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Cougars disappointing road trip ends with defeat to Cal

WSU falls 76-69 to worst team in conference after committing 20 turnovers

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Cougars disappointing road trip ends with defeat to Cal

Freshman Forward CJ Elleby jumps over the CU defense as he shoots in the WSU vs. CU basketball game Feb. 20 at Beasley Coliseum.

Freshman Forward CJ Elleby jumps over the CU defense as he shoots in the WSU vs. CU basketball game Feb. 20 at Beasley Coliseum.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Freshman Forward CJ Elleby jumps over the CU defense as he shoots in the WSU vs. CU basketball game Feb. 20 at Beasley Coliseum.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Freshman Forward CJ Elleby jumps over the CU defense as he shoots in the WSU vs. CU basketball game Feb. 20 at Beasley Coliseum.

AVERY COOPER, Evergreen reporter

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WSU men’s basketball ran into Cal on Saturday night in Berkeley and fell 76-69 after the Golden Bears jumped out to a 14-5 lead early in the first half and did not look back.

After the Golden Bears (7-22, 2-15) led by as much as 11 points, the Cougars (11-18, 4-12) were able to go on an 11-4 run over 3:36 to narrow the deficit to 29-26.

However, Cal junior guard Paris Austin put an end to the run after a layup and foul where he would convert the three-point play. This triggered a 12-3 run in the final minutes of the period to bring the first half score to 41-29 in favor of the Golden Bears.

The Golden Bears led by double digits throughout the second half until freshman forward CJ Elleby nailed a jumper in the paint with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game to bring the score to 60-51.

After teeter-tottering for a couple of minutes, WSU junior point guard Ahmed Ali hit a three-pointer to pull the Cougars within seven.

Cal sophomore forward Justice Sueing quickly fouled sophomore small forward Marvin Cannon on a shot, where Cannon would go one for two from the three-throw line to bring the Cougs within six.

After a three-pointer by Cal sophomore guard Darius McNiell, a dunk by freshman forward Connor Vanover and a steal converted into a layup by McNiell, WSU found itself trailing by 10 points again with five minutes remaining in the game.

The Golden Bears went on a shooting drought where they only made one shot from the field in the next four-and-a-half minutes.

Unfortunately for the Cougars, they also went on a scoring drought until Elleby made a layup that narrowed the deficit to 72-64 in the final seconds.

Elleby posted a double-double on the night leading the team with 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Senior forward Robert Franks added 18 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.

Four Cal players finished with double digit point totals. McNiell led the Bears with 17 points, connecting on eight of his 16 shot attempts. Austin had 12 points and Sueing and Vanover each scored 10.

The Golden Bears only outshot the Cougars 46.7 percent to 41.7 percent, but WSU’s 20 turnovers gave Cal the upper hand as they scored 28 points off of them.

The Cougars return to Pullman to host the Oregon schools in their final homestand of the season. WSU will take on the Ducks 8 p.m. Wednesday at Beasley Coliseum. The game can also be seen live on Fox Sports 1.

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Cougars disappointing road trip ends with defeat to Cal