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Could it be that a portion of Utah's learning curve of playing Pac-12 women's basketball is overcoming reputation as well as the conference's athletic teams?

Of course, the lack of putting together a solid 40 minutes of play is another reason for the Utes' struggles, which continued Sunday afternoon to the tune of a 63-56 loss to California in the Huntsman Center.

As much as he would have liked to, Utah coach Anthony Levrets wasn't about to address his thoughts on the Bears going to the foul line 14 more times than the Utes.

He did, however, continue to feel angst about Utah's lack of consistency, including the start of the second half, when Cal (13-5, 4-2 Pac-12) pushed a two-point advantage to 12.

"I was pleased with our effort for the most part," said Levrets about the four losses in five games for Utah (8-8, 1-4). "They came out and pressed us. We knew they were going to do that, but we didn't execute."

Utah, behind the 3-point shooting of Michelle Plouffe and Iwalani Rodrigues, came on hard at the end, cutting a 13-point lead to two with 21/2 minutes to play. The two Utes combined for 37 points.

However, on a day when Utah honored its former women's head coach of 27 years, Elaine Elliott, the Utes couldn't completely overcome their horrid 0-10 shooting start to the second half.

"It's hard [to win] when you don't go to the free-throw line," Levrets said.

Utah did everything needed to win against a team that leads the nation in rebound margin (18.2). The Utes stayed with the Bears on the glass until play started to get scattered at the end.

Throughout the game, Bears forward Gennifer Brandon, who seemingly has shoes equipped with springs, grabbed 15 rebounds to go with 15 points and caused several Utes to alter their shots.

Cal was also limited to 41 percent shooting and managed just one 3-pointer. However, the Utes couldn't convert consistently on their own end of the court.

"We're adjusting to playing 40 minutes against athletes," Levrets said.

Cal 63, Utah 56

R Former Utah coach Elaine Elliott was honored at halftime for her 27 years and a 582-234 career record.

• Four California players reached double figures in scoring.

• California converted 16 of 22 free throws, while the Utes were 5 of 8.