The first game of the 2012-13 season is in the books. Justin Cobbs scored the first basket of the season for the Bears (1-0) and they never looked back today, going wire-to-wire for a 78 - 65 victory over CSUB (0-2). While not much probably should be read into this game, it was still rather encouraging to have an easy win with everyone surviving it unscathed.
Despite speculation to the contrary, senior Point Guard Brandon Smith was in the lineup despite suffering a left shoulder injury in the exhibition game on Tuesday. The strong guard play from Smith and Cobbs pushed the Bears to an early lead, scoring with ease in transition with aggressive attacks at the basket.
The Bears suffered a scare with about 1.5 minute prior to halftime when Allen Crabbe rolled his ankle on an offensive tip attempt. Crabbe laid on the ground for a little bit before leaving under his own power to the bench. Despite this, Crabbe still finished with 27 points, with 20 points coming in the first half thanks to 4 first half 3's. Cobbs also added 14 1st half points to lead the Bears to a 45-28 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Bears were actually outscored by the Roadrunners 33-37 (thanks in part to some sloppy play from the Bears and late Roadrunners baskets). The only note of importance is that Crabbe played as if he was not bothered by the ankle. Phew.
Cal State University - Bakersfields had an extremely poor shooting first half (26%) and didn't improve much in this game, shooting 35%. This was partly due to their inability to hit outside shot early (not sure how much of that can be attributed to the Bears). The Bears also caused quite a few turnovers and won the battle in points off turnover in the early part of the game. The Bears on the other hand, shot 52.7% for the game and 5 for 12 from 3 point land (4 for 5 from Crabbe). Many field goals were easy baskets from transition.
The Roadrunners were lead by senior Stephon Carter with 15 (and on his way to the school's all time scoring record).
Robert Thurman was the first Bear off the bench tonight. In his debut, freshman Tyrone Wallace contributed 6 points and moments of brilliance. Khalil Johnson also made his debut. If one is to nitpick about this game, it is that the Bear bigs did not dominate CSUB even though the tallest CSUB players is merely 6 foot 8 inches. We shall see if the Bears big men will improve in the next few games.
UP NEXT: Bears host the Pepperdine Waves on Tuesday night at Haas Pavilion. Game time is 6:30 PM PT and will again be available on the Pac-12 Networks (regional action).
One more thing, the Pac-12 is perfect through the first weekend of action.
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!