.

The ‘Runners advance to the Big West Championship Quarterfinals on Thursday, where they will face top-seeded UC Irvine. This will be the second time in five days that the two teams will meet, as CSUB closed out the regular season against the Anteaters on March 4. Although Irvine swept the regular-season series, Bakersfield lost in close decisions (79-75 in December and 52-44 last weekend). The Anteaters lead the all-time series against the ‘Runners 9-3.