SEATTLE -- Everything had gone according to plan until it didn't for fifth-ranked Cal as the Bears suffered their most shocking defeat of the season Saturday night -- a 70-58 upset loss to UCLA in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals at KeyArena.
Cal employed a full-court press much of the second half to close the margin but never threatened as its 16-game win streak ended in frustration.
"They brought all their strengths to the forefront tonight," Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said of UCLA. "They were ready."
The Bears (28-3) looked helpless when it mattered in falling behind by as many as 26 points against the No. 14 Bruins.
Cal scored a season-low 14 points in the first half and never recovered while ending a game short of an anticipated showdown against Bay Area rival Stanford for the Pac-12 crown.
Instead, the Bruins (25-6) will face the winner of the Stanford-Colorado game for the Pac-12 tournament title. The Bears still should be in contention for a second seed in the NCAA tournament, with their only other defeats coming against then-No. 4 Duke and Stanford.
"I would hope this would keep us where we want to be otherwise," Gottlieb said. "I think our body of work is pretty good."
UCLA effectively put the game away after a 19-4 run in the first half to lead 27-8. With nothing falling for the Bears, UCLA smelled blood.
"Sometimes we shoot well or clean up on the glass," Gottlieb said of the ways Cal has won. "This time both evils were there."
This time, the Bears came unglued by UCLA's zone with big bodies and long arms clogging the floor.
"By them making shots it was hard for us to push the ball," Boyd said. "It was so packed in there was nowhere I could drive or dish to anybody."
The more Cal struggled, the more the Bruins thrived. UCLA senior forward Markel Walker scored 23 points while Jasmine Dixon added 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Alyssia Brewer had 14 and Atonye Nyingifa added 12 in a balanced offense.
Boyd scored 18 points but made only 4 of 11 shots. Layshia Clarendon added 14 on 6 of 22 as Cal shot 29.5 percent for the game.
"For me, everything was contested," Clarendon said.
Gennifer Brandon also had a tough shooting night with seven points but led the Bears with 12 rebounds.
Clarendon vowed Cal would rebound for the NCAA tournament that begins in two weeks.
"This doesn't ruin our season any way at all," she said. "If anything, it will make us more hungry for the tournament."