USC Grab Home Comeback In 62-53 Win Over UCSB

Nov. 30, 2008

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team made good on a comeback effort in its home opener on Sunday afternoon, heating up at the right time on the way to a 62-53 win over visiting UC Santa Barbara. In their first game of the season at the Galen Center, the Trojans overcame a slow start and shot 48 percent in the second half. Nadia Parker led the way with 19 points for USC, followed by a career high 18 from freshman Briana Gilbreath and 11 from Camille LeNoir. USC improves to 3-1 on the year with the win, while UC Santa Barbara moved to 1-3.

The Trojans sputtered offensively in the first half, shooting just 26 percent to UC Santa Barbara's 37 percent. Trailing by six at halftime, USC got it together and heated up to shoot 48 percent in the second half and finish out the game at a 35 percent clip. Camille LeNoir had all 11 of her points in the second half, hitting a key 3-pointer to provide some momentum for the Trojans on an 11-0 run to get USC into the lead for the first time all game. It was the first time this season that USC was out-rebounded, as UCSB held a 36-33 edge. The Gauchos were led in scoring on the night by Jenna Green's 15 points.

In the first six minutes of play, the whistle blew 10 fouls, stalling out the offenses on both ends to the tune of an 8-8 lockup at the 14:30 mark. After USC center Nadia Parker nailed a 3-pointer to tie it 8-8, UC Santa Barbara went off on an 8-0 run. USC would trail by nine at 11:25 before the Women of Troy manufactured a scoring run that cut it back to a one-point game with the Gauchos up 19-18. But UCSB pulled away, moving ahead 27-21 by halftime.

That six-point advantage was still intact and got up to a 40-37 UCSB lead entering the final 10 minutes of the second half until Camille LeNoir nailed a 3-pointer for the Trojans to make it 40-37. Briana Gilbreath hit a jumper next, and then the USC defense forced a 5-second violation on the Gauchos' next inbounds. Fouled on her next shot, Gilbreath drilled her free throws to give USC its first lead of the game at 41-40 with nine minutes remaining. Free throws from Heather Oliver came next for the Trojans, as she was fouled on a layup off a dish from LeNoir. LeNoir then provided a smooth jumper at 8:10 to take USC ahead 45-40. The Trojans' 11-0 scoring run was stopped with a score from UCSB's Jordan Franey, only to have Parker punch in a score next for USC at 7:20.

USC's largest lead of the game came in the final minute of the game. A slick dish from LeNoir set up Parker for the finish in the paint to make it 59-50 USC with 47 seconds left to play. After hauling down the defensive board, Aarika Hughes knocked in one of two free throws to make it 60-50 USC. One last-ditch 3-pointer was good for UCSB, and then Ashley Corral finished things off with a pair of free throws to close out the comeback win for the Women of Troy with a 62-53 final.

USC stays at home for the next few days, set up for a game against visiting Michigan at 7 p.m. on Tuesday (Dec. 2) at the Galen Center.

USC 62, UC Santa Barbara 53
UCSB 27 - 26 -- 53
USC 21 - 41 -- 62

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