Washington Stuns No. 9 Cal with Upset Victory
March 2, 2008
SEATTLE (AP) - Sami Whitcomb scored 24 points, and hit four 3-pointers during a decisive 18-7 second-half run as Washington stunned No. 9 California 74-66 on Sunday, ruining the Golden Bears' chance at their first Pac-10 title.
Cal only needed a victory over the sixth-place Huskies to wrap up a share of the Pac-10 regular season title for the first time in school history. Instead, the Bears watched Bay Area rival Stanford claim the regular season crown outright.
Laura McLellan added 13 points and diminutive 5-foot-5 guard Emily Florence had 11 points and a career-high tying 11 rebounds in her final regular season game for the Huskies.
Alexis Gray-Lawson led Cal with 17 points and reserve Rama N'diaye added 13 points, 11 in the first half. But leading scorers Ashley Walker and Devanei Hampton struggled with early foul trouble and never found their way into Cal's offense.
Walker had six points - 10 below her season average - and 11 rebounds, while Hampton had nine points and nine rebounds. Cal's second place finish is still the highest in school history and the Bears will be the No. 2 seed in next week's Pac-10 tournament.
Washington had played Stanford tough for a half on Friday night, only to see the second half turn into a Cardinal rout. Apparently, some lessons were learned.
Trailing 33-29 at halftime, California pulled even at 36-all on Walker's first basket of the game 3 minutes into the second half. That's when the Huskies took off.
Florence scored, followed by a pair of baskets by Katelan Redmon. Whitcomb then hit four straight 3-pointers, the last with Hampton in her face to give Washington a 54-43 lead with 8:02 left.
The Huskies lead grew to 62-48 on Andrea Plouffe's basket with 4 minutes left, before Cal made one final run, getting within 63-60 on Alexis Gray-Lawson's 3-pointer with 57 seconds left.
But Washington made 11 of 14 free throws in the final minute to cinch the upset.
The win keeps Washington from having to play on the first-day of next week's conference tournament. The Huskies will play Arizona State in their first game.