USC Wins Third Straight With 65-42 Victory Over Houston

Dec. 16, 2006

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC womenâ�TMs basketball team clamped down on Houston in the first half to work toward claiming its third straight victory as the Trojans pinned up a 65-42 win over the visiting Cougars in the finale of the Women of Troy Basketball Classic on Saturday afternoon at the Galen Center. Nadia Parker led all scorers forf the second straight game with 16 points in the game. USC improves to 6-4 with the win, while Houston moves to 2-7 overall. The Women of Troy now set up for Pac-10 competition, which begins on Dec. 20 against Stanford at the Galen Center.

The Women of Troy broke out of a slow first half to outscore Houston 25-2 down the final stretch of the first half to take a 34-11 lead by halftime. USC allowed Houston to score just one basket in the last 9 1/2 minutes of the half to secure the fewest first-half points allowed this season. All eight Trojans who hit the floor in the first half scored for USC, and senior guard Shay Murphy had locked down her 35th straight game in double figures with 10 first-half points. Houston didnâ�TMt have a player hit double figures until Tye Jackson knocked down a long three for the Cougars with 1:15 left in the game, making the score 63-40 USC as the teams entered the final minute of play.

It was a slow scoring start on both ends, but USC kept a slight edge in the first 10 minutes thanks in part to its control of the boards. Back-to-back Trojan turnovers enabled Houston to tie up the game 9-9 at 9:30, but Jamie Hagiya hit Chloe Kerr on a fast break layup to help USC get back ahead 11-9 almost two minutes later. A pair of Hagiya free throws pushed USC up 13-9, and Nadia Parker delivered a jumper from the post to creep the Women of Troy to a 6-0 run and a 15-9 lead with 6:43 to go in the half. Morghan Medlock slipped in a putback to extend the run before the teams traded turnovers and Hailey Dunham punched in a jumper to make it a 10-0 Trojan scoring streak. Houston stopped the run with a score in the paint that brought the score to 19-11 USC at 4:40 to end almost five minutes of scoreless play for the Cougars. Shay Murphy then answered with her first 3-pointer of the game to put Houston in an 11-point hole entering the last four minutes of the half. Allison Jaskowiak became USCâ�TMs eighth player in the game to score with a layup off a pass from Kerr, and Hagiya and Murphy both landed 3-pointers to help USC end the half on a 25-2 scoring advantage for a 34-11 halftime lead.

Houston got on the board first with a 3-pointer from Ryan Bradley and managed to keep answering USCâ�TMs scores through the first 10 minutes of the half once again. USC held its 24-point lead on the way into the last 10, when Nadia Parker joined Murphy and Kerr in double figures and Kristen Travers became USCâ�TMs ninth player to score when she converted a three-point play to put USC up 53-26 with 8:10 remaining. Parker put Houston behind by 27 with a pair of free throws at 3:30, and Travers made it 63-34 with a jumper from the perimeter. Jacksonâ�TMs three was followed by a bucket from Parker that gave her a game-high 16 points.

The Women of Troy now move into Pac-10 play, opening up conference competition with a home series next week against Stanford and California. USC and Stanford face off at 7 p.m. on Wednesday (Dec. 20), and USC squares off with California at 1 p.m. on Friday (Dec. 22).

USC 65, Houston 42
HOU 11 - 31 -- 42
USC 34 - 31 -- 65

2006 Women of Troy Basketball Classic All-Tournament Team
MVP: Shay Murphy, USC
Chloé Kerr, USC
Nadia Parker, USC
Sunshine Misa-Uli, Houston
Tye Jackson, Houston
Gaati Werema, Prairie View A&M

GAME NOTES:
â�¢ Houstonâ�TMs 11 points in the first half marks the fewest points allowed by USC in a half this season and the second fewest in USC history.
� Shay Murphy scored in double figures for the 35th straight game.
â�¢ Chloé Kerr scored in double figures for the 12th straight game.
� Allison Jaskowiak had a season-high 7 rebounds.
� Simone Jelks had a career-high 5 rebounds.

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