The No. 23 Cal Golden Bears took the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Afure Jemerigbe with 9:30 to go, then proceeded to outscore the Washington State Cougars 29-13 the rest of the way en route to an 87-70 win at the Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum in Pullman, Wash., Sunday afternoon.
The Golden Bears (16-7, 8-4 Pac-12 Conference) struggled for the first 30 minutes or so with the fiesty Cougars (12-12, 6-6), who led by as many as eight points in both halves.
Cal whittled the lead to 41-37 by halftime, but Washington State took their largest lead of the second half at 50-42 on a basket by Mariah Cooks with 15:57 left.
The Golden Bears answered with a 13-5 run to tie it before Cooks put the Cougars back on top 57-56 with a pair of free throws.
From there, Cal scored the next 19 points to turn the game into a rout, capped by Jemerigbe’s basket with 5:06 to play that put the Golden Bears on top 75-57. Cal took its largest lead, 82-60, on another Jemerigbe bucket with 2:58 remaining.
Reshanda Gray had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Golden Bears. Brittany Boyd added 23 points, five assists and three steals before fouling out and Jemerigbe had 18 points. Gennifer Brandon came off the bench for 13 points and 20 rebounds as the Bears had almost as many offensive boards—21—as the Cougars had total rebounds, 27.
Tia Presley scored 20 points to lead the Cougars, while Lia Galdeira added 13 and Taylor Edmondson had 11. Cooks had seven rebounds and Sage Romberg blocked four shots.
Cal was 30-for-68 (44.1 percent) overall, 3-for-9 (33.3 percent) from 3-point range and 24-for-33 (72.7 percent) at the free-throw line. Washington State was 24-for-62 (38.7 percent), 7-for-17 (41.2 percent) and 15-for-18 (83.3 percent).
The Golden Bears rebounding edge overall was 55-27 and they committed 15 turnovers, while the Cougars gave the ball away 13 times.
Cal returns home on Friday to host the Arizona Wildcats at 7:30 p.m. Pacific.