UCLA forward Jasmine Dixon takes the ball from California guard Brittany… (Elaine Thompson / Associated…)
SEATTLE -- There was no explaining it. UCLA just enjoyed it.
The Bruins overwhelmed fifth-ranked California, 70-58, in the Pac-12 women's tournament semifinals Saturday night. They were so dominant that the only real competition the crowd at KeyArena saw was at halftime, when they were entertained by dogs racing to retrieve tennis balls.
The victory put the No. 14 Bruins (25-6) in the conference tournament final for the third time in four seasons. UCLA lost to Stanford in 2010 and 2011. It also cost the Bears (28-3) any hope of being a top-seeded team in the NCAA tournament.
Markel Walker made 10 of 13 shots and finished with 23 points. Jasmine Dixon had 15 points and Alyssia Brewer 14, as the Bruins led by as many as 26 points.
UCLA will play the winner of Saturday's late game between fourth-ranked Stanford and Colorado. The Bruins have been eliminated by Stanford in the tournament four times since beating the Cardinal in the 2006 final.
There was nothing to indicate that the Bruins would have such a easy evening against the Bears, who had won the previous two games this season, including a 79-51 rout at Pauley Pavilion. This one got away from California fast.
By halftime, the Bruins had a 35-14 lead and the Bears were bewildered. The 14 points were fewest points Cal has scored in a half this season.
The Bears played as if they had never seen a zone before, ranging between overly tentative and impatient against the Bruins' 2-3 defense. Cal shot 20% in the first 20 minutes, including 0 for 11 on three-pointers.