Strong First Half Lifts USC To 78-53 Win Over Prairie View A&M

Dec. 14, 2006

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- Senior guard Shay Murphy had a first-half double-double for the Trojans as the USC women's basketball team powered ahead on the way to a 78-53 win over Prairie View A&M in the first game of the Women of Troy Basketball Classic at the Galen Center. Sophomore center Nadia Parker led the Trojans in scoring for the first time in her career with 19 points, helping USC improve to 5-4 on the season. Prairie View A&M moves to 2-5 with the loss.

USC welcomed home another Trojan great on Thursday night, with two-time national champion Cynthia Cooper-Dyke on the floor as head coach of the Panthers. Cooper-Dyke was honored and presented with a gift from USC head coach Mark Trakh. After the opening tip-off, USC rolled out to its highest scoring first half of the season, leading 42-18 at halftime thanks to that 11-point, 10-rebounds opening performance from Murphy. The Panthers bettered their shooting effort in the second half to keep USC from ballooning its lead much larger. Career scoring days from Parker (19 points) and Morghan Medlock (13 points) helped the Trojans keep a comfortable lead intact, however, as USC set itself up for the win with four players in double figures.

Medlock scored the first five points for the Trojans, answering a Prairie View 3-point play with a 3-pointer that got USC back on top early in the game. A basket from Chloe Kerr, a 3-point play from Nadia Parker and long bombs from Jamie Hagiya and Shay Murphy built a 16-3 USC lead in the first six minutes of action. The Panthers' seven-minute scoring drought extended until 11:48 in the first half, with a 3-pointer from Tanesha Barefield ending a 16-0 USC scoring run to make the score 18-6. PVAMU nailed another three, but three straight scores from Kerr rolled the Women of Troy ahead 30-9. Murphy scored on a swift bounce pass from Medlock before the Panthers slipped in a layup to get the score to 32-11 USC with seven minutes remaining in the half. USC's domination on the boards slipped a bit in the final few minutes of the half, allowing the Panthers to close in on that 20-point lead thanks to a jumper and a pair of free throws. But Hagiya hit Parker for a short jump shot that got USC back up 38-18 with two minutes remaining. Parker drew a charge to get the ball back for the Trojans, and Medlock converted from the paint. One last rebound in the half secured a first-half double-double for Murphy, as she took 11 points and 10 rebounds into the locker room for the Women of Troy, who then held a 42-18 lead.

Prairie View didn't let the Trojans crawl too much farther ahead in the second half, matching USC basket-for-basket and forcing turnovers until the Panthers actually managed to crack that 20-point deficit. A runner from Shavonne Smith got her into double figures and made the score 60-44 USC at 7:30 in the second half. Medlock hit her career high with a jumper, and then Murphy made it back-to-back scores for the Women of Troy to bring the score to 62-44 with six minutes left in the game. Nadia Parker also hit a career high in scoring, delivering consecutive scores before Hagiya added a bucket that made it 72-46 with 2:30 to go.

Next up in the Women of Troy Classic is a Friday clash between Prairie View A&M and Houston. The Panthers and the Cougars square off at 3 p.m. on Friday (Dec. 15) at the Galen Center. USC and Houston will close out the Women of Troy Classic action with a matchup on Saturday (Dec. 16) at 2 p.m.

USC 78, Prairie View A&M 53
PVAMU 18 - 35 -- 53
USC 42 - 36 -- 78

• 42 points marks the most points scored by USC in the first half this season.
• 18 points marks the fewest points allowed by USC in the first half this season.
• Shay Murphy scored in double figures for the 34th straight game.
• Chloe Kerr scored in double figures for the 11th straight game.
• Morghan Medlock scored a career-high 13 points.
• Nadia Parker scored a career-high 19 points and tied her career high of 7 rebounds.
• Jamie Hagiya tied her career-high of 8 rebounds.
• Shay Murphy tallied her fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
• Nicole Berberet had a career-high 2 steals.

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