USC Wins In OT Thriller Over Washington State

Jan. 9, 2005

Box Score

PULLMAN, Wash. - Prior to Sunday's Washington State-USC women's basketball game, the Women of Troy had defeated the Cougars by an average margin of nearly 42 points in the team's four previous regular season meetings.

But on this day, that history was rendered irrelevant thanks to career-high scoring performances from Emma Joneby and Charmaine Jones. The duo scored a combined 45 points in the Cougars' 77-75 overtime loss to USC in Pacific-10 Conference women's basketball action at Friel Court.

'It's steps,' WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell said. 'Even though it was a two-point loss in overtime at home, the only thing I can say is that Washington State will continue to take steps forward. Eventually we will be on the other side.'

In what was the first home overtime game for the Cougars since 1998, Joneby turned in her fourth double-double of the season -- and her second consecutive -- as the senior from Vasteras, Sweden scored 25 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Joneby made a career-best nine field goals en route to registering the second highest point total by a Cougars this season (26 - Adriane Ferguson at Nebraska, Nov. 22).

Propelled by a career-high seven field goals, Jones scored 20 for WSU (4-11, 0-6) including seven in overtime. The junior from Los Angeles had a chance to give the Cougars the win but her 3-point attempt with three seconds left in overtime was on line but just short, hitting off the front iron.

In addition, Kate Benz posted her fourth double-double of the season and the seventh of her career. The sophomore from Portland, Ore. tallied 13 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out with 1:31 left in regulation.

Camille LeNoir led four USC (10-4, 4-1) players who scored in double figures with 14 points. Kim Gipson (12 points), Jamie Hagiya (11 points) and Eshaya Murphy (10 points) completed the quartet.

The game was tight throughout as the largest lead for either team was seven for WSU at 63-56 with 2:55 remaining in regulation.

The Women of Troy quickly erased the deficit, scoring six consecutive points in the ensuing 1:24 to cut WSU's lead to one at 63-62 with 1:31 left.

A pair of Dani Montgomery free throws extended the Cougars' lead to three but a 3-point play by Gipson brought USC to a 65-all deadlock with 1:16 left.

The Cougars retook the lead on a Jones basket with 48 seconds left but Lenoir tied matters up again with a bucket nine seconds later.

After a WSU timeout, Jones was unable to convert her field goal attempt with 14 seconds left and Meghan Gnekow pulled down the rebound for USC. After a USC timeout, Lenoir had an opportunity to give the Women of Troy the win but her attempt fell off the mark.

USC never trailed in the extra period, scoring the first six points of overtime. But the Cougars gradually chipped away at their deficit mainly on the scoring of Jones, who scored seven of the Cougars' eight points over the final five minutes. Down 77-72 with 1:29 left, Jones made 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch to bring WSU within two and in position to win.

After shooting nearly 42 percent in the first half, USC opened the second half missing its first 16 shots. The Women of Troy's first field goal of the second half came at the 9:09 mark. During the stretch, the Cougars turned a 42-37 deficit into a 50-46 lead.

Despite the cold stretch, USC shot 50 percent (8-of-16) for the remainder of the game. In addition, USC held a 51-45 advantage on the boards, including 24-17 on the offensive end.

'Rebounding was the only difference in the game,' Murrell said. 'USC had 12 offensive boards in the first half and 12 offensive boards in the second half (and overtime). We held them to 25 percent (shooting) in the second half so we should have won the game. They were only getting their scores off of offensive rebounds or the free throw line.'

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