Huskies Fall To USC 81-77 In Pac-10 Tourney Quarterfinals
March 3, 2007
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Senior guard Cameo Hicks scored a team-high 18 points - including six points in the final 30 seconds - but Washington wasn't able to keep up with USC down the stretch, falling to the Women of Troy, 81-77, in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament at HP Pavilion, Saturday evening.
Washington falls to 18-12 overall, while USC improves to 17-12 and advances to face Stanford in the Pac-10 Tourney semifinals, Sunday.
Down by nine points (67-58) with 6:54 in the game, UW rallied with a 13-4 run that included three 3-pointers - two from senior Cheri Craddock - to tie the game with 2:27 left on the clock. Sophomore guard Stefanie Clark drained the game-tying three-pointer.
USC then went on a 6-0 run to regain the lead, but the Huskies continued to battle. Hicks sank a three-pointer with 28.4 seconds left in the contest to cut UW's deficit to three (77-74). But the Huskies were forced to foul with little time remaining and USC senior forward Shay Murphy hit all four of her free-throws. Hicks ended up with six points in the final 30 seconds - including a basket with 8.1 seconds that cut USC's lead to two points. But after being fouled, Murphy ended the game hitting both attempts from the line.
Hicks was one of three Huskies to reach double-figures in scoring as Craddock and senior forward Jill Bell contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively, off the bench. Senior forward Breanne Watson had a solid game off the bench as well, contributing eight points, a team-high six rebounds, three assists and one steal. Murphy led four USC players in double-figures with 14 points to go along with 11 rebounds.
The contest was a high-octane offensive battle for both teams from start to finish. The first half saw eight ties and 10 lead changes with UW leading by as many as four points twice and USC leading by as many as five points. USC shot 59.3 percent from the field in the first-half, while UW shot 48.3 percent. The Women of Troy ended up shooting 53.4 percent, while the Huskies ended the game at 43.1 percent.
Washington trailed by one point at halftime (44-43) and never led in the second-half after USC came out of the intermission with a 6-0 run. The nine-point lead with 6:54 left was either team's largest lead of the game.
Washington committed a season-low six turnovers and forced USC to give up the ball 14 times, but it was the Women of Troy who won the battle on the glass, outrebounding Washington 42-30.
Saturday marked the fourth time in five years Washington and USC have faced each other in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament, with the series an even 2-2 after tonight.
The Huskies will now have to wait over a week to learn what their postseason fate might entail, with the 64-team NCAA Tournament field being announced on Selection Monday, March 12.