Cougars Denied By Bears, 70-52

March 4, 2005

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Kristin Iwanaga and Leigh Gregory each scored 16 points in leading California past Washington State 70-52 on Friday night in a first-round game of the Pac-10 tournament.

Jessica Lawson added 12 points as the Bears (11-17) won for just the third time in 15 games. Renee Wright had 10 points.

Charmine Jones led the Cougars (6-22) with 12 points and Keisha Moore added 11.

Washington State's leading scorer and the conference leader in rebounding Kate Benz was held to four points and seven rebounds.

The eighth-seeded Bears and No. 9 Washington State split their season series the past three years. The Cougars have yet to win a game in the four-year history of the tournament.

California won its first round game for the third straight year, and will face top-seeded Stanford on Saturday. The Bears have been eliminated by the second-ranked Cardinal in each of the past two tournaments.

Washington State, which finished out of the cellar for the first time in five years, announced before the game that coach Sherri Murrell signed a contract extension through 2010.

The Cougars were within 31-30 early in the second half before Cal began to pull away, eventually taking a 54-43 lead on Iwanaga's third 3-pointer of the game with 7:38 remaining. Washington State never got any closer the rest of the way.

The Bears eventually led by as many as 21 points.

Iwanaga, the national leader in free throw percentage at 94 percent, hit a 3-pointer to highlight a 12-4 run which gave the Bears a seven-point lead with 4:26 left in the first half.

Washington State closed to within 29-28 by halftime on a pair of free throws by Jones.

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