Bears Beat Trojans, 66-64
Feb. 27, 2009
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Alexis Gray-Lawson scored 22 points and hit two key free throws with 15 seconds left, helping No. 4 California defeat Southern Cal 66-64 on Friday night and keep the Golden Bears atop the Pac-10 standings.
Gray-Lawson carried California (23-3, 14-1) on an off night for leading scorer Ashley Walker, who came in averaging 20.3 points but was 1-for-10 from the field and didn't score her first field goal until there was 4:05 left in the game.
The senior finished with 12 points for Cal, which has won eight straight against USC.
California shares the No. 1 spot in the Pac-10 with Stanford, who held off UCLA on Friday.
The Golden Bears took an 11-point lead, their biggest of the game, when Natasha Vital hit a 3-pointer with 13:33 left. USC (14-12, 8-7) rallied back and Heather Oliver's 3-pointer with 1:10 remaining made it 63-62 before Gray-Lawson helped Cal hold on.
Camille LeNoir scored 12 for USC, and Hailey Dunham came off the bench to add 10.
The last three matchups between the two teams have been decided by five points or less.
USC couldn't build off a 27-26 halftime lead, even though California committed a season-high 27 turnovers.
Vital helped Cal come back from that half by scoring 10 points in a five-minute stretch. She hit two 3-pointers, including the one that gave the Golden Bears their biggest lead, and a jumper during that span.
California, which reached the 23-win mark for the first time in school history, led by nine with 7:36 left in the first half, mostly behind 3s from Gray-Lawson.
Nadia Parker sparked a 13-2 run for Southern Cal late in the half with a layup, and LeNoir and Oliver each hit 3-pointers down the stretch.
Dunham scored eight of her points in the first half, and turnaround jumper with 13 seconds remaining gave USC its halftime advantage.
Gray-Lawson surpassed her scoring average of 12.3 points when she hit a 3 with 12:27 left in the first half, giving her 13 points and Cal a 15-10 lead.