March 9, 2006
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Leon Powe had 22 points and a career-high 20 rebounds to help California defeat Southern California 82-67 in the Pac-10 tournament quarterfinals Thursday night.
The third-seeded Golden Bears (19-9) will meet either No. 12 Washington or Oregon in their first semifinal appearance since 2003 on Friday at Staples Center.
For the first time since 1990, the sixth-seeded Trojans (17-13) lost all three of their meetings with Cal, including a 71-60 defeat in the regular-season finale last Saturday.
Gabe Pruitt scored 22 points to lead the Trojans, who lost seven of their last nine games. Nick Young added 20 points before fouling out with 3:31 remaining.
Young was scoreless for much of the second half until running off seven in a row to get the Trojans to 67-61 - the closest they came.
The Bears responded with a 9-0 run of their own to go up 76-61.
Cal has won nine of its last 12 games behind Powe, who leads the conference in scoring and rebounding. He recorded his 14th double-double of the season.
Powe single-handedly outrebounded the shorter Trojans as Cal dominated the boards, 40-15. He set a tournament record, bettering the 18 by Arizona State's Ike Diogu against Oregon in 2003. Powe's rebounds - including 15 on the defensive boards - were the most by a Cal player since 1982.
USC went without a field goal during an 8 1/2-minute stretch in the second half, when Cal began pulling away after a back-and-forth game in which the Bears led by two at halftime.