USC Stages Comeback Win Over WSU, 62-58
Jan. 10, 2008
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team dug its way out of a double-digit hole with a late comeback effort to grab a 62-58 win over host Washington State on Thursday night at Fried Court in Pullman, Wash. Behind 16 second-half points from Heather Oliver, the Trojans worked past the Cougars late in the game for the Pac-10 win, improving USC's overall record to 10-6 and Pac-10 mark to 3-2. Washington State moves to 3-12, 0-4.
The Women of Troy played the game without guards Camille LeNoir and Aarika Hughes, who were nursing injuries, but got double-digit efforts from three different Trojans. In addition to Oliver's career-high 16-point outing - which included the go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute of play - Nadia Parker delivered a game-high 17 points and nine rebounds, and Simone Jelks added 10 points for the Trojans. Washington State had double figures from four different players: Katie Calderwood (13), Colleen Betteridge (12), Katie Appleton (11) and Jasmine Williams (11).
Washington State came out of the gates shooting 56 percent from 3-point range, hitting 5-of-9 to USC's 3-of-14 effort from beyond the arc in the first half. The Cougars also shot at a 47-percent clip from the floor, compared to USC's 35-percent effort as the Trojans trailed 38-27 going into the locker room. USC remained cool from 3-point range in the second half (2-of-8), but warmed up its overall shooting percentage to 39 percent in the game, while WSU dropped to finish 37 percent from the floor. USC allowed only 20 points out of the Cougars in the second half, although WSU won the rebounding face-off 42-31 in the end.
The teams stayed tight with one another, trading short runs during the first half and trading leads three times until Washington State managed three straight 3-pointers to push ahead 30-21 with 3:43 on the clock in the first half. Nadia Parker ended the WSU run with a turnaround jumper at 3:20, and Morghan Medlock dumped in a low score to cut the lead to five, only to have the Cougars work back out ahead. WSU ended the half on a 6-0 run thanks to back-to-back buckets from Jasmine Williams and then a pair of free throws from Katie Appleton to put the Trojans in a 38-27 hole at the half.
The Cougars opened with two more threes early in the second half, only to have the Women of Troy piece together a run thanks to some strong defensive series and a tough press. USC forced a WSU shot clock violation and then Dunham forced a five-second violation by the Cougar backcourt. After two Heather Oliver free throw cut the WSU lead to 44-39 with 12:35 on the clock, Dunham knocked a Cougar pass to Allison Jaskowiak, and Brynn Cameron drilled a jumper to pull USC to 44-41 just 10 seconds later. WSU's eighth 3-pointer of the night came next, however, capping USC's run at 10 straight. Later, the Trojans edged closer on a pair of free throws from Simone Jelks, making it 50-48 WSU with 6:51 on the clock.
The Cougars padded a lead again, going up 56-50 at 2:43, but USC closed back in, getting a score from Oliver, two free throws from Dunham and then finally tying up the game for the first time since the first half with a low bucket from Parker that made it 56-56 with 1:15 to go. Parker came up with a big block with the shot clock draining, getting USC back the ball with 45 seconds left, and Oliver drilled her second three of the night at a great time, pushing USC to its first lead since 7:30 to go in the first half, bumping the Trojans up 59-56 with 39 seconds left in the game. Parker grabbed an important defensive board - her ninth of the night - to lift USC up 60-56 with 17 seconds left. WSU got a score in the paint from Colleen Betteridge with 11 seconds left, but Oliver put USC out of reach of the Cougars with a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left to get USC a 62-58 win.
USC now heads to Seattle to play Washington in a televised game at 3 p.m. on Sunday (Jan. 13).
USC 62, Washington State 58
USC 27 - 35 -- 62
WSU 38 - 20 -- 58