Shay Murphy Scores 33 As USC Tops Colorado 76-57
Dec. 2, 2006
BOULDER, COLO. -- Senior guard Shay Murphy eclipsed her career-high scoring mark with 33 points in the thin Colorado air to help lift the USC women's basketball team to its first road win of the year in a 76-57 victory on Saturday afternoon in Boulder, Colo. The Trojans took care of the ball and was consistent from the floor, shooting 46 percent in the game to overcome a strong rebounding night by the Buffaloes and several Trojans in foul trouble in the game. USC improves to 3-3 with the win, while Colorado moves to 5-3. Murphy was joined in double figures by Chloe Kerr and Morghan Medlock with 11 points each and Jamie Hagiya with 10.
Another foul-plagued first half for the Trojans allowed Colorado multiple chances to move in on a once-daunting USC lead. The Women of Troy kept the Buffaloes from scoring for eight minutes as USC worked ahead 22-5 at one point. Colorado hit 10 free throws thanks to Trojan fouls during the Buffs' comeback efforts in the final stages of the second half. Colorado worked back to make it an eight-point game by halftime with a 34-26 USC advantage. A strong opening to the second half and a pair of 6-0 scoring runs helped the Trojans put Colorado in a hole it had no hope of digging out of as Shay Murphy drained 13 straight points to get USC to a 76-52 lead.
Allison Jaskowiak got decked with two quick fouls early in the first half, but Shay Murphy reeled off a runner, a jumper off a steal and then a 3-pointer to boost USC to an 11-4 lead in the first five minutes of the game. Morghan Medlock drained a jumper under pressure, and Chloe Kerr slipped in a score for a 15-4 USC edge. Medlock drained a three soon after, and then the USC defense forced a shot clock violation by the Buffs as USC held an 18-4 lead at the 11-minute mark.
Colorado pulled out of an eight-minute scoring drought with a single free throw from Aija Putnina, but a score from the floor would elude the Buffaloes until 8:39 when Putnina had a putback to make it 22-7 USC. Murphy, meanwhile, remained perfect from the floor, going 5-for-5 to hold 13 points with eight minutes still to play in the first half. Her first miss came on a long 3-opnt try at 5:25, but by that time was holding a 27-14 lead thanks in part to Hailey Dunham's first points of the night. Murphy nailed her 15th points of the half to get USC ahead 31-18, only to have Colorado's Jasmina Ilic drain another pair of free throws after USC's 13th foul of the half. Jackie McFarland finished off a Buffalo fast break to bring Colorado within 10 at 31-21 with 3:45 left in the half. More Colorado free throws got the score to 31-24, and then Kristen Travers drilled a 3-pointer to stop a 6-0 CU scoring run with 1:45 left in the half. McFarland scored from the floor soon after, however, making it 34-26 USC as the teams entered the locker rooms for halftime.
The Trojans opened the second half by forcing a CU turnover. Jamie Hagiya then launched a long 3-pointer and then Murphy finished off a layup off a Hagiya assist to pump USC up 39-26 with the teams a minute deep in the second half. A 9-0 USC run was snapped by a fast break layup by Colorado, but the Trojans answered back soon after. Simone Jelks pumped in a basket, and then Hagiya nailed another three to get USC up 48-30 at the 15-minute mark. A pair of threes from Ilic pulled the score to 53-40 USC just before Morghan Medlock drained a pair of free throws -- USC's third trip to the line in the game -- to further a career-high scoring effort for the freshman. USC went on a 6-0 run to go up 59-40, and then McFarland ended the run with a score in the paint. Hagiya nabbed a steal and finished the layup to become the third Trojan to hit double figures in the game.
Murphy stuffed an Ilic shot and took the ball back the other way, converting the layup for the senior's 22nd point of the night and a 63-46 USC lead with eight minutes remaining in the game. Another Murphy basket boosted the Trojans to a 69-48 lead just before the five-minute mark, and the senior kept plowing away to score 13 straight points and secure a career-high 33-point outing.
USC next travels to Salt Lake City for a 7 p.m. matchup at Utah on Monday (Dec. 4).
USC 76, Colorado 57
USC 34 - 42 -- 76
CU 26 - 31 -- 57
Shay Murphy scored a career-high 33 points.
Morghan Medlock scored a career-high 11 points.
Kristen Travers scored a career-high 5 points.
Shay Murphy has scored in double figures for 31 straight games.
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