Washington State now has lost four in a row as Bears able to get out of their own slump
PULLMAN — Washington State couldn’t hold a one-point lead in the final four minutes as the Cougars dropped their fourth consecutive game Thursday.
California’s Tyrone Wallace scored 21 of his 26 points in the first half, and backcourt partner Jordan Mathews scored all nine of his points in the final minutes of the Golden Bears’ 76-67 victory.
Jabari Bird added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Bears (12-9, 2-6 Pac-12), who snapped a six-game losing streak. Freshman Brandon Chauca scored a season-high 10 points.
DaVonte Lacy, out of Curtis High in University Place, led Washington State (9-11, 3-5) with 24 points. Josh Hawkinson added 18 points and 12 rebounds.
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California led 39-37 at the end of a tightly contested first half. An 8-0 run gave the Cougars a 65-64 lead with 3:35 left in the game. That was WSU’s first lead since late in the first half, but Mathews — Cal’s second-leading scorer behind Wallace this season — scored Cal’s next nine points during a 9-2 run that pushed the Bears ahead 73-67.
The first half included nine ties and three lead changes. Cal drew 12 of the 20 fouls called in the first half and 21 of 40 in the game. Mathews played just four minutes in the first half after picking up a quick foul and a technical.
The Bears, who had been struggling on offense, shot 55.2 percent from the field. The Bears had not scored more than 66 points in a game since their six-game losing skid began with a 69-66 home loss to Washington State on Jan. 4.