USC Wins Sixth Straight Over UCLA, 64-56

Jan. 19, 2008

Box Score

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team pulled out another dramatic and tight win over crosstown rival UCLA on Saturday afternoon, tallying the Trojans' sixth straight win over the Bruins with a 64-56 victory in front of a Galen Center crowd of 8,545. USC never trailed in the game, and was led in scoring by Heather Oliver with 15 points, while Nadia Parker had her fourth double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and point guard Camille LeNoir had a flashy game with 12 points, six assists, four steals and a block. UCLA was led in scoring by Lindsey Pluimer's 15 points and 12 from Tierra Henderson. With the win, USC improves to 11-7 overall and 4-3 in Pac-10 play. UCLA moves to 9-9, 4-3.

The victory was USC's largest margin of victory over UCLA in the past eight games, but it had been a two-point game with a minute to go when Pluimer knocked down a three for the Bruins. Allison Jaskowiak served up five free throws in the final stretch to push USC ahead. USC actually led by as much as 21 early in the second half, but improved shooting a late push from the Bruins depleted the Trojans' advantage in the late stages of the second half.

The USC defense kept UCLA off-balance in the first half, as the Bruins shot just 25 percent from the floor while the Trojans shot 44 percent. Oliver was the lone player in double figures at the break, when USC led 33-16. UCLA heated up from the floor in the second half, shooting 44 percent to end the game at 36 percent. USC was 42 percent from the floor in the game, and hit 8-of-20 threes.

In the final seconds of the game, Parker hit the front end of her free throws to give USC a 59-56 lead. With 2.6 seconds left, after a Parker block on UCLA's last shot attempt, the loose ball was gathered in by Jaskowiak, who was fouled as she held onto the ball. A scuffle ensued that resulted in four technical fouls (one against USC and three against UCLA) and four ejections, as an additional three UCLA players and USC player left their respective benches. Two technicals off-set, giving Jaskowiak four free throws to shoot before the one-and-one granted from the initial foul. She knocked down the first five of the six shots, ballooning USC's three-point lead to a final score of 64-56.

To start the crosstown rivalry matchup, USC opened up the game with five straight points, then answered UCLA's first bucket of the game with two scores from Nadia Parker and a steal and layup from Hailey Dunham that got USC ahead 11-2 at 15:25. 3-point tries weren't falling on either end through the first 11 minutes of action, until USC's Heather Oliver drained a three to get the Trojans ahead 16-8 at 8:55. Another UCLA turnover fed into a layup from Oliver, and the Women of Troy were up 18-8 with eight minutes to go in the half. Simone Jelks nailed the next three for USC, then slipped in a layup for a 23-8 advantage, while UCLA's shooting percentage from the floor dropped to 20 percent entering the final five minutes of the half. Tierra Henderson ended USC's 10-0 run with a free throw, but Aarika Hughes drained a three next for the Trojans and Brynn Cameron nabbed a steal that got USC back on the attack. Camille LeNoir knocked down her jumper, and the Women of Troy were on top 28-9 at 4:33. UCLA finally got into double figures when Chinyere Ibekwe slipped in a score from the paint at 4:02. LeNoir delivered some heroics toward the end of the half first hitting a three, and later putting up a block on a Bruin shot, heading downcourt on the fast break and slipping a behind-the-back pass to Oliver for the layup and a 33-14 USC lead at 1:30.

Parker lifted the Trojans to their largest lead of the game with a turnaround score for a 37-16 USC advantage at 18:20, but UCLA would manage back-to-back scores next to bring it to 37-20 at 16:30. UCLA's first 3-pointer of the day came from Lindsey Pluimer right after LeNoir knocked down her second, as the Bruins made it 40-23. Brynn Cameron nailed USC's sixth 3-pointer for her first points of the day at the 14-minute mark to pull USC up 43-25. The Bruins managed a 14-2 scoring run next that cut the lead back to single digits at 45-39 as the 10-minute mark of the half approached. But the Trojans tightened their defense and got a putback from Parker and another three from Oliver to boost USC ahead 51-39 at 8:42.

Hailey Dunham blasted her first career 3-pointer at 5:20 for the Trojans to build a 58-43 USC lead. The Bruins answered that with a 13-0 run, however, capped with a 3-pointer from Pluimer with 1:05 to go. No score on the Trojans next possession gave UCLA the ball with 39 seconds on the clock. Parker grabbed her 10th rebound of the game for the Trojans to secure her fourth double-double on UCLA's ensuing shot attempt. She was then fouled and went to the line with 15.2 seconds to go, nailing the first to get USC a 59-56 edge. UCLA called timeout with 10.6 on the clock, and Pluimer put up a 3-point try from the left baseline. Parker went up big and slapped away the shot, while Jaskowiak came down with the loose ball for USC and was fouled with 2.6 seconds. A scuffle ensued on the court, and technical fouls were issued to three UCLA players and one USC player, while four more players were ejected for leaving the benches. Jaskowiak went to the line to shoot four free throws for the technicals and a one-and-one for the initial foul. She made all but the last to get USC a 64-56 win.

Now 9-1 at the Galen Center this season, USC extends its home stretch next week with two more Pac-10 games as the Trojans host Oregon State and Oregon. USC first faces the Beavers in a 7 p.m. game on Thursday (Jan. 24) and then plays the Ducks at 2 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 26) at the Galen Center.

USC 64, UCLA 56
UCLA 16 - 40 -- 56
USC 33 - 31 -- 64

GAME NOTES:
- Today's attendance of 8,545 is the fourth largest crowd in USC women's basketball history.- Nadia Parker had her fourth double-double of the season- Parker tied her career high of four steals.

POSTGAME QUOTES

USC Head Coach Mark Trakh
'It was a great game. The crowd was great. It came down to the end as it always does. They were a hot team coming into the game today.'

'Nadia [Parker] is developing into one of the best front-line players in the conference.'

'We knew they were going to make a run. You knew these kids were too good to not score. We did what we had to do. This is a game of runs.'

'The team has been through a lot this year. Everyday they show up and play hard and it shows. The bottom-line is that we got a win against our cross-town rival.'

USC Junior Guard Camille LeNoir
'UCLA is a great team. We came out, played hard and weathered the storm. In the end, we came out with a win.'

UCLA Head Coach Kathy Olivier
'Both teams are very competitive. I thought `SC played very hard and our team showed a lot of guttiness to get back into the game.'

'USC had a great game plan against us. I think we came back more up-tempo in the second half.'

UCLA Senior Forward Lindsey Plumier
'This is a big game. They [USC] are our cross-town rival. You want to play well against them. I think we showed we could come and bounce back.'

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