STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) — Tookie Brown scored 24 points, Ike Smith added 21, and Georgia Southern never trailed in beating Cal State Bakersfield 77-53 in its home opener on Monday night.
Brown and Smith, the top two scorers in the Sun Belt Conference last season, combined for five of the Eagles' nine 3-pointers, three of which came in Georgia Southern's opening 15-6 run.
The Eagles cruised to a 36-19 halftime lead and led by 29 with 7:28 to play after Montae Glenn's dunk.
"I thought we played better overall in the second half but we just had dug too deep of a hole for ourselves," CSUB head coach Rod Barnes told The Californian following the game. "We didn’t play well enough to go on the road and win the game. You just got to regroup and come back."
Smith and Glenn grabbed seven rebounds apiece for the Eagles, who beat Wake Forest 85-83 in their season opener for their first win against an Atlantic Coast Conference team since 2012.
Fallou Ndoye led the Roadrunners (1-1) with 13 points and Damiyne Durham had 12.
It was the first meeting between the teams.
"They’re a really good team," Barnes said. "They score really well. You don’t ever want a team like that to get that kind of lead on you."
The Roadrunners will take the court again Thursday in a road game at No. 3-ranked Arizona.
"We knew when we left the house this was going to be a tough game. It’s a tough stretch for us," Barnes said. "We got to learn from what we did wrong, get back and look forward to the next game."