Cal, Washington State look to finish strong in Pac-12 matchup

California and Washington State will look to finish what they start Saturday afternoon, unlike their most recent Pac-12 Conference outings, when they allowed leads to disappear late.The Cougars (9-7, 2-3) will look for their third consecutive win over the Golden Bears (9-8, 2-4) when the teams square off in Pullman, Wash.On Thursday, the Cougars appeared on their way to a home win over Stanford, leading 35-26 at halftime. But the Cardinal dominated the second half and won 62-57, denying Washington State an opportunity to score back-to-back conference wins after a 77-61 surprise at Utah last Saturday.Mouhamed Gueye recorded a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double for the Cougars against Stanford, while Michael Flowers continued his impressive season with 12 points.A graduate transfer from South Alabama, Flowers has put up at least seven points in all 16 Washington State games. He’s scored in double figures 11 times.But Flowers is more than just a scorer, coach Kyle Smith noted this week.”I didn’t expect this,” Smith said of Flowers’ all-around game. “He’s really become a better defender. He’s taken on the job of being our top passer. He’s good in the pick-and-roll. If he can keep doing that, giving up some of his game for others, that’s going to make us the best we can be.”Cal has lost three in a row, including 64-55 at Washington on Wednesday — a game in which the Golden Bears led 51-47 with 8:32 to go before failing to make another basket until just 16 seconds remained.The Huskies took control with a 15-0 flurry.