LAS VEGAS — After winning just two games during conference play, Missy Peterson and her Washington teammates were thrilled to pull off the only upset of the opening day of the Pac-12 tournament.
Peterson matched her career high with 23 points and the 11th-seeded Huskies beat sixth-seeded Utah 64-54 on Thursday night.
“Wins in this conference or Division I basketball period is huge,” Peterson said. “Nobody is an easy game. We knew Utah was going to be hard. We weren’t ready for it to be our last game. We wanted one more.”
Washington (10-20) trailed 26-24 with 4:35 left in the second quarter before scoring the final 10 points of the half. Peterson had the first eight points of that burst. The Huskies kept the momentum going in the third quarter, scoring the first six points to extend their advantage to 40-26. The lead grew to 18 before the Utes (20-10) rallied to within 57-50 in the fourth quarter with 2:17 left, but Peterson hit a foul-line jumper to stem the tide and end all hopes of a comeback.
“Getting wins at this level isn’t easy to do,” Washington coach Jody Wynn said. “We hadn’t performed well enough to get the wins that we all want. It’s big for our program.”
The Huskies will face third-seed Oregon State on Friday night in the quarterfinals.
Megan Huff led Utah with 10 points and 17 rebounds.
LAS VEGAS — Kristine Anigwe had 27 points and 16 rebounds to lead seventh-seeded Cal to a 77-58 win over 10th-seeded Washington State in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament.
Anigwe did her part for Cal (19-11) despite facing constant double- and triple-teams. She recorded her 31st straight double-double, the longest such streak in Pac-12 history.
Chanelle Molina helped Washington State (9-21) hang around for 25 minutes as the Cougars trailed only 36-34 at the break. She had 14 of her 24 points in the first half to offset Anigwe’s 17 points.
Arizona 76, USC 48
Cate Reese and Aari McDonald scored 19 points each to help eighth-seeded Arizona beat ninth-seeded USC in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament.
The Wildcats (18-12) will face top-seeded Oregon on Friday in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Mariya Moore, who was second in scoring for USC (17-13) during the season averaging 15.1 points, missed her first 10 shots and didn’t have a basket until early in the third quarter. She had 12 points.
No. 20 Arizona St. 66, Colorado 49
Courtney Ekmark scored 18 points and No. 20 Arizona State used a run at the start of the fourth quarter to pull away from Colorado and win in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament.
Ekmark hit six three-pointers for the fifth-seeded Sun Devils (20-9), who will play UCLA on Friday in the quarterfinals.
Alexis Robinson scored 19 points to lead 12th-seeded Colorado (12-18).