FRESNO, Calif. -( Fresno State)The game was never in doubt from early on and it's what one would expect from a non-league game in the middle of a grueling conference season. It did had moments of highlights for the Bulldogs, who cruised to a 79-49 victory over Highway 99 rival Cal State Bakersfield. Every healthy Bulldog played and all scored at least two points.
Reigning WAC Player of the Week Greg Smith, a sophomore center, posted his seventh career double-double with 12 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for the Bulldogs. He also added a season-high for four assists in the game.
It was all Fresno State early reaching a 9-1 lead, led by the team's lone senior Ned Golubovic led the team with five points including a three point basket. He led the Bulldogs in scoring with 14 points, missing just three of eight field goal attempts in the game.
The Bulldogs extended the lead to near 20 points as the half progressed despite playing without leading scorer freshman Kevin Olekaibe, who has a hurt wrist. Olekaibe, emerging as one of the top scorers in the WAC the last couple of weeks, could be back in the line-up for the WAC games this weekend. He was injured on a nasty spill under the basketball against La Tech on Saturday in which the La Tech player who fouled him was assessed a "hard foul" as Olekaibe was driving for a layup.
Junior Tim Steed led the team with 13 points in the first half as the Dogs got their transition game going and dominate the boards at both ends of the floor. Fresno State had 28 rebounds in the first half, 19 more than the Roadrunners. The Dogs had more offensive rebounds than CSUB had total boards, 11-9.
Both teams were a little sloppy to start the second half, as the Dogs pushed the lead to 20 points, 50-30 over the first five minutes.
Bennie Rhoades came off the bench to get a breakaway tomahawk jam on a great pass from Jonathan Wills to make Fresno State's biggest lead at that point to 64-40 with six minutes remaining in the game.
The Dogs pushed the lead to 29, 77-48, on a Bracken Funk three-point basket from the left wing with one minute remaining in the game. He had 11 points and five rebounds in the game. Freshman John Ryan's basket in the final 30 seconds finished the scoring.
"All in all, I would rather not have played tonight," said head coach Steve Cleveland. "We have played three games in five days and have to go on the road for two very tough games, but that's the way the scheduled worked out. We were not able to get our preseason games in early and have to play them in the middle of the WAC season. Overall I was pleased. I'm very happy with 22 assists. We have talked about making the extra pass and we worked on that tonight. We got after the boards pretty well tonight but they didn't shoot very well, so that's a little misleading. I'm happy to get a win and build some momentum as we head to Boise State. They are a tough team with six or seven seniors. It will be a tough road trip for us."
The Dogs return to action on Thursday at WAC rival Boise State at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on the WAC Sports Network.