No. 2 Stanford Pulls Away For 85-74 Win Over USC

March 1, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team saw No. 2 Stanford pull away after six ties scores and six lead changes to take a 85-74 Cardinal win in the Trojans' Pac-10 regular-season closer at the Galen Center. After holding two points and six assists at halftime, senior Camille LeNoir wound up with a team-high 17 points and nine assists to lead the Women of Troy. USC moves to 14-13 overall and 8-8 in Pac-10 play with the loss, while Stanford goes to 24-4, 15-1 to lead the conference.

USC and Stanford were neck-and-neck during much of the first half, trading the lead six times with five tie-ups. The Cardinal slipped ahead late in the half on some scores in the paint, getting Stanford a 41-36 lead by halftime with the Cardinal shooting 52 percent and USC at 48 percent. As the second half got underway, the Trojans forced their way into an early tie before Stanford's offense heated up to 68 percent in the half. And while USC closed from down 14 to make it an eight-point game entering the final minute, Stanford pulled ahead and pocketed the win behind 20 points from Kayla Pedersen and Jayne Appel. USC got a team-high 17 points from Camille LeNoir along with 15 from Nadia Parker and 12 from Heather Oliver.

Nadia Parker kicked off an early USC scoring surge by knocking down the first seven points for the Trojans with a pair of scores wrapped around a 3-pointer from the senior center. USC got out ahead of the Cardinal 11-5 after a take off a steal from Camille LeNoir and some points in the paint from Kari LaPlante. Stanford would close back in to tie it 11-11 and then again at 16-16 with 13:20 on the clock. USC pushed ahead by a bucket twice in the next four minutes, only to have Stanford bury back-to-back 3-pointers to go up 26-22 with 9:20 on the clock. At the 6:11 mark, both teams were shooting 11-of-20 from the floor although Stanford's 4-of-6 effort from the free-throw line held the edge of USC's 1-of-2 mark, accounting for a 28-25 Stanford lead. Heather Oliver and Brynn Cameron would drain threes for the Trojans down the stretch, and Oliver converted a set of three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point try, but the Cardinal made good in the paint late in the half. Two low-post scores from Stanford carried the Cardinal to a 41-36 lead for halftime.

USC cut into that Stanford lead and got the game into its sixth tie at 43-43 on a jumper from Parker at 17:45. The Cardinal offense heated up soon after, however, and worked out ahead 57-46 at 13:40. Oliver ended a 5-0 Cardinal run with a 3-pointer and Parker stayed perfect from the floor with her fifth bucket to make it 57-51 at 12:55, only to see Stanford's Kayla Pedersen hit her third three and Stanford get another score to make it 62-51 Stanford at 11:30. Oliver joined Parker in double figures by converting on a three-point play fed by a Cameron steal at 11:08. LeNoir would later deliver seven straight points for the Trojans to bring the score to a 68-61 Stanford lead at 7:59. Again, Stanford manufactured an answer and pushed out ahead 75-62 on points from Jayne Appel in the paint. Two late threes from LeNoir and one from Cameron bumped the score to 81-74 Stanford entering the final 30 seconds. The Cardinal were sent to the line in the final stretch and hit all four, leaving Stanford on top 85-74 by the final buzzer.

USC now goes off on the road for its final two Pac-10 regular-season games. The Trojans first visit Oregon State at 7 p.m. on Thursday (March 5) and then play at Oregon at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday (March 7).

GAME NOTES:
- Camille LeNoir had a career-high nine assists.

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