WSU men win seventh straight, knock Cal out of Pac-12 tourney

In this file photo, Washington State junior guard TJ Bamba dunks a ball during a Dec. 7 nonconference game against Northern Kentucky at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman. Bamba and the Cougars defeated Cal 69-52 Wednesday in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS — Junior guard TJ Bamba scored 17 points and senior forward DJ Rodman had 10 points and 11 rebounds as fifth-seeded Washington State extended its winning streak to seven with a 69-52 victory Wednesday against 12th-seeded California in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament at Michelob Ultra Arena.

“I thought we played really well tonight,” Washington State head coach Kyle Smith said. “(California’s) a very physical team. They got a lot of length and athleticism there. We did a good job defensively, took care of the ball. We didn’t shoot a great first half but we were able to tighten the game up just a smidge.”

Washington State next will play fourth-seeded Oregon at 2:30 p.m. today in the quarterfinal round at the same site. It’s the second straight season the Cougars beat the Bears in the first round of the conference tournament.

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