Washington State (5-12 overall, 1-6 Pacific-10 Conference) was led by freshman forward Marisa Stotler's 12 points and four steals. In addition, sophomore Amanda DuRocher came off the bench and scored all nine of her points in the second half.
California (12-4, overall, 3-3, Pac-10) set the tone in the second half with its former Pac-10 All-Freshman player, Ashley Walker, who scored 16 of her 20 points in the final 20 minutes. In addition to Walker's play, Devanei Hampton chipped in 14 points for the Golden Bears.
The Cougar defense seemed up to the challenge against an aggressive California attack. WSU held California, the conference's second-best shooting percentage team at 46.3 percent, to only 38.6 percent shooting from the field, and kept the Golden Bears 14 points below their scoring average of 69.6 ppg.
WSU held California to two points in the first five minutes of the game. The Golden Bears got their biggest lead in the first half at the 6:23 mark after a Walker lay-in put them up 15-8. The Cougars would bounce back and close out the first half on a 12-2 run, giving WSU a 20-17 lead at halftime.
California and WSU shared baskets to open the second half, as neither team lead by over four points at the midway point of the second half. At the 9:53 mark, a California lay-in and successful free throw attempt by Keanna Levy pushed the Golden Bears' lead to seven. The Cougars would again step up, however, and back-to-back jumpers by Stotler cut the Bear lead to three at 36-33, with 7:23 remaining.
WSU tied the game at 41 after a DuRocher lay-in at the 4:08 mark. A California 5-0 run put the Golden Bears ahead 46-41 with 3:02 left in the game. DuRocher hit two free-throws, trimming the score to 46-43 with 2:53 remaining. After a Cougar defensive stand, WSU found DuRocher open long enough along the right sideline to knock down a game-tying three-pointer with 2:30 left. The Golden Bears clawed ahead, however, ending the game, and any chance of a Cougar upset, on a 9-2 run.
WSU will look to rebound against No. 10 Stanford Saturday, Jan. 13, at 2 p.m. at Beasley Coliseum.