LOS ANGELES — Layshia Clarendon scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half to help California pull away for a 58-48 win over Washington on Wednesday night in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament.
DeNesha Stallworth had 12 points and Talia Caldwell added 11 points and 13 rebounds
for the sixth-seeded Bears (16-14), who went just 1 of 13 from 3-point range. Cal will face third-seeded Arizona State in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Kristi Kingma and Mackenzie Argens finished with 10 points apiece to lead No. 7 seed Washington (11-17), which lost six of its last seven games to end the season. The Huskies shot 34 percent (18 of 52) for the game.
Cal had dropped seven of eight coming in but stayed alive in the tournament thanks to Clarendon and some tough defense down the stretch. The Bears allowed only two field goals over the final 13:28.
After a rough first half in which Clarendon went 1 of 7, the senior guard made 5 of 7 from the floor after the break. She also added 10 rebounds.
The biggest lead for either team in the early part of the second half was four points, which the Huskies achieved on Regina Rogers’ layup that made it 37-33. An 8-0 run by the Bears swung that four-point advantage back in favor of Cal, 41-37.
Kingma hit a 3-pointer with 9:18 remaining to pull Washington within 41-40, but the Huskies then went nearly eight minutes without a field goal. They managed just three free throws in that time.
Cal took advantage, scoring eight of 10 points to grab a 49-42 advantage on Clarendon’s free throws. Clarendon added another freebie and then hit a mid-range jumper to beat the shot clock for her team’s largest lead at 55-44 with 2:49 left.
Sarah Morton finally broke the Huskies’ lengthy field goal drought with a layup that cut it to 56-46 with 1:27 to go.
Both teams struggled to find their range in the opening half. Cal missed all nine of its 3-point attempts and shot 28 percent overall (11 of 39), while Washington shot 35 percent (10 of 28) and went 2 of 8 from beyond the arc. The score was tied 25-25 at the intermission.
Kingma came in averaging a team-high 15.8 points per game, but struggled on 3 of 12 shooting, with all her makes coming on 3-pointers.
Cal avoided losing for the third time to Washington this year after the Huskies were victorious in both regular-season meetings.