UCLA Edges USC In Women's Basketball, 62-61
Dec. 29, 2004
Los Angeles, Calif. - In the 2004-05 Pac-10 opener against cross-town rival USC, the 23rd-ranked UCLA women's basketball team survived several last-second shots to defeat the Trojans, 62-61, in front of a Pauley Pavilion season-high crowd of 3,501.
UCLA jumped out to a 13-2 lead to start the game, forcing seven early USC turnovers and taking advantage of the Trojans' 0-9 shooting start from the field. The Bruins went on to lead 20-6 at 11:39 before USC clawed its way back into the game by outscoring UCLA 10-1 over the next eight minutes. USC pulled to within two three times in the final two and a half minutes, including a basket by Chloe Kerr with one second remaining to close the half and bring the halftime score to 27-25 UCLA. The Bruins shot 46.2% from the field but committed an uncharacteristic 16 turnovers. USC shot 28.15% from the field and had 11 turnovers.
The Bruins regained control early in the second half, going back up 35-25 after a Lisa Willis jumper. USC pulled to within four at 51-48 after a three-point play from Chloe Kerr at 7:22. But Lindsey Pluimer hit a three-pointer at 6:59 to extend the Bruins' lead to seven at 54-47. USC's Eshaya Murphy hit back-to-back three-pointers to tie the game at 58 with 5:02 to play, then Bruin guard Nikki Blue hit a jump shot in the lane to regain the lead, 60-58, at 4:44. USC's Rachel Woodward hit a pair of free throws to tie up the game again at 3:43, then Willis hit a running jumper at 2:32 to give the Bruins a 62-60 lead. Jamie Funn made one of two free throws at 1:38 cut UCLA's lead to one. USC's Camille LeNoir airballed a three-point attempt with less than a minute to play, but Blue missed a jumper as the shot clocked expired on the other end. USC pulled down the rebound and called time out with 12 seconds to play. USC missed two shots under the basket and received the ball with 0.6 seconds on the clock after the rebound went out of bounds off of UCLA. Noelle Quinn tipped away the inbounds pass to preserve the Bruin win.
USC, which never led in the game, fell to 6-4 on the year and 0-1 in the Pac-10 conference. UCLA won its eighth-straight home game and improved to 7-3 on the year and 1-0 in the Pac-10.Quinn led the Bruins with 16 points, her 31st straight game in double figures scoring. LeNoir and Murphy each had 13 points to pace the Women of Troy.
UCLA earns five points in the year-long battle with USC for the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy. The two teams are now tied at 20 points apiece.