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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / DIVISION II PLAYOFFS : CS Bakersfield Storms Past UC Riverside, 75-62

Cal State Bakersfield beat UC Riverside, 75-62, Saturday to win the NCAA Division II West Regional and advance to the championship round.

It is the fifth consecutive elite eight appearance for Bakersfield (23-6), which won the national championship last season with a record-setting 33-0 mark.

Bakersfield will play Indiana, Pa., in the first round of the tournament in Springfield, Mass., starting March 23. Indiana qualified by beating California, Pa., 80-76, Saturday.

Jeff Kuehl scored 22 points for Bakersfield and was voted the regional’s most valuable player. He said the team was better prepared for this game after losing to Riverside (22-7) a week ago in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. tournament final.

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“We knew that we would get an at-large bid (to the West Regional) even if we didn’t win,” Kuehl said. “It’s not that we took that lightly, but this was do or die.”

It also helped that Roheen Oats has re-emerged as an offensive force after struggling earlier this season. Oats had 16 points and 11 rebounds.

In the third-place game, Alaska Anchorage defeated San Francisco State, 109-97.


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