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Originally published Friday, March 9, 2012 at 5:01 PM

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Resilient Cal ends Washington State's upset run

Gennifer Brandon had 13 points and 15 rebounds, Britt Boyd added 14 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and California ended 11th-seeded Washington State's surprising Pac-12 tournament run with a 64-49 victory Friday in the semifinals.

AP Sports Writer

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LOS ANGELES —

Gennifer Brandon had 13 points and 15 rebounds, Britt Boyd added 14 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and California ended 11th-seeded Washington State's surprising Pac-12 tournament run with a 64-49 victory Friday in the semifinals.

Talia Caldwell had 11 points and nine rebounds for the second-seeded Golden Bears (24-8), who reached the tournament finals for just the second time in school history. They will face No. 2 Stanford, which has won eight straight Pac-12 tournaments.

The Bears rallied from a small second-half deficit with a 16-4 run in the final minutes to finish off Washington State (13-20), which reached the semifinals with the first two tournament victories in school history.

Sage Romberg scored 11 points and April Cook had 10 for the Cougars, who still were a stunning addition to a semifinal bracket otherwise filled out with the Pac-12's usual suspects: Stanford, Cal and Arizona State.

The Cougars became the lowest seed ever to reach the semifinals after upset victories over Oregon State and Southern California, but they couldn't match Cal's height and versatility down low in the second half.

Brandon and Boyd, who struggled with foul trouble in Thursday's quarterfinal win over Colorado, took control shortly after Washington State evened it at 42 with 7:43 to play.

Cal finished the game on a 22-7 run, disappointing the small but vocal group of fans behind the Washington State bench whose incessant whining for foul calls echoed throughout the mostly empty Staples Center.

The Cougars' short run at the close of their 16th consecutive losing season still was a downright shocker.

Washington State had lost nine of 10 and gone 5-13 in Pac-12 play before traveling to Los Angeles. Yet the Cougars upset sixth-seeded Oregon State on Wednesday and followed it up with a 69-55 win over third-seeded Southern California - on the Trojans' home court at the Galen Center, no less.

Washington State appeared a bit exhausted when Cal scored the first eight points, but the Cougars rallied back to tie it at 26 at halftime before taking their first lead on the opening basket of the second half. Cal moved back in front with 11:59 to play on a layup by Layshia Clarendon, who had eight points.

Despite playing a difficult nonconference schedule, Washington State's 13 victories are the program's best performance since the 1995-96 season.

In Saturday's final, the Bears will get yet another shot at a meaningful victory over their Bay Area rivals. Cal has lost eight straight to Stanford, including two defeats during the regular season, although the Bears took the 30-1 Cardinal to overtime on Jan. 28 at Maples Pavilion.

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