USC Women Heat Up For 81-53 Win Over Michigan

Dec. 2, 2008

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team played arguably their best basketball of the season so far, serving up a powerful 81-53 win over visiting Michigan on Tuesday night at the Galen Center. The Women of Troy had five players finish in double figures on the night, led by Camille LeNoir's 19 points. Freshman Briana Gilbreath had her fourth straight game in double digits, hitting 13. Ashley Corral added 12 points on four 3-pointers, Nadia Parker also had 12, and Heather Oliver had 10 points. With the win, USC improves to 4-1 on the year, while Michigan moves to 4-3 overall.

By halftime, USC had two players in double figures and was shooting at a 58-percent clip in a high-powered start to its home showdown with visiting Michigan. After hitting seven threes in the first half, the Wolverines came up empty from 3-point range in the second half, as the Trojans took control and finished off the night with a season-high 11 threes. USC finished the game shooting 48.5 percent and held Michigan to 32.1 percent with just 18 points scored by the Wolverines in the second half. The Trojans also beat out the Wolverines on the boards 38-33. Michigan got double-digit scoring efforts from Carly Benson with 17 points and Melinda Queen with 10.

Both teams proved hot-handed in the first half, shooting over 50 percent from 3-point range to the tune of 15 total threes in the half. The Trojans won out in the shooting race, going 58 percent from the floor and knocking down eight 3-pointers to edge out Michigan's 44 percent shooting and seven long ones in the half. USC's Heather Oliver opened the showers from beyond the arc with a three to open things up. The Trojans took that momentum and ran with it. Camille LeNoir knocked down one of her two 3-pointers in the half next, then drilled a long two that was followed 30 seconds later by a three from Briana Gilbreath, and the Trojans were hoisting an early nine-point lead, up 11-2 at 16:26.

Michigan would get to within seven thanks to back-to-back threes from Carly Benson - who hit five of the Wolverines' seven threes in the half. Brynn Cameron got in on the 3-point action soon after, however, knocking one down to lift USC up by 10 at the 10-minute mark. In the last five minutes of the half, Nadia Parker slipped in a putback, and Ashley Corral wrapped a pair of threes around another from Michigan's Benson for a 47-31 USC lead. Putting the finishing touches off a 58-percent shooting effort from the floor in the half for the Trojans was one last runner from LeNoir, giving USC a 49-35 lead going into halftime.

Things cooled off a bit on both ends of the court during the second, but the Women of Troy were able to construct a 16-4 run on the Wolverines to move ahead 65-44 by the 10-minute mark. Parker got a scare early in the half, going down with an injury, but was able to get back in the game and slip in eight points in four minutes to help set USC up with a 67-46 lead that Corral promptly made 70-46 with her third 3-pointer of the night with 7:50 to go. Another USC scoring spurt saw the Trojans work ahead 80-48 when USC followed a Wolverine bucket with another three from Corral, a low score from Kari LaPlante and a three from Cameron coming with 3:30 on the clock. The Trojans stayed in control down the stretch, closing out an 81-53 win over the Wolverines to avenge last year's 82-61 road loss dealt out to USC in Ann Arbor, Mich.

USC now turns to compete in the Seasider Challenge in Laie, Hawaii. There, the Trojans will face Utah Valley on Friday (Dec. 5) and then will play BYU on Saturday (Dec. 6).

USC 81, Michigan 53
MICH 35 - 18 -- 53
USC 49 - 32 -- 81

GAME NOTES:
-USC's 11 three-pointers tonight matches the third-best game total in program history.

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