PULLMAN, Wash. – On a day filled with upsets in the Pac-12, No. 23/22 California used an 18-0 second half run to break away from Washington State with an 87-70 victory at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman.
For the second consecutive game, Reshanda Gray and Gennifer Brandon both hit double-doubles with the highlight being Gray’s layup in the first half that made her the 26th member of the California 1,000-point club.
Assisting her milestone basket was Cal’s last 1,000-point scorer – Brittany Boyd – who finished the game with 23 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. Boyd’s 23 points were two shy of her season high.
Gray finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds while Brandon scored 13 points to go with a commanding 20 rebounds, including nine on the offensive end. With her 20 boards, Brandon becomes the new California all-time leader with 1130 career boards, surpassing Ashley Walker's 1117 rebounds. Afure Jemerigbe matched her career-high with 18 points to go with seven rebounds.
As a team, California (16-7, 8-4 Pac-12) won the rebounding battle 55-27 with Cal’s 21 offensive boards nearly surpassing Washington State’s team total.
Tia Presley led the Cougars (12-12, 6-6 Pac-12) in scoring in hopes of bringing her team to an upset much like Washington did to No. 3 Stanford and Arizona did to No. 11 Arizona State earlier Sunday.
The Bears used an 8-0 run to turn a 9-8 lead into a 17-8 lead midway through the first half, but the Cougars were able to battle back and eventually tied the game at 21-21 after a Lia Galdeira steal and fastbreak layup with 8:34 to go in the half.
The Cougars proceeded to get hot from the floor after Galdeira’s play and led by as many as eight in the half (39-31) before the Bears cut it down with six consecutive points from Gray to head into the half with Washington State on top 41-37.
Washington State held on to its advantage in the first half of the second period before the Bears fought back to make it a one-point game with Brandon’s 11th point of the afternoon with 12:08 to go. California then tied the game, 55-55, until Boyd put the Bears back on top (58-57) with a free throw with 10:32 remaining.
Boyd’s free throw began an 18-0 run for the Golden Bears who turned a 57-57 tied game into a 75-57 lead with just 5:06 to go in the game. The Cougars were not able to cut it closer than 17 points for the remainder of the game as the Bears coasted to the road victory.
California returns home next weekend to take on Arizona Friday night at 7:30 p.m.