WSU women's hoops upsets Cal, 91-83, in Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals

Sophomore forward Mariah Cooks scored five points in a row midway through the second half. - WSU Athletic Communications

The Cougars used a balanced offensive attack to overcome the Golden Bears advantage in the post.

From Seattle- The Washington State women’s basketball team (17-15, 11-9 Pac-12) upended the No. 2 seed California Golden Bears, 91-83, in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals. Cal was unable to handle the Cougars' balanced offensive attack as WSU took the lead late in the first half and never relinquished it.

Junior forward Shalie Dheensaw spent the majority of the night going one-on-one with Cal forward Reshanda Gray and she did a fantastic job of limiting Gray’s second chances – the forward, who had destroyed the Cougars inside previously, only recorded six rebounds in the loss.

Guard Tia Presley hit only one three pointer all night, but it was a big one late in the game -- the last field goal that the Cougs hit. She scored 19 points while shooting 8-17 from the field, 1-3 from beyond the arc, and both of her two free throws.

The Cougars got a major boost when Brittany Boyd, the Golden Bears’ point guard, fouled out with 5:48 left. Without Boyd in the ball game, the Cal offense struggled to find its rhythm and it made the Golden Bears’ comeback attempt nearly impossible.

WSU broke the game wide open in the second half when the team went on a 15-4 run that ended when Cal guard Afure Jemerigbe hit one of her two free throws. Washington State’s sophomore forward Mariah Cooks played a key part of that run as she scored five straight points to kick it off.

Cal’s last lead in the ball game occurred with 48 seconds left in the first half – the Golden Bears led by two – and the Cougs took the lead back as the clock wound down. Washington State went into the locker room with a 45-44 lead.

The Cougars did a fantastic job of limiting the number of the fouls they committed in this game, and that played a big part in the victory.

"But we felt like as long as didn’t foul and didn’t give them the three-point plays," Washington State coach June Daugherty said, "that we had enough offense on our side of the bench to get it done."

After the game Sage Romberg talked about how it felt to finally join the 1,000 point club; "It feels good. It’s like, finally, you know."

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