BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Drick Bernstein scored a layup with 1.7 seconds left and Washington State held off Cal 78-76 on Thursday night in a duel to escape last place in the Pac-12 Conference.
There were five lead changes and three ties in the final 5 minutes, and Cal knotted the score at 76-all when Marcus Lee scored off a feed from Justice Sueing with 7.1 seconds left.
But the Cougars (11-16, 3-12) hurried the ball up court and Malachi Flynn delivered the ball to Bernstein for the game-winner. Moments earlier, Flynn gave WSU a 76-74 lead when he made a 3-pointer with 24.4 seconds left.
Robert Franks led the Cougars with 15 points and Bernstein, Flynn and Viont’e Daniels each scored 14.
Freshman Justice Sueing scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half for the Bears (8-20, 3-13) to top 20 points for the sixth time. Redshirt freshman Roman Davis, who had totaled just 26 points all season, scored a career-high 15 and Lee scored 14.
Washington State: The Cougars, who began the season 6-0 with wins over San Diego State and Saint Mary’s, won for just the fifth time in 21 games since. WSU also climbed out of a tie for last place in the Pac-12, where they have resided eight times in the past 21 seasons.
Cal: The Bears moved within a single defeat of matching their program-worst 21 losses in 1978-79. This is just the third Cal team to lose 20 games in a season.
Washington State plays at Stanford on Saturday
Cal plays Washington at home on Saturday