Women Of Troy Rally Comes Up Short

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - A 15-4 run late in the game came up short for the USC women's basketball team as it fell 79-76 to No. 22 Arizona in front of 2395 on Thursday at the McKale Center. The Wildcats are the seventh ranked opponent the Trojans have faced this season.

The loss is the fourth-straight for the Women of Troy as they fall to 6-11 overall and 1-5 in the Pac-10. Arizona improves to 11-4, 5-2 in conference play.

With an identical 21 points and 10 rebounds, USC's Ebony Hoffman and Aisha Hollans provided 13 of the Trojans' 15 points down the stretch. Rometra Craig also contributed 17 points for the Women of Troy, who trailed 37-27 at halftime.

Arizona's Shawntinice Polk had 19 points and 12 rebounds Dee-Dee Wheeler added 23 points for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats had a 75-61 lead with 4:21 remaining in the game before USC went on the 15-4 run. A couple of key three-pointers in the final two minutes by Hoffman and Hollans helped to trim the deficit to 79-74 with 1:24 left.

Craig got the Trojans within 79-76 on a driving lay-in, but she failed to tie the game with eight seconds left on an errant three-pointer. The Wildcats missed key free throws down the stretch but managed to hang on.

Polk came up big midway through the second half after USC trimmed a 12-point second-half deficit to 60-56 with 8:52 remaining. Polk regained control for Arizona with an offensive put-back and three free throws to give the Wildcats a nine-point cushion with 7:41 left.

The Wildcats led by 12 points in the opening seconds of the second half, but the Women of Troy were brought to within striking distance after Hoffman converted inside and Craig nailed a three-pointer, before Polk took control of the lane.

Arizona trailed by one with 10:38 left in the first half when it scored 10 straight points to take a 25-16 lead, with Polk scoring six in that span. The Wildcats then went ahead 31-19 with 3:48 remaining after holding USC to one field goal in nearly seven minutes.

The Women of Troy now travel to face Arizona State on Saturday, Jan. 18, in Tempe, Ariz., at 7 p.m. MST.

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