Huskies Knock Off USC, 83-81

Jan. 5, 2003

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - For the fourth time in the last seven meetings, USC and Washington women's basketball played into an overtime period, but it was the Huskies who came out on top this time with an 83-81 victory in front of 805 at the Sports Arena on Sunday. With the win, Washington improved to 10-2 overall and 2-1 in the Pac-10, while the Women of Troy fall to 6-8 overall and 1-3 in conference play.

Junior Ebony Hoffman led USC with 21 points and 12 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. She was one of four players to finish in double figures, including sophomore Rachel Woodward who collected her first double-double of 2003 with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Washington was led by guard Giuliana Mendiola who had 23 points and eight assists in the outing.

Though the Huskies opened the game with a 6-2 lead, USC answered with eight-straight points of its own to go ahead 10-6 at 15:55. The Women of Troy managed to hold on to that lead for the remainder of the half. At 11:40 USC embarked on a 10-0 run to extend its lead to as much as 11 points (27-16) at 7:51, then entered halftime with a 34-29 advantage.

The Trojans maintained their advantage at the start of the second half, but with a couple of three-pointers the Huskies were back in the game and trailing by only one, 50-49, at 9:47. Both teams matched each other point-for-point in the remaining minutes, forcing five tie scores. As the clock ran down, the Trojans' Aisha Hollans made a final layup that sent the game into overtime.

The extra period was a back-and-forth battle until the Huskies made consecutive shots to go ahead, 81-75, with a minute left. USC did not back down and managed to knot the score once more on a Hollans' three-pointer, 81-81. But with 0:17 left on the clock, a jumper by Mendiola gave the Huskies' the lead for good, 83-81.

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