Comeback Bid Falls Short For Bruin Women

Jan. 21, 2006

Los Angeles, Calif. - UCLA fell just short on a comeback attempt over USC at the Sports Arena, dropping a 73-70 decision to the Women of Troy. The Bruins were down by as many as 16 points in the second half but cut USC's lead to two, 72-70, on a jumper by Nikki Blue just inside the three-point line with 14 seconds to play. Camille Lenoir made one of two free throws with five seconds to play to increase USC's lead to three, and Blue missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.

UCLA jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the first four minutes behind the play of Amanda Livingston, who had six of her eight first-half points in that period, but USC stormed back with an 11-2 run of its own to tie the game at 13 with 10 minutes to play in the half. USC took the lead for the first time, 16-15, at 9:36 after a Shay Murphy three-pointer, and the teams traded leads until the 5:08 mark when Murphy stole a pass and took it down the court for a fast-break layup to take a 27-25 lead. The Bruins had just one field goal in the final five minutes as the Women of Troy took a 40-32 halftime advantage.

The Women of Troy increased their halftime lead to 16, 50-34, with 16:40 to play on a Nadia Parker layup before the Bruins started chipping away at the lead. Blue capped an 11-2 run with a long three-pointer at 10:52 to close to within seven, 59-52. Lenoir took over from there, scoring 13 of USC's final 14 points, including the last seven from the foul line to hold off the Bruins. She finished with a game-high 27 points and was 12-14 from the free throw line.

Noelle Quinn led the Bruins with 21 points and nine rebounds. Blue scored 19 points with six boards and five assists. Lindsey Pluimer joined them in double figures with 11 points and added seven rebounds. Julia Pitts returned to the court for the first time since the 2003-04 season and scored two points with two rebounds and a steal in eight effective minutes. The Bruins won the battle of the boards, 42-36, but were outshot, 43%-33%.

Lenoir and Murphy were the only USC players in double-digits. Lenoir added seven assists to her 27 points, and Murphy had a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

USC improves its record to 13-5, 7-2 in the Pac-10. UCLA drops to 10-8, 5-4.

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