BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer email@example.com
Cal State Bakersfield's women stayed close for a half in their season opener Friday night against Arizona.
But the Wildcats used their superior athleticism and overall size to pull away after that in a 71-50 win in the Icardo Center.
The tone was set in the opening minutes of the second half. Arizona sank six of its first eight shots out of the break, including three 3s, while the Roadrunners were limited to one free throw during that stretch.
That gave Arizona a 49-28 lead and the Wildcats stayed in control after that.
"We played well in the first half," CSUB coach Greg McCall said, noting the Roadrunners were only down 34-27 at the break. "You've got to be consistent for 40 minutes, not just a half."
Arizona had a 62-41 rebounding edge. Both teams struggled with turnovers, with the Wildcats having 25 and CSUB 25.
"Rebounds, a lot of missed layups and (missed) free throws," McCall said. "I always tell the girls that in the game of women's basketball, you've got to rebound, make your free throws and create turnovers.
"We created turnovers, 26, which was good. But we had 25, which was not good. We shot 27 percent for the game, 33 percent on 3s. Really, really poor shooting."
Arizona's 28 offensive rebounds led to an 18-8 edge in second-chance points.
Davellyn Whyte had a game-high 16 points for Arizona with Chelshi Poston adding 14 with 11 rebounds and six blocks. Erica Barnes had nine points and 12 rebounds.
CSUB was led by Tyonna Outland's 13 points and seven rebounds and Janae Coffee's 12 points and nine rebounds.
Lauren Carter, who injured her knee in Monday's exhibition vs. Fresno Pacific, was cleared by CSUB's doctor and played, although she had only five points and four rebounds in 25 minutes.
"That was a positive to have Lauren out there," McCall said. "But only five points is very uncharacteristic of her."