USC Goes Big, Beats Washington 78-58

Jan. 28, 2007

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC women's basketball team came out with a solid gameplan and produced in an important Pac-10 win over Washington, posting a decisive 76-54 win over the Huskies on Sunday afternoon at the Galen Center. The Women of Troy had a season-best 54 percent shooting effort from the floor and went 60 percent from 3-point range to take a lead and never trail in the game. For the second straight game, USC had three seniors finish in double figures, led by 25 points from Shay Murphy for the guard's 46th consecutive game in double digits. Center Chloe Kerr added 15, and point guard Jamie Hagiya put in 12 to help round out USC's balanced attack against Washington. USC improves to 13-8 overall and 7-4 in Pac-10 play, while Washington moves to 13-9, 6-5.

After falling 76-60 in Seattle to the Huskies in the first half of Pac-10 play, the Women of Troy returned the favor with an outstanding all-around performance on their home court at the Galen Center to get an important conference win. Hagiya came just one assist short of a double-double, serving up 12 points, nine assists and five steals. Defensively, USC kept Washington's starters under wraps, as only the only starter to hit double digits was Cameo Hicks with 13 points. Jill Bell and Dominique Banks added 13 and 12 points, respectively, off the bench for the Huskies.

USC combined defensive pressure with some long-awaited hot shooting from the floor in the first half to help build a 48-26 halftime lead -- USC's highest scoring first half of the season. USC shot 65.5 percent in the half, getting three 3-pointers from Shay Murphy in the final two minutes of the half to grab that sizeable halftime lead. USC hadn't shot over 50 percent since its first game of the season, a 51 percent effort against Long Beach State. Rebounding also aided the Trojan cause, as USC led on the boards 19-12 to open the game and finished with a 41-35 advantage.

After picking off a pass and taking the ball the other way, Jamie Hagiya knocked down the first of two free throws, helping USC to a 10-point lead at 14-4 with 15:20 on the clock. Chloe Kerr pushed the Trojans to a 22-11 lead at 11:05 when Shay Murphy hit her with a pass down low for a layup. Hagiya then grabbed an offensive board and slipped in a layup, then later found Nadia Parker low for a score that jumped USC ahead 26-11 at 9:15. Parker later converted a three-point play, making it 29-11 as the Trojans held a 72 percent shooting percentage from the floor at that point in the game. The Huskies upped their shooting mark to 30 percent when Dominique Banks hit a three at 7:45 to bring the score to 29-14. Jamie Funn got in on the scoring for the Trojans next, however, sinking a baseline jumper that got USC up 31-14 with 6:20 to go in the half. A USC turnover and a pair of Washington baskets cut the lead to 31-20, but a layup from Allison Jaskowiak followed by a Hagiya steal and free throw, and then a pair of free throws from Parker put Washington behind 36-30 with four minutes remaining. Morghan Medlock followed a Husky free throw with a 3-pointer for a 39-21 lead, only to have UW get a putback and a jumper to make it a 14-point game again. Murphy drained a three next, however, just before the two-minute mark, then knocked down two more in the final 30 seconds to balloon USC's halftime lead to 48-26 and secure her 46th straight game in double figures.

Jamie Funn scored the first points of the half, then served up a block and then a fastbreak layup the other way. With the pass coming from Hagiya, the senior point guard served up her eighth assist in the game to tie her season high with 17 minutes still to go in the game. Two jumpers from Murphy put Washington in a 56-28 hole at 16:05. UW's Banks hit a three after that, however, and Jill Bell added another to get the score to 56-34 at 14:20. A layup from Erica Shelley and a free throw from Stefanie Clark made it an 9-0 run for the Huskies, cutting their deficit to 56-37 with 12:50 on the clock. Hagiya solved that with a 3-pointer, then a steal and a layup to join Murphy in double figures and get USC up 61-37.

A trip to the free-throw line by UW's Breanne Watson pulled the Huskies out of a 20-point hole, making it 64-46 entering the 10-minute mark of the second half. Cameo Hicks picked up a steal and a layup to make it 64-48, but Aarika Hughes got on the board for the Trojans next, sinking a jumper from the elbow at 8:40 to become the eighth Trojan to score in the game. Murphy worked her point total into the 20s with a pair of free throws that got USC's lead back to 20 points at 68-48 with 7:30 remaining. A Washington turnover against the USC press resulted in a bucket from Kerr to put USC ahead 74-51 as the teams entered the final five minutes of action. Hagiya dealt out her ninth assist of the game, finding Murphy for an acrobatic fast break layup at 3:30 that put USC up 76-54.

USC now heads to Oregon to face Oregon State at 7 p.m. on Thursday (Feb. 1) and then play at Oregon at 7 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 3).

USC 78, Washington 58
UW 48 - 32 -- 58
USC 26 - 30 -- 78

GAME NOTES:
• Shay Murphy scored in double figures for the 46th straight game.
• USC's 48 points in the first half was its highest scoring first half of the season.
• Jamie Hagiya scored in double figures for the eighth straight game.
• USC posted its best shooting percentage of the season, going 54 percent from the floor in the game.
• USC shot its best 3-point mark of the season, going 60 percent (6-of-10) from behind the arc.
• Nadia Parker tied her career high of rebounds with 7 rebounds, six of which were offensive boards.

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