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SAN DIEGO – Coach Rod Barnes spent a good 10 minutes screaming at his Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners after they lost big to No. 19 San Diego State.
"Sorry about that, but you've got to do what you've got to do," Barnes said after keeping the media waiting following the Aztecs' 72-57 victory Wednesday night.
Jamaal Franklin had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Aztecs and Chase Tapley added 14 points.
"I told our guys I was disappointed, not just because we lost but I wasn't pleased with the hunger we played with," Barnes said. "We're trying to build toughness and competitiveness but we didn't play together at times. We did not show enough mental toughness. We got the score down and we didn't make plays. We didn't compete enough."
Stephon Carter scored 21 points and Corey Hall added a career-high 14 for the Roadrunners (6-11), who lost for the fifth time in seven games.
SDSU was the third MWC team to beat Bakersfield this season, joining Wyoming and Colorado State.
Freshman Winston Shepard added 11 points for the Aztecs (12-2), who were playing for the first time since losing 68-67 to No. 3 Arizona in the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu on Christmas night.
The Aztecs, who have been regular-season co-champions of the Mountain West Conference the last two years and made three straight NCAA tournament appearances, visit Fresno State next Wednesday night in the conference opener.
San Diego State had no trouble against the Roadrunners, who never led.
Xavier Thames, Tapley and Franklin all made a 3-pointer and freshman Skylar Spencer had a slam dunk to help the Aztecs to an 18-9 lead 8 minutes in.
San Diego State scored the final seven points of the half, including a 3-pointer by Tapley at the buzzer, to take a 37-20 lead.
Thames went out with a lower back strain early in the second half and didn't return.
It was SDSU's 31st straight victory against teams from California.
"They're talented," Barnes said. "They're so versatile. Franklin is the kind of kid who brings so much; he rebounds, he passes, he plays with energy, he's a solid guy. Seeing them up close, I'm impressed."