The Cal Golden Bears had no trouble with visiting Coppin State on Friday night at Haas Pavilion, cruising to an 83-64 win on opening night of the college basketball season.
Tyrone Wallace scored 20 points, had seven assists and grabbed six rebounds for Cal, while Justin Cobbs added 16 points and six assists.
Much ballyhooed freshman Jabari Bird had 14 points, seven boards and five dimes in his debut for the Golden Bears.
Cal’s backcourt was deep and talented even without last year’s Pac-12 Player of the Year, Allen Crabbe, who left after his junior year and was a second-round pick of the Portland Trail Blazers in June’s NBA Draft.
Cal led 43-29 at the half and had blown the lead out to 20 at 57-37 before the Eagles began to chip away, getting it to a 12-point game with 4:14 to go when Andre Armstrong canned a 3-pointer.
Bird and Cobbs answered with back-to-back baskets, however, and the Bears were able to take home the win.
Coach Mike Montgomery came into the season concerned about the inside play, but at least for one night those worries were misplaced. Cal outrebounded Coppin State 51-37, with David Kravish yanking down 11 boards and Richard Solomon going for a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Sterling Smith led the Eagles with 16 points. Coppin State came in without its top player, senior forward Michael Murray, out with a broken finger.
Before the game, Cal announced that Kahlil Johnson, a sophomore guard who was looking at limited playing time this season, left the team to focus on academics.
The Bears are home again on Tuesday when they host Denver at 8 p.m. Pacific. It will be the season opener for the Pioneers.