"First-game jitters" was a common refrain from players and coaches on the Cal State Bakersfield women's basketball team after Tuesday's season opener against Dominguez Hills.
Luckily, the struggles didn't result in a negative outcome against the Division II opponent.
Andie Easley had 15 points and six assists and the Roadrunners had five players score in double-figures in an 83-74 win Tuesday.
CSUB found itself trailing before the opening tip, as an administrative technical resulted in a pair of Janelle Sumilong free throws.
Things didn't get much easier from there, as spacing and communication issues on defense resulted in the Toros getting several looks on the perimeter and the rim, and helping them build a 30-24 lead in the second quarter.
But things began turning CSUB's way quickly after, as Makenzie Bond scored a transition layup off of an Ashley Austin drive and pass, kick-starting a 6-0 run which was capped by another Bond fast-break layup.
The production of Bond, a junior college transfer who got the start, was a huge boost as her frontcourt mates Jayden Eggleston and Vanessa Austin were relegated to the bench for much of the first half after each picked up two quick fouls.
Easley then made plays on consecutive possessions. Her 3-pointer gave CSUB its first lead of the quarter, while a great pass in transition led to a Miracle Saxon layup and a 37-32 lead.
“She showed up big for us," CSUB coach Gregg McCall said of Easley's performance. "It’s something that’s not surprising to me, the things that she can do with the basketball and how she can shoot it. She lives in the gym (and) when you live in the gym, it pays off.”
Eggleston, perhaps the most celebrated Roadrunner transfer, then made her presence felt in the fourth quarter, scoring eight of her 10 points to help CSUB put the game away.
With the Toros on a 4-0 run to get within five points, Eggleston buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it 71-63 with 5:40 to play.
The Iona transfer then scored off a gorgeous full-court pass from Vanessa Austin, helping the Roadrunners put together a 14-4 run to pull away.
Jasmin Dixon recorded 12 points, while Miracle Saxon and Bond each added 10.
The balanced scoring negated a sluggish defensive effort. CSUB committed 26 fouls, which resulted in 37 Toro free throw attempts.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do," McCall said. "I’m hoping we got this ugly win out of the way right out of the way, because we’ve been playing some really good basketball. Sometimes the first-game jitters, team’s a bit anxious, a bit nervous.”
“I’m happy we got a chance to get the first-game jitters out and come away with the (win)," added Easley. "It was a good experience and now we have to get serious and fix what we need to fix as a team.”
The Roadrunners head north for a pair of games this weekend. They are at Washington at 7 p.m. Friday, then go to Gonzaga for a 2 p.m. tip Sunday.