Trojans Rally Past Wildcats; Play Stanford Tomorrow
March 5, 2005
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Camille LeNoir made four free throws in the final 30 seconds and matched her season-high with 17 points as Southern California rallied for a 74-66 victory over Arizona in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 tournament on Saturday night.
Jamie Funn added 12 points as the fourth-seeded Women of Troy (19-9) won their third straight and five of eight to solidify their claim to an NCAA tournament bid.
Southern Cal meets No. 2 Oregon in Sunday's semifinal.
Dee-Dee Wheeler scored 15 points to lead the fifth-seeded Wildcats (19-11), who may have hurt their chances to advance. Natalie Jones added 14 points.
Arizona, picked to contend for the conference title, had reached the tournament championship game each of the past two years while Southern Cal, picked to finish seventh, lost in the first round in two of the previous three years.
The Wildcats lost their third in four games.
Wheeler, the active career scoring leader in the Pac-10, hit a jumper with 12:06 left in the game to help the Wildcats open a 55-49 advantage but Southern Cal rallied to tie the score at 57 four minutes later when Meghan Gnekow hit an inside basket.
Rachel Woodward's 3-pointer gave the Women of Troy a five-point edge with less than five minutes to play but the Wildcats stormed back to make it close.
Wheeler missed a 3-pointer in the final minute that would have given Arizona the lead. Gnekow was fouled on the rebound and sank a pair of free throws for the 70-66 advantage.
Arizona built a 10-point lead in the first eight minutes but the Women of Troy negated that with a 23-10 run over the next nine minutes and settled for a 40-38 halftime lead.