USC Slips With 62-54 Loss At No. 10 ASU

Jan. 21, 2007

TEMPE, ARIZ. -- The USC women's basketball team held streaking No. 10 ASU to its second-lowest scoring outing of the season, but couldn't pass up the Sun Devils, falling 62-54 in Tempe to trip up a five-game winning streak by the Trojans. The Sun Devils, meanwhile, ran their win streak up to six straight, and improve to 18-2 overall and 8-1 in Pac-10 play. USC is now 11-8, 5-4 as the Women of Troy close down the first half of conference play. USC seniors Jamie Hagiya and Shay Murphy both hit double figures, with Murphy hitting her 44th straight game in double digits and eighth double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Hagiya led USC with 13 points for her sixth game in double figures for the Women of Troy. Freshman Morghan Medlock also added 10 for USC.

USC succeeded in slowing a traditionally hot ASU offense early in the game, with ASU holding only a slim 6-4 lead after the first five minutes of action. The defensive stalemate on both ends remained a theme throughout. USC's rebounding edge helped counter a slow scoring output by the Trojans, however. USC led the rebounding game 33-17 by halftime, but was hampered by its opening shooting percentage. USC shot 28 percent in the first half, compared to ASU's 41 percent effort that helped the Sun Devils to a 31-27 halftime lead. The Trojans upped that mark to 34 percent in the game, but ASU did the same, going 44 percent down the stretch and knocking down 15 of 19 free throws thanks in part to a load of fouls by USC.

In the first half, Aarika Hughes tipped an ASU pass for Jamie Hagiya to collect and take the other way, with the senior point guard finishing off the layup to make it 6-6 at 14:10. Offensive boards weren't a problem for the Trojans, but putting the ball back in proved an issue, as USC was 2-16 from the floor until Nadia Parker slipped in a putback to make it 10-8 ASU. Simone Jelks hit Chloe Kerr low for a layin followed two ASU free throws to cut the Sun Devils lead to two, and then Shay Murphy took a feed from Nicole Berberet for a runner that locked it up 12-12 at 9:38.

The Women of Troy had the Sun Devils doubled up on the boards, leading 21-10 with a defensive rebound from Kerr with 7:40 remaining in the first half. On the other hand, turnovers were hurting the Trojans, as they committed their ninth turnover to put the ball back in ASU hands. But Jamie Hagiya saw an opening at 3-point range and made the most of it, draining a long one at 7:05 to give USC a 17-16 lead. Shay Murphy followed suit with a 3-pointer from the baseline at 6:25 to lift USC to its largest lead in the game at 20-16. Jamie Funn made it a 7-0 run by converting her first of two free throws, only to have ASU's Breann January finish off a three-point play. The Sun Devils then followed another Murphy score with back-to-back baskets, however, closing back in to tie the game 23-23 at 4:38. Danielle Orsillo hit ASU's first 3-pointer of the night to get the Sun Devils up 26-23, but Kerr was wide open on the Trojan's next trip down, punching in the layup to bring the score to 26-25 ASU at 2:20. Murphy was just a hair off her 3-point attempt with 50 seconds left in the half, but her putback with 20 seconds left was good, making it 29-27 ASU until Danielle Orsillo managed a late layup for the Sun Devils to give ASU a 31-27 lead at the half.

The Trojans fell into an eight-point hole at 37-29 early in the second half until Hagiya and Morghan Medlock knocked down buckets around an ASU free throw for a 38-33 ASU lead at 15:45. Westerberg became the first player to hit double figures with a score in the paint that gave ASU a 40-33 lead. Fouls became one of the bigger obstacles in the half for Trojans, as they were tagged with their seventh foul of the half to put the Sun Devils in bonus at 13:00. Murphy hit double digits next for her 44th straight game, and then Hagiya slipped in a layup to cut the lead to 40-39 until Orsillo hit a jumper for a 42-39 ASU lead at 11:45.

USC went back by seven with a pair of ASU free throws and a layup off a Trojan turnover with 11 minutes remaining. Allison Jaskowiak drained a 3-pointer at 10:33 to cut the lead to 46-42. Murphy made it a double-double when she grabbed her own rebound, but an 8-0 ASU run put the Trojans behind by 12 entering the last five minutes of play, and then two more free throws got ASU up 58-44 just before USC committed its 25th turnover at the 4-minute mark. The Women of Troy had yet to shoot a free throw in the half by that point, as the Sun Devils picked up just their sixth team foul of the half at 3:49. USC, meanwhile, had been tagged with 12 second-half fouls. USC's scoring drought ended when Murphy got the ball to Nadia Parker for a bucket and a 58-46 ASU lead at 3:46. Murphy picked up a steal at halfcourt at 1:20, only to have the referee blow the ball dead due to an object thrown on the court at the ASU offensive end of the court. With the ball out of bounds, USC still managed to convert the offensive oportunity, as Hagiya was fouled on the shot and dumped in both her free throws to make it 62-52. A defensive stop from USC was followed by a Medlock score with 45 seconds left to cut the lead to eight. A full ASU possession took a load of time off the clock, however, leaving USC with 13.5 seconds remaining to cut down that 62-54 Sun Devil advantage.

USC now returns home to host Washington State and Washington to open the second half of Pac-10 play. The Trojans face the Cougars at 7 p.m. on Friday (Jan. 26) before heading into their rematch with the Huskies in a 2 p.m. game on Sunday (Jan. 28) at the Galen Center.

Arizona State 62, USC 54
USC 27 - 27 -- 54
ASU 31 - 31 -- 62

• Shay Murphy scored in double figures for the 44th straight game and recorded her eighth double-double of the season.
• Jamie Hagiya scored in double figures for the sixth straight game.

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