LAS VEGAS — For the second straight year, the Cal men’s basketball team was knocked out of the Pac-12 tournament in the opener by Washington State, which had little trouble with the Bears in a 69-52 victory in Las Vegas.
TJ Bamba scored 17 points, DJ Rodman had 10 points and 11 rebounds and No. 5 seed Washington State extended its winning streak to seven over 12th-seeded Cal.
The Cougars (17-15) will look for their second straight win over the fourth-seeded Ducks Thursday in the quarterfinals.
Cal’s Monty Bowser, averaging just 3.4 points per game, scored a career-high 19 points for the Bears (3-29). Lars Thiemann added 10 points.
Cal ended the season on a 16-game losing streak, with its last victory coming on Jan. 6 against Stanford.
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Washington State gained some separation midway through the first half after going on a 13-2 run, with five points from Rodman, for a 27-13 lead. Jabe Mullins added 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions and the Cougars led 35-21 at halftime despite shooting 39% from the floor.
Mullins scored five straight points during an 8-0 run that put Washington State ahead 53-32 with 8:48 left. Cal scored 10 unanswered points to cut it to 53-42 before Andrej Jakimovski ended Washington State’s four-minute field-goal drought with a 3-pointer. The Cougars led by as least 12 points the rest of the way.
Mullins finished with 11 points and Jakimovski and Mouhamed Gueye each scored 10 for Washington State. Bamba, coming off a career-high 36 points against rival Washington, was 6 of 13 from the field.
Rodman, the son of former NBA player Dennis Rodman, had 10 points and six rebounds in the first half and Washington State outrebounded Cal 24-14 with a 10-3 edge on the offensive glass. The Cougars finished with 43 rebounds compared to 29 for Cal.