BERKELEY, Calif. – An improved shooting performance kept it close, but the Washington State women's basketball team fell 75-68 to California Saturday at Haas Pavilion. The Cougars dropped to 5-12 on the season and 0-6 in the Pacific-10 Conference, while the Golden Bears improved to 8-8 on the year and 2-3 in conference play.
The Cougars found their offensive rhythm against the Golden Bears, connecting on a season-high 45.8 percent of their attempts (27-of-59), and recording just 11 turnovers, the third-fewest this season.
"To me, this was our best game of the year by far," WSU Head Coach June Daugherty said. "To be that close and not walk away with a victory is tough, but we shot the ball well, we were more efficient and we executed at a high level."
Sophomore guard April Cook led WSU with 16 points, freshman guard KiKi Moore scored 13 and sophomore guard Jazmine Perkins added 10. Moore also recorded a career-high eight assists, becoming just the sixth Cougar freshman in NCAA history to record eight-or-more in a game.
The Cougars kicked off the scoring with a 3-pointer from sophomore forward Rosie Tarnowski on the first possession of the game, but the Golden Bears were able to claim their first of two opening-half leads on the heels of a 6-0 run. After trailing for a majority of the first half, the Cougars regained the advantage with only 36 seconds remaining before intermission. Once California went up 30-23, WSU put together a 12-4 run, taking the lead on two free throws by Moore (35-34). The Golden Bears' DaNesha Stallworth hit her second of two free throw attempts right before the end of the half, sending the teams into the second half tied at 35.
WSU and California swapped leads three times in the opening minute of the second half before the Cougars jumped out to their largest lead of the game (45-39). The Golden Bears stormed back however – primarily on the heels of senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson, who scored 22 of her 29 points in the second half – to build an eight-point lead (66-58). The Cougars were able to cut the deficit to one with 3:14 left in the game, but California held on for the victory.
Freshman center Carly Noyes had a game-high two blocks, her 10th multiple-block outing of the season.