Washington State knocks off No. 20 Cal 91-83

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 8, 2014 at 12:41 am •  Published: March 8, 2014
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SEATTLE (AP) — Lia Galdeira drove into the lane, knew the shot clock was running down and trusted that Tia Presley open in the corner would knock down the shot.

Presley did just that, and helped send Washington State into the Pac-12 tournament semifinals.

Galdeira scored 28 points, Presley added 19 including her huge 3-pointer with 1:21 remaining as the shot clock expired, and Washington State upset No. 20 California 91-83 on Friday night in the Pac-12 quarterfinals.

"It was a total adrenaline rush. The bench exploded," Washington State coach June Daugherty said. "We've looked to Tia and Lia this year for the big shots. It was fun."

The Cougars used a 15-4 run midway through the second half to take control then held off California's charge in the closing minutes. Washington State (17-15) snapped a five-game losing streak to California, the No. 2 seed in the conference tourney, and improved to 4-5 this year against ranked opponents.

The Cougars would likely need to win the conference tournament to reach the NCAAs, but they still have that chance thanks to a scoring binge to open the conference tourney. They scored a tournament record 107 points in beating Oregon in the opening round Thursday, then followed up with 91 against the Bears.

Sage Romberg added 16 points for the Cougars and Mariah Cooks had 12 important points off the bench, including eight during the Cougars decisive run. Washington State will face Oregon State in the semifinals on Saturday night. OSU defeated Utah in a quarterfinal matchup, 50-35.

It's the second time in the past three seasons Washington State has reached the semifinals.

"It feels really good. It shows how far this program has come since I've come here," Romberg said.

Reshanda Grey led Cal (21-9) with 26 points, but second-leading scorer Brittany Boyd finished with nine points and fouled out with 6 minutes left. Gennifer Brandon finished with 20 points off the bench for California, which has lost two straight, and Afure Jemerigbe added 16.

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