USC Scoring Runs Prove Too Much for Cal

Jan. 24, 2003

LOS ANGELES - Southern California went on a 19-0 run over a six minute span early in the second half to turn a tie game into a blowout as the Women of Troy defeated California, 83-62, Friday evening at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

Cal opened the second half on an 8-2 run to tie the score at 39-39 at the 17:47 mark. USC then made its 19-point run to open an insurmountable 58-39 advantage. Rachel Woodward fueled the charge, scoring nine points during the run. She finished the contest with a game-high 19 points, including 17 in the second half.

'We struggled and turned the ball over too much in the second half which led to a lack of defensive intensity and got us out of our game plan,' said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. 'Those two things were the difference in the game.'

USC improves to 8-11 overall and 3-5 in the Pac-10. Cal, meanwhile, falls to 6-10 and 2-5.

The Women of Troy were able to push their lead even further with a 14-0 run over a four minute span late in the game that upped their advantage to as many as 26 points (82-56). The Golden Bears did not give up, however, scoring six of the game's last seven points.

The first half seemed like a totally different ball game than the second. The teams went to the locker room at halftime with USC holding a 37-31 lead after a close 20 minutes of action. In fact neither club led by more than four points for the first 16:24 of the contest. In addition, the first half featured five ties and five lead changes.

'I thought we played a great first half,' added Horstmeyer. 'We took USC out of their strengths and the things they do well.'

Three Cal players scored in double figures for the first time in eight games and only the fourth time all season. Nihan Anaz had a team-high 15 while Timea Ivanyi added 12 and Leigh Gregory 10.

Gregory's 10 points marked her most proloific showing since scoring 12 at Mercer seven games ago. This was her ninth double-figure scoring performance of the season.

Six USC players scored in double figures. Also reaching double figures were Portola Valley's Rometra Craig (14), Ebony Hoffman and Berkeley's Aisha Hollans (13), and Jessica Cheeks and Meghan Gnekow (10).

After accounting for just 23 points in the last game, Cal's starters combined for 48 of the team's 62 points. It also marked the first time in the last three games that all five starters made a dent in the scoring column.

The game featured four former high school teammates. Cal's LaTasha O'Keith and Amber White prepped alongside USC's Cheeks and Hoffman at Narbonne High School in Los Angeles.

Cal returns to action Sunday, Jan. 26 when it plays at UCLA. Tip-off is set for 12:00 p.m.

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