No. 21 USC Upset 51-46 By Long Beach State

Nov. 23, 2005

LONG BEACH STATE, CALIF -- The USC women's basketball team got bogged down in a low-scoring first half at Long Beach State and couldn't find the scoring spark it needed to pass up the 49ers in the second half. Thanks in part to several timely 3-pointers, Long Beach State worked its way to a 51-46 victory over the visiting Women of Troy on Wednesday (Nov. 23) in Long Beach, Calif. No. 21 USC moves to 2-1 on the season, and Long Beach State is now 1-2.

Numerous turnovers and missed shots turned the first half into a track meet, with neither team able to convert scoring opportunties despite fast breaks running down both ends of the floor. Camille LeNoir pulled USC even at the close of the half with a three-point play with just seconds left to play, leaving it at 17-17 at halftime. USC had shot 26.9 percent from the floor in the half, and Long Beach State shot 20.8 percent.

In the second half, the 49ers improved that scoring clip to 50 percent, and USC shot 40 percent in the half. The Trojans held a 39-34 lead after Eshaya Murphy nailed a 3-pointer with 7:12 on the clock, but the 49ers came back. A pair of free throws from Jamie Hagiya and another from Chloe Kerr brought the Women of Troy to within one at 44-43 with 1:25 left to play. But Crystal McCutcheon drilled a 3-pointer for Long Beach State to pad the lead to 47-43. LeNoir answered back with a 3-pointer of her own to make it 47-46 with 47 seconds to go.

The USC defense clamped down and put the 49ers up against the shot clock with 18.5 seconds left to play. Long Beach State had the ball out of bounds with just 2 seconds on the shot clock, but the 49ers came up with the loose ball after the missed shot attempt. Forced to foul, the Trojans watched Long Beach State move ahead to 48-46 from the free-throw line. Jayme Connors ended up missing both her late free-throw attempts, but again Long Beach State nabbed the rebound to sidestep any chance of USC answering with a last-second shot, and Jeannie Saunders hit one last 3-pointer -- Long Beach State's seventh of the game -- to claim the 51-46 upset win for the 49ers.

LeNoir finished as USC's top scorer with a game-high 15 points, and Murphy added 14 for the Women of Troy. McCutcheon led the 49ers with 13, and Saunders had 12.

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