By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Cal State Bakersfield came back from an 18-point second-half deficit, but ultimately fell short to Washington State in the season opener, 62-56, on Friday.
Abdul Ahmed led the Roadrunners (0-1) with 12 points and six rebounds.
With 1:33 remaining, the transfer from Oklahoma hit a crucial 3-pointer to bring the Roadrunners within 58-56, but they fouled down the stretch and the Cougars took advantage.
Royce Woolridge and East High graduate D.J. Shelton hit free throws for WSU that put the game away.
CSUB has never beaten a Pac-12 team in 11 tries.
The Roadrunners trailed just 28-25 at halftime but fell far behind thanks to a 15-2 run by WSU that opened the second half.
Brandon Barnes was the only other Roadrunner in double figures, notching 10 points off the bench. Barnes also led the team with seven rebounds and chipped in two assists.
Free throw shooting also hurt Bakersfield, which sank only 11-of-28 from the line.
Davonte Lacy had a career high 28 points to lead all scorers for WSU, which overcame a poor shooting night. The Cougars shot only 31 percent from the floor and a woeful 4-of-23 on 3-pointers.
Freshmen Ike Iroegbu, Woolridge and Shelton added eight points apiece.
Issiah Grayson added seven points and three assists and three steals for the Roadrunners, Tyler Smith had six points and five rebounds, and Zach Lamb contributed nine points off the bench.
The Roadrunners play their home opener on Monday against UC Merced at 7 p.m. in the Icardo Center.