USC Drops 72-65 Decision To Nebraska
Nov. 26, 2006
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC women's basketball team were passed up in the second half by a streaking Nebraska team, falling 72-65 at home as the Cornhuskers tallied their fifth straight win and handed the Women of Troy their first loss at the Galen Center. USC senior Chloe Kerr led the Trojans with a career-high 25 points. Leading all players on the day, however, was Nebraska's Keira Hardy, who hit a late 3-pointer to seal the deal for the Huskers and notch her 32nd point of the game. USC moves to 2-3 with the loss, while Nebraska improves to 5-1 overall.
A 48-percent shooting effort in the first half wasn't enough to get USC any extra room against Nebraska, as the Huskers grabbed 10 points off Trojan turnovers and had Kiera Hardy score 17 points in the half to keep the game locked 32-32 entering the second half. Nebraska shooting continued to heat up in the second half, however, with a 64-percent half bumping the Huskers' game average to 49.2 percent while USC slowed down to finish at 43 percent. Stopping Hardy proved problematic for the Trojans, as she wound up shooting 61 percent from the floor to help keep Nebraska a step ahead throughout the second half.
Nebraska's full-court pressure forced several USC turnovers, and the Huskers capitalized by converting on fast breaks. After Jamie Hagiya nailed a 3-pointer from the top to get USC ahead 7-6, but Nebraska kept pressing a went on a 9-0 run when Kiera Hardy hit a three to make it 16-8 Nebrasia at 12:20 in the first half. USC ended the run there when Aarika Hughes hit a jumper. USC broke the Husker press after a Nebraska bucket on the other end, and Chloe Kerr finished off the pressbreaker with a layup to make the score 18-14 Nebraska. Shay Murphy tallied her first points of the day with a 3-pointer at the 10-minute mark to get USC within one at 18-17. Kerr stuffed a Nebraske shot low to get the ball back in Trojan hands, and then Kerr took a runner to the hoop to put USC back in the lead at 19-18 with eight minutes left in the half. Murphy gave the Trojans their largest lead of the game with another long one for a 22-18 advantage. USC began to break down a bit after that, giving up six straight points and a pair of turnovers to wind up strailing 24-22 on the way into the final five minutes of the half. Hailey Dunham nailed two free throws to stop the run, but Hardy hit another three. Nadia Parker and Morghan Medlock both finished shots in the paint as USC went back up 28-27. Hughes served up a pass off the drive to Kerr for another go-ahead bucket and a 30-29 USC lead at 1:20. Kerr iced a pair of free throw for a three-point USC lead, but that melted away when Hardy nailed her third three and 17th point of the night to lock up the game 32-32 as the teams went into the lockerrooms.
A pair of baskets from Jamie Hagiya to open the half bumped USC ahead 36-34, but Nebraska matched both to keep it tied early. The Huskers then wrapped a pair of threes around a Kerr low score and then hit another from Jelena Spiric to boost Nebraska to its largest lead of the day at 46-38 at 16:40. Hardy later broke the USC press all by herself and finished it off with a jumper for a 50-40 advantage. She then dished up an assist for a low score by the Huskers, putting USC in 52-40 hole before Murphy drained a long three to get it to 52-43. Kerr then got big and scored from the paint, and then Murphy joined Kerr in double figures with a fast break jumper to make it 56-49. Dunham added a layup, and USC had the lead cut to 56-51 at 9:20. The run that USC had been looking for stalled out, however, when Kelsey Griffin converted a three-point play and then Hardy hit her 27th point with a jumper at the eight-minute mark for a 61-51 Nebraska lead. Kerr drained another pair of free throws to bump her scoring total to 20, but again Hardy responded for her 29th point. Another 12-point deficit wasn't far off for the Trojans, as Nebraska went ahead 65-53 at 6:30. Kerr made it a career night with a low-post move, finish and ensuing free throw, notching her personal best 23rd points of the night to bring the score to 65-56 Nebraska. Trailing by 10 in the final 3:30, USC tried to find a spark. Hagiya drilled a 3-pointer from the top to make it 67-60 at 2:50. A putback from Griffin made it 69-60, but Hagiya nailed another three at 1:47 to put USC within six at 69-63. The Huskers took it down to the wire with a shot just before the shot clock expired, but Kerr was fouled on the rebound, giving her a pair of free throws at 1:15. She drained both to make it 69-65, only to have Hardy hit yet another 3-pointer with 45 seconds left, bumping Nebraska up 72-65.
USC next heads to Colorado and Utah for another nonconference road trip. The Trojans play at Colorado at 2 p.m. MT on Saturday (Nov. 2) and then play at Utah at 7 p.m. on Monday (Nov. 4).
Nebraska 72, USC 65
NEB 32 - 40 -- 72
USC 32 - 33 -- 65