PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- The Washington State women's basketball
team was threatening to pull off a major upset but No. 22
California's Ashley Walker would have none of it.
"I told myself, 'Just calm down and finish', " said Walker,
who scored seven points in a row to snap a 46-46 tie and lift the
Bears to a 55-48 victory Thursday night.Walker scored 16 of her 20 points and got six of her nine
rebounds after WSU led 20-17 at the half.Devanei Hampton added 14 points and a career-high 13 rebounds
for the Bears (12-4, 3-3 Pac-10).Marisa Stotler led Washington State (5-12, 1-6) with 12 points.The Cougars have not defeated a Top 25 team since 2000-01.Amanda DuRocher buried a 3-pointer from the right side to pull
WSU into the 46-all tie with 2:30 left. Then the Bears scored the
next nine points."We had a few mistakes, just because we're younger," said
Stotler, a WSU freshman. "We've had a few close games this season.
It's like we can't get over the hump."The Bears won despite 23 turnovers and shooting 39 percent from
the field, including 29 percent in the first half.California trailed at the half even though the Cougars missed 16
of their first 19 shots, many of them layins. "That's why I don't
sleep at night," joked Cougars coach Sherri Murrell.Washington State shot 30 percent and was outrebounded 42-28. The
Cougars, who have lost six in a row, played their first game since
second-leading scorer Nakejia Kelly was ruled academically
ineligible.The Bears improved to 4-3 since losing standout point guard
Alexis Gray-Lawson with a season-ending knee injury.Still, California struggled all night against the Cougars, who
have finished last in the Pac-10 in six of the past seven seasons
and have won just 25 conference games during a 10-year string of
losing seasons."We grinded it out and made some plays the last three or four
minutes," California coach Joanne Boyle said.