USC Edges Pepperdine 55-52

Dec. 15, 2007

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team got 17 second-half points from junior center Nadia Parker to help pull out of a 10-point hole, as the Trojans emerged victorious with a 55-52 win over visiting Pepperdine on Saturday afternoon at the Galen Center. Parker punched in all but eight of USC's last 25 points in the game to finish as the lone Trojan in double figures on the day. With the win, USC snaps a two-game losing slump and works to a 5-4 overall record. Pepperdine moves to 5-3 overall with the loss.

USC had led by as much as eight during the first half, but moved behind by 10 during the second half. It wasn't until 3:50 to go in the game that USC worked back into the lead on Parker's 14th points of the day. Pepperdine would tie it up 52-52, but Heather Oliver came up big, taking a charge to get USC back the ball in the final minute, then slipping in a putback to get USC ahead 54-52 with 27 seconds left. The USC defense was effective in interrupting the final possessions of the Waves, as Parker knocked down her 17th point of the night with one last free throw to secure the junior's fifth game in double figures.

The Trojans had built up an eight-point lead when Camille LeNoir dished out a pass to Brynn Cameron, and Cameron knocked down a three for USC. Pepperdine would manufacture a 10-1 run next, however, taking the lead 19-17 on a layup with 8:40 left in the first half. LeNoir knocked down her first points of the day on USC's next trip downcourt, and the Women of Troy worked back ahead on a pair of fastbreak layups from Heather Oliver. Kari LaPlante stuffed a Pepperdine shot next, and the USC defense forced a shot clock violation by the Waves with seven minutes remaining to go back on the attack with a 23-19 lead. Pepperdine struck twice from down low to pull back even at 23-23, only to have LeNoir nab a steal and Oliver convert on a jumper to make it 25-23 USC with 5:10 on the clock. Unable to convert on offense, USC would slip behind by five as the final minute of the half approached. Hughes made a move low and dumped in a bucket for the Trojans with 30 seconds left, but Pepperdine slipped in a score in the paint before the buzzer to put USC behind 32-27 at the half.

Pepperdine continued to capitalize on USC misses and worked ahead 40-30 with 14:00 on the clock. Nadia Parker punched in her first points of the game soon after, however, and Cameron nailed a jumper to cut the score to 40-34 Pepperdine at 13:15. After a single Pepperdine free throw, the teams traded steals, and then Medlock found Parker low for a layin that made it 41-36 with 11:15 to go. Parker dumped in another from the paint on the inbounds, and USC was within three. Minutes later, a Parker low score and a jumper from Medlock pulled the Trojans back even 44-44, but the Waves answered with a score from the paint and a fast break layupto make it 48-44 Pepperdine with 5:30 to go. Parker served up another post bucket, then a stuff and a jumper, and USC was even again with the Waves at 48-48 with 4:20 remaining. The junior center then lifted the Women of Troy to the first lead of the half, drilling a long two to put USC up 50-48 with 3:50 on the clock, then knocking down yet another jumper for a 52-48 USC edge. Pepperdine cut it to 52-50 with a baseline score from Miranda Ayim. Teena Wickett had a putback on her own miss to lock up the match 52-52, and after a USC turnover Oliver took a charge to put the ball back in Trojan hands. LeNoir's shot try was barely off the mark, but Oliver was there for the rebound and quick putback to push USC up 54-52 with 27 seconds left. The Waves couldn't hold on, as Daphanie Kennedy was whistled for a travel, and then Parker was fouled on the ensuing USC inbounds. She went to the line for one-and-one, knocking down the first to pump USC to a 55-52 lead. She missed the second, and Kennedy was off on her 3-point try, but the Waves had the inbounds underneath with 4.7 ticks to go. Allison Jaskowiak interrupted the pass in to make it a scramble for the ball, and although Pepperdine was able to get off one last shot, it was off and USC emerged with the 55-52 victory to snap a two-game losing skid.

USC now turns to host three teams at the Women of Troy Basketball Classic presented by the Wilshire Grand Los Angeles next week at the Galen Center. Portland State and Hawai'i face off in the first game of the tourney at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday (Dec. 20), and USC plays Grambling State at 7 p.m. On Friday (Dec. 21), the losers of Thursday's games will play in the consolation game at 4:45, and the winners square off at 7 p.m.

USC 55, Pepperdine 52
USC 27 - 28 -- 55
PEP 32 - 20 -- 52

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