LOS ANGELES - The University of Washington women's basketball team soaked up plenty of sunshine while spending the past week in Los Angeles.
Alas, the Huskies did not shine once they headed indoors to play games.
Washington completed an 0-3 week in Los Angeles with a 58-48 loss to California in Wednesday’s first round of the Pacific-10 Conference women’s basketball tournament.
The Huskies shot 35 percent from the field, gave up 23 offensive rebounds and made 18 turnovers at USC’s Galen Center. Washington sank only two field goals after going ahead 37-33 with 13:28 remaining.
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“We didn’t rebound like we said we were going to do,” said Sarah Morton, Washington’s only senior. “We didn’t take care of the ball. We weren’t the aggressors from the get-go.”
The seventh-seeded Huskies, who defeated California in their two league meetings this season, lost six of their last seven games to finish 13-17. Washington has lost in the first round of the tournament two straight years and five of the past six years.
Fifth-seeded California (16-14) faces No. 3 seed Arizona State (20-9) today in the quarterfinals. The Bears had endured a 1-7 swoon until Wednesday, when they won despite having starting guard Lindsay Sherbert suspended for the game for violating a team rule.
“We knew it was going to take a little bit more from every single player,” California guard Layshia Clarendon said.
Clarendon scored 14 of her team-high 16 points in the second half and helped put the clamps on Washington scoring leader Kristi Kingma.
Kingma tied Mackenzie Argens for the team lead with 10 points and had a team-high seven rebounds. However, Kingma went 3-for-12 from the field and had a game-high six turnovers before an estimated 400 fans.
The big, physical Bears outrebounded UW, 47-37.