USC Nearly Upsets No. 8 Georgia
Nov. 24, 2007
FREEPORT, Bahamas (AP) -Tasha Humphrey had 18 points and 14 rebounds and No. 8 Georgia held off upset-minded Southern California 59-57 on Saturday night to win the Junkanoo Jam's Freeport Division championship.
Angel Robinson added 15 points for the Bulldogs (6-0), who rallied from a six-point halftime deficit and found themselves trailing again with 7 1/2 minutes remaining. Angela Puleo scored 11 for Georgia.
Aarika Hughes had 13 points for USC (2-2), which shot just 29 percent in the second half.
Ashley Houts hit a free throw to put Georgia up 59-57, then missed the second and USC called time-out with 12.9 seconds left. Knowing the Bulldogs had two fouls to give, Houts wrapped up Camille LeNoir - the hero of USC's comeback over Virginia Tech on Friday night - with eight seconds remaining.
After another time-out, LeNoir's 3-pointer with 3 seconds left bounced off the rim and went out of bounds after being touched by a Georgia player. That set up one attempt for the Women of Troy, but Angel Robinson intercepted the inbound pass and time expired.
Earlier Saturday, Virginia Tech beat Prairie View A&M 74-66 in the Freeport consolation game. In the Lucaya Division, North Carolina State beat Eastern Michigan 63-41 for that bracket's championship, while Alabama ended a 19-game losing streak by downing injury-riddled Washington State 66-37 for third place.
Georgia led by as many as seven in the opening minutes, before missing 12 of its final 15 shots of the period - and USC took advantage.
Not only did USC quickly erase the Bulldogs' early edge, but the Women of Troy closed the half on an 8-2 run, with 3-pointers from Hughes and Heather Oliver helping their team take a 34-28 lead into the locker room.
Oliver had the other basket in that spurt, a layup with 2:45 left that put USC up by five - marking the first time all season Georgia trailed by more than three.
The 3-pointer was huge for USC throughout the half. Entering Saturday, Georgia's first five opponents combined to shoot 20-for-85 - 24 percent - from behind the arc, but USC connected on 5 of 13 tries in the first 20 minutes.
USC's tries from behind the arc went cold early in the second half, with its first seven all failing to connect, and Georgia responded with a 19-6 run capped by a pair of free throws by Humphrey that gave the 'Dogs a 47-40 lead.
The Women of Troy then got consecutive 3-pointers from LeNoir and Brynn Cameron, the last of which put USC up 48-47 with 7:33 to play, and the lead changed hands five times in the next 2 1/2 minutes, neither team ever able to pull away.