By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Texas-Pan American, as expected, has accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference, effective July 1, 2013, which gives the WAC eight members for the 2013-14 academic year.
Pan-American joins Cal State Bakersfield, Utah Valley, Chicago State and Grand Canyon as universities that will join the WAC next July.
Idaho, Seattle and New Mexico State are the current members of the WAC who will remain with the league for 2013-14. Seven current members, among them San Jose State and Louisiana Tech, are leaving the WAC for other conferences at the end of the 2012-13 academic year.
Grand Canyon, currently an NCAA Division II institution, still needs to go through a four-year reclassification process to become a full fledged Div. I member.
The NCAA requires at least seven members in a conference for it to retain its automatic qualifying (AQ) status for NCAA Tournaments. Grand Canyon won't count toward that number until it's fully transitioned.
But Pan-American's addition gives the WAC the seven members it needs to keep it's AQ status. Pan-American was extended an invitation last month but needed to gain approval from its board of directors before it could officially accept the offer.
The NCAA granted the WAC a two-year waiver to the seven-member requirement for an AQ, allowing the WAC to keep its AQ with six members. The addition of Pan-American means the two-year waiver period will be delayed until the WAC falls below the seven NCAA Tournament-eligible members.
That could happen as soon as the 2014-15 academic year. Idaho has announced it will move to the Big Sky Conference in all sports except football starting that season.
Santa Clara women top CSUB
Ricki Radanovich and Ruta Zurauskyte scored 20 points apiece to lead Santa Clara past Cal State Bakersfield 77-56 in women's basketball.
The Roadrunners were led by Janae Coffee who scored 19 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and blocked six shots. The six blocks are a new CSUB Division I school record. The previous record was four, held by five players.
The Broncos led 48-33 at halftime and held CSUB to seven field goals in the second half.
BC women top Santa Ana
Haley Hunnington finished with a game-high 18 points and was 6-10 from 3-point land as Bakersfield College defeated Santa Ana 72-61 at the Gil Bishop Sports Center.
Other standouts for the Renegades were Emily Parks with 15 points and 6 rebounds, and Britney Smith with 15 points and 8 rebounds.
NBA D-League: Jam rips Idaho
Renaldo Major scored 23 points, Jerel McNeal added 18 and Stephen Dennis had 15 to lead the Bakersfield Jam (7-4) past the Idaho Stampede 120-104 at the Dignity Health Event Center. Sean Evans led Idaho (1-8) with 34 points and 22 rebounds.