Cal Passes Up USC In Overtime, For 86-79 Pac-10 Win
Feb. 22, 2007
BERKELEY, CALIF. -- The USC women's basketball team was edged out in overtime by California, seeing a second-half lead eclipsed in the last few minutes of regulation before the Bears worked ahead on free throws to claim an 86-79 win in Berkeley on Thursday night. USC was led by a 22-point night by Shay Murphy and 16 points from Jamie Hagiya. Nine different Women of Troy scored in the game, but Cal had a powerhouse night from two posts, Ashley Walker (32 points, 11 rebounds) and Devanei Hampton (25 points) and double figures from Natasha Vital (15) and Keanna Levy (11) more to anchor the Bears to victory. USC moves to 16-11 overall and 10-7 in Pac-10 play, while Cal grabs the upper hand in conference play by taking over third place, 11-6 in Pac-10 and 21-7 overall.
Senior point guard Jamie Hagiya had 14 points by halftime as she helped lead USC in a strong 3-point outing to open the game. USC made good on six 3-pointers -- four from Hagiya and two from Allison Jaskowiak -- in the first half for a 52 percent overall shooting effort from the floor. Cal wasn't far behind, going 48 percent from the floor by halftime. USC's defense was effective in taking a lot of time away from Cal's offensive setup, but the Bears had the advantage on the boards throughout. The Bears were successful in keeping the Trojans relatively quiet on the offensive boards. The rebounding game weighed in Cal's favor to the tune of a 39-27 rebounding advantage. That edge was most glaring in overtime, when USC earned no second chances while the Trojans, leaving USC forced to foul. Walker finished the game with 14 points off free throws, leading a 29-of-37 effort from the line by Cal. USC hit nine threes in the game and ended with a 44.6 shooting percentage compared to 47.3 by Cal along with five 3-pointers -- three in the second half and two from Levy in the last 4:15 of regulation.
Hagiya opened up and busted a pair of threes for the Women of Troy, then grabbed a steal and popped a jumper to pull USC to an 8-4 lead barely two minutes into action. She served up another near the 15-minute mark to get herself into double digits and lift USC ahead 13-7, and then Nadia Parker delivered a jumper for a 15-7 USC lead. Cal answered with a quick score from Walker, however, and then Walker finished off her second three-point play of the half to cut USC's advantage to 15-12. A Cal 3-pointer was answered swiftly by a three from Allison Jaskowiak to hold USC ahead 20-15 as the 10-minute mark approached. Ashley Walker hit double digits from Cal off a low score, but Parker hit one of her own in the paint next to keep USC up 24-19 at 8:00. USC's lead was cut to one after a USC turnover led to a fastbreak layup from Vital, making it 24-23 USC with 6:45 to go in the half. Simone Jelks padded it back to three with a low score, just before Walker took another perfect trip to the free-throw line, sinking her fifth and sixth free throws of the night to bring the score to 26-25 USC. A 3-pointer from Cal's Levy bumped Cal to its first lead of the game at 5:02, up 28-26. A Hailey Dunham steal helped set up Hagiya for her fourth 3-pointer of the night, stealing back the lead for USC, 30-29. Cal went up for a moment, but USC came back again. A 3-point play from Jamie Funn was followed by another Dunham steal and then a Jaskowiak three for a 36-31 USC lead with 1:46 remaining. Cal hit one next, however, and got a single free throw from Lauren Greif for a 36-35 USC lead at the half.
Morghan Medlock became USC's eighth player to score, answering a pair of Cal scores that gave the Bears a short-lived lead. A 3-pointer and a jumper from Shay Murphy boosted the Trojans ahead 45-41 with 16:05 on the clock. Parker was tagged with her fourth foul of the game trying to take a charge from Walker at the post at 15:42. More free throws from Walker got it back to a one-point game at 45-44, but Funn drained two of her own next for USC. Dunham became the ninth Trojan to score with a jumper that gave USC a five-point lead at 53-48 with 11:30 on the clock. Funn served up a huge block on Levy with three seconds on the shot clock to help get the ball back for the Trojans, and later Aarika Hughes helped force the Bears into a turnover out of bounds with 9:05 on the clock. Hagiya then nabbed a steal at halfcourt, missed the layup try under pressure, but had Jaskowiak slip in the putback for a 55-50 USC lead with 8:16 remaining in regulation. Hampton lured Kerr into her fourth foul at 7:29 as Hampton scored low. A fastbreak layup from Murphy got the senior into double figures with 6:45 to go, and she nailed a three after a Walker score for a 62-56 USC lead with 5:50 remaining. A minute later, Murphy nailed a long two for a 64-56 USC advantage. Hampton hit her first two free throws of the half next, however, and then Levy sank a 3-pointer at 4:07 to bring it to a three-point game, 64-61 USC with 4:07 on the clock. Murphy pumped in a jumper next for a 66-61 USC lead at 3:45. Levy knocked down a three next, however, knotting the game at 66-66 with 2:10, then Murphy hit the first of two free throws with 1:24 remaining for a 67-66 edge. Walker scored low, only to have Kerr convert a big three-point play as Walker picked up her fourth foul. Kerr's free throw came with 56.5 seconds to go to give USC a 70-68 lead. Walker scored low to tie it again, 70-70 with 33 seconds on the clock. USC called a timeout with 28 seconds left to set up an offensive series. Hagiya was fouled going to the hole, getting two free throws. She nailed both to get USC ahead 72-70 with 17.8 ticks to go. USC's defense was holding strong, but the referee called a foul on the ground with five seconds to go, but with it being USC's 10th of the half, Walker was awarded two shots. She hit both to tie it again, and Murphy's last-ditch long one was just off the mark to put the teams into overtime.
Kerr fouled out 50 seconds into overtime, and then Cal got free throws from Walker and Hamprton before Medlock got a layup for USC to make it 76-74 Cal at 2:45. Two more Cal free throws had the Bears up 78-74 with 2:04 to go. Cal rebounded another USC miss next, and Hampton scored in the paint for an 80-74 Cal lead at 1:10. With under a minute to go, USC was forced to foul, and Cal worked out to an 84-74 lead before Murphy drained a three with 27 seconds left. Hampton fouled out with 15.7 seconds left, but Cal was already ahead 85-77 as Medlock went to the line. She nailed both, but with just 15 seconds left and an 85-79 hole, the game was just out of reach of an overtime comeback by the Trojans, who wound up with an 86-79 loss.
USC's regular season comes to a close on Sunday (Feb. 25) with a 12 p.m. televised game at No. 8 Stanford.
California 86, USC 79 (OT)
USC 36 - 36 -- 7 -- 79
CAL 35 - 37 -- 14 -- 86