SEATTLE - California cooled down in the second half while Washington State remained hot as the seventh-seeded Cougars knocked second-seeded Cal out of the Pac-12 Tournament with a 91-83 win Friday night at KeyArena.
Reshanda Gray led the Bears with 26 points and six rebounds and Gennifer Brandon recorded her seventh double-double of the season with a season-high 20 points and 10 rebounds, but the Cougars took advantage of a 9-of-18 effort from the three-point line behind Lia Galdeira's 28 points.
The loss ends California's seven-year streak of making the tournament semifinal and gives the Bears back-to-back losses for just the second time this season.
The Bears (21-9) will now await their postseason fate when the NCAA Tournament brackets are announced on March 17.
Afure Jemerigbe scored 16 points and matched her career-high with seven rebounds. She went 8-for-8 from the charity stripe to set a new California Pac-12 Tournament record for free throw percentage. Ashley Walker had the previous best mark after going 7-for-7 against USC in the 2009 semifinals.
California's 83 points scored are a program-best in the tournament while the 91 allowed are also the most for Cal in the Pac-10/12 era.
Gray and freshman Mercedes Jefflo both hit season-highs with three blocked shots as the Bears rejected a season-best seven Washington State attempts.
The two teams jockeyed for position throughout a high-scoring first half that saw six lead changes and nine tied scores. WSU shot 48 percent from the field while Cal shot 47 percent. The Cougars pulled down 20 rebounds while the Golden Bears pulled down 18. WSU scored 24 points in the paint while Cal had 22.
Trailing 45-44 at the break, Cal couldn't reclaim the lead as the Cougars increased their lead to as many as 15 points. The Bears cut it to as close as six points, but after Brittany Boyd picked up her fifth foul with less than six minutes to go, Cal could get no closer and took the 91-83 loss.