SEATTLE — Talia Caldwell made 10 of 11 shots and finished with 22 points, and No. 6 California claimed a share of the Pac-12 Conference regular season title for the first time in school history with a 78-50 win over Washington on Saturday afternoon.
The Golden Bears won their 15th straight and got a piece of their first conference crown along with Bay Area rival Stanford. The Cardinal defeated Washington State earlier Saturday to ensure they would at worst share the title with California.
Even though California will share the title, it’s still a benchmark moment for the program and second-year coach Lindsay Gottlieb. She became just the fifth coach in conference history to win a league title in her first two years as a head coach.
Jazmine Davis returned from a one-game suspension to lead Washington (19-10, 11-7) with 19 points.
Gennifer Brandon scored 12 points and grabbed 15 rebounds while Reshanda Gray had 13 off the bench and Layshia Clarendon added 10 points for the Bears. Caldwell and Brandon were part of California’s dominant interior advantage against the undersized Huskies. The Bears held a 54-18 advantage on points in the paint, had 17 second-chance points and grabbed 23 offensive rebounds. Caldwell made her first 10 shots before missing a driving right-hander with 8 minutes left.
California was able to claim part of the conference title by splitting with Stanford earlier in the season and by dominating the rest of the conference. They finished 9-0 on the road in conference play and the 27 victories already matches the most in school history with the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments still to come.
It’s the first time since the 2003-04 season that Stanford has not won the regular season conference title outright. The Cardinal shared the title with Arizona in 2004.