USC Makes Stellar Comeback For 69-64 Win At Oregon

Feb. 23, 2006

EUGENE, ORE. -- The USC women's basketball team stared an 11-point halftime deficit in the face and dug its way out for an important 69-64 win over Oregon and a loud McArthur Court on Thursday night. Eshaya Murphy pumped in 21 points in the second half to anchor the Women of Troy to victory, nailing four 3-pointers and coming up with a timely steal and layup late in the game. The victory puts USC at 17-9 overall and 11-6 in Pac-10 play, while Oregon moves to 14-13, 5-12.

Oregon wound down the first half on a 12-0 run thanks to a flurry of scores , including seven points from Brandi Davis, and Chelsea Wagner's fourth 3-pointer of the half. The Trojans saw several shot attempts take frustratingly unfavorable rolls off the rim in the final minutes of the half. The Ducks took a 37-26 lead into the locker room, while the Women of Troy looked for a spark for the second half of play. The 11-point hole was USC's largest halftime deficit of the season.

That deficit got as deep as 12 points for USC with 16:03 to go in the game, but the Women of Troy remained calm. Davis would score only two more points for Oregon in the half, and Wagner had just one more 3-pointer in her, whereas Murphy put the Trojans on her back and reeled off almost half of USC's second-half points on her way to that 23-point night. The lead changed 14 times before the final buzzer, but the Trojans were near unstoppable from the floor with a 53-percent shooting effort in the half, including a 6-of-12 performance from 3-point range.

The comeback began when Murphy drilled her first 3-pointer of the game to cut that 12-point hole to nine at 44-35. Wagner drilled her fifth three of the night right after to take back that lead, but USC seemed to have its confidence back. Murphy converted a layup, and Nadia Parker and Chloe Kerr both scored in the paint to cut Oregon's lead to 47-41. Still, the Trojans trailed, until Murphy caught fire for another 3-pointer and a jumper that got USC to its first lead since the Ducks had taken it away at the 5:40 mark of the first half. The lead switched hands seven more times in the half, with Oregon's last lead coming on a turnaround jumper from Jessie Shetters with 2:15 to go. Camille grabbed the lead back, and Murphy added to with with a steal and ensuing layup in the final minute of play for a 67-64 lead. Davis was just off on her 3-point try, and Murphy grabbed her 10th rebound of the game to set the Trojans up for victory. LeNoir nailed a pair of free throws to close things down on USC's victory to tack up the 69-64 win for the Women of Troy. LeNoir wound up with 14 points on the night to finish as USC's second double-digit scorer. Once again, Meghan Gnekow had the last word for the Trojans, stuffing Wagner on her final 3-point try to keep USC's five-point victory intact. Jamie Hagiya dished up seven assists, and Allison Jaskowiak ripped down seven rebounds.

USC finishes out Pac-10 regular-season play at Oregon State at 7 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 25).

USC		26  -  43  --  69ORE		37  -  27  --  64
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