Women's Basketball Falls To USC In Pauley, 77-73
Feb. 18, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - UCLA lost to a Pac-10 opponent for the first time at home this season, dropping a 77-73 decision to USC in front of 3,113 in Pauley Pavilion Saturday afternoon. Noelle Quinn and Nikki Blue each had double-doubles, but it wasn't enough to avoid the regular season sweep by USC.
USC got off to a fast start, taking a 10-2 lead to start the game. Chloe Kerr scored 10 of USC's first 14 points as the Women of Troy went up 14-8 thanks to 75% shooting (9-12). The Bruins took the lead at the 9:17 mark on an Amanda Livingston second-chance basket and went up 22-20 after a Noelle Quinn tip-in. But USC answered with an Allison Jaskowiak three-pointer to regain the lead. Nikki Blue gave UCLA a one-point lead at 27-26 with 6:08 left in the half on a three-pointer that beat the shot clock, but USC closed the half with a 13-3 run to take a 39-30 halftime lead.
The Women of Troy jumped ahead by 15 at the start of the second half, scoring the first six points before the Bruins got on the scoreboard with a pair of free throws. UCLA plugged away at the lead, closing to within five, 53-48, on a pair of Quinn free throws at 10:56, but a Meghan Gnekow three-point play at 10:29 brought USC up by eight again. USC had an answer each time UCLA got closer. Free throws by Quinn at the 2:43 mark made the score 72-68 USC, and USC missed three straight shots that could have increased its lead. Lisa Willis made a basket with 1:38 to play to close to within two, 72-70, and was fouled but failed to convert the three-point play. After a USC miss, the Bruins got the ball down the court to Quinn, whose jumper was deflected out of bounds. On the inbounds play, she hit a three-pointer from the right side with 47 seconds left to take the lead for the first time since the first half, 73-72.
UCLA played tough defense to prevent USC from getting a shot off, but with two ticks left on the shot clock and 21 seconds left on the game clock, Jaskowiak was fouled by Livingston and made both foul shots to give USC the lead again, 74-73. Blue's jumper with four seconds left failed to drop, and USC was fouled on the rebound with 2.1 seconds left. Gnekow went to the foul line to shoot free throws and made one of two. UCLA tried a long inbounds for a last-second shot attempt, but Eshaya Murphy ended up with the ball and was fouled with 0.9 seconds remaining. Murphy made both foul shots to seal the win.
Quinn led all players with 28 points and 11 rebounds. She also had six assists. Blue scored 10 points with a season-best 11 assists and was one rebound away from a triple-double. Willis added 10 points, and Chinyere Ibekwe contributed nine points with seven rebounds off the bench.
Kerr led USC with a career-high 21 points. Murphy had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Women of Troy outshot UCLA, 40.3-37.0% and shot 53.1% in the first half. UCLA won the battle of the boards, 49-40 and had 23 offensive rebounds.
USC moves into a tie with UCLA for fourth place in the Pac-10, with both teams posting 10-6 conference records. USC improves to 16-9 overall, while UCLA drops to 15-10. Both schools will wrap up the regular season in Oregon next weekend.