USC To Face Houston At 2 p.m. Saturday In Women of Troy Classic Finale

Dec. 15, 2006

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- In the second game of the inaugural Women of Troy Basketball Classic at the Galen Center, Houston edged out Prairie View A&M in a tightly contested double-overtime game on Friday afternoon. Houston's Tye Jackson led all scorers with 28 points in the game. Houston's record improves to 2-6 with the win, and Prairie View A&M is now 2-6 overall. The final game of the Classic will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 16) when USC takes on Houston for a chance to extend the Trojans' winning streak to three games.

The Panthers shot well in the first half, leading by as many as nine points with nine minutes remaining in the half. Houston closed in and tied it up 26-26 at the four-minute mark, later creeping to its first lead since the first four minutes of the game. PVAMU's Gaati Werema scored a layup with 30 seconds left in the half to re-tie the score at 33-33, and then converted a pair of free throws to push the Panthers to a 35-33 halftime edge. Houston pulled ahead 43-39 in the early goings of the second half, however, and the teams traded leads until Prairie View tied things up again 59-59 at 8:40. Shakeya Johns put the Panthers up 61-59 after a Cougar turnover, but Sunshine Misa-Uli became Houston's third player in double figures with a layup and another score that got Houston ahead 65-61 with seven minutes to go. Again, PVAMU closed in and went ahead with a pair of free throws from Candice Thomas, who became the Panthers fourth player in double figures at the 4:15 mark. The lead changed hands five times and was tied eight times in the second half. Prairie View nailed five threes in the second half, while Houston hit its first of the half with two minutes remaining when Tye Jackson knocked one down to make it 74-71 Cougars. Up by two, Houston was unable to finish off a series of offensive rebounds, while PVAMU's Johns scored down low to tie it up. With 30 seconds remaining and the score tied at 75-75, Maya Monakute missed the front end of her one-and-one chance at the line, leaving it tied for another Panther possession. Houston got a steal on the inbounds, and Sha'Ratta Hawkins scored to go up, but PVAMU's Thomas answered to keep it tied. With 2.2 seconds left, the Panthers had the ball out of bounds, and their last-second shot fell short to force overtime.

Prairie View pulled ahead 86-82 with two minutes to go in overtime, but Misa-Uli delivered a putback to get within two. Hawkins pulled down a defensive rebound and Jackson slipped in a layup to make it 86-86 with nine seconds remaining. In its final possession of overtime, PVAMU went for the three but was off the mark to bring up overtime number two. Tanesha Barefield scored for the Panthers to bring it to 91-90 Houston mid-way through the second overtime, but a series of free throws padded Houston's lead to 94-90 at 1:30. PVAMU couldn't put another field goal in down the stretch, however, leaving Houston with the advantage and a 96-90 win.

Prairie View A&M was led in scoring and rebounding by Gaati Werema with 21 points and 13 reounds, and Shavonne Smith added 19 for the Panthers. Houston had three players put up double-doubles -- Ryan Meyers (10 points, 11 rebounds), Maya Onikute (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Sha'Ratta Hawkins (15 points, 13 rebounds.)

The Women of Troy Classic offered an opportunity for the Trojans to welcome home another USC great. Two-time national champion Cynthia Cooper-Dyke is in her first year as the head coach at Prairie View A&M, which took the Galen Center floor as the home team on Friday afternoon.

Houston 96, Prairie View A&M 90
HOU 33 - 44 -- 9 -- 10 -- 96
PVU 35 - 42 -- 9 -- 4 -- 90

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