USC Endures Narrow Loss To No. 1 UConn, 72-69
Dec 7, 2003
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Diana Taurasi hit two 3-pointers in the final 2:39 whenConnecticut clung to a one-point lead, and the top-ranked Huskies escaped witha 72-69 victory Sunday over Southern California.
The Huskies' 72-game regular-season winning streak was in jeopardy untilTaurasi scored their final nine points. She finished with 26.
Rachel Woodward's game-tying 3-point attempt hit the rim and bounced away atthe buzzer.
The Huskies (6-0) had defeated their first five opponents by an average of33.2 points, but had their hands full against the Trojans. USC led by15 points in the first half.
Barbara Turner added 19 points for Connecticut, which led 63-62 when Taurasistripped Eshaya Murphy of the ball and hit a 3-pointer. Taurasi had missedthree straight shots before she hit from long range to give Connecticut a 66-62lead with 2:39 remaining.
Murphy hit a 3-pointer and Jamie Hagiya made two free throws to draw theTrojans to 72-69. Maria Conlon missed two free throws for UConn to create thelast-second suspense.
Ebony Hoffman scored 15 points before fouling out late and Murphy added 13points for USC (1-3).
Taurasi scored seven of the Huskies' first 13 points as they took aseven-point lead. The Trojans launched a 31-9 run on consecutive 3-pointers byHoffman and Murphy that gave them a 37-22 lead with 2:48 remaining in the firsthalf.
USC hit six 3-pointers during the spurt in which the Huskies committed eightof their 12 turnovers, including three by Taurasi.
Connecticut recovered quickly, outscoring the Trojans 13-4 to close the halftrailing 38-33. Conlon hit a 3-pointer with six seconds remaining, then USC'sChloe Kerr turned the ball over and Turner stunned USC by hitting a basket atthe buzzer.
The announced crowd of 6,172 at the Sports Arena was USC's seventh-largestever. The Trojans lost their third home for only the third time. They werebeaten by UNLV in 1989 and San Diego State in 1996.
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