USC Edges UCLA In Women's Basketball, 75-72
Jan. 13, 2007
Los Angeles, Calif. - UCLA and USC went down to the wire once again, and the Women of Troy came away with a 75-72 victory in front of 7,134 in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday afternoon. Chloe Kerr led USC with 19 points, and Shay Murphy made seven of eight free throws in the final minute to lead the Women of Troy. UCLA senior guard Noelle Quinn came within one rebound of a triple-double, scoring 17 points with 10 assists and nine rebounds.
Freshman Morghan Medlock sparked USC in the second half, scoring nine of her 11 points in the first 11 and a half minutes of the second period to give USC a 59-46 cushion with 9:21 to play. But UCLA freshman Erica Latimer answered with two straight three-pointers and hit a jumper with 5:25 on the clock to trim USC's lead to 61-56. A three-pointer by Murphy extended USC's lead to eight, 64-56, with 4:58 to play, but baskets by Quinn and Latimer helped bring UCLA back to within four, 66-62 with 2:40 remaining. After Jamie Hagiya hit a pair of free throws to extend USC's lead to six, Latimer made a free throw, and Quinn had a steal and hit two free throws to close to within three, 68-65, with 1:03 to play. Murphy made seven of eight free throws in the final minute, including a pair with 15 seconds to play to put USC up, 75-69.
The Bruins did not quit, however. Senior guard Shaina Zaidi hit a three-pointer with eight seconds to play to cut the lead to three, and defensive pressure caused USC to throw the ball away on the inbounds play to give the ball to UCLA with seven seconds left. After USC batted away a pass from Quinn to Julia Pitts inside, the Bruins got the ball back again with four seconds left. Quinn took a three-pointer just before the buzzer from the right side that was in line but just short.
The Women of Troy took a 40-33 halftime lead after going on a 14-3 run to turn a 19-18 UCLA lead into a 34-24 advantage with 5:30 left in the half.
Joining Quinn in double-figures for UCLA were Chinyere Ibekwe (16 points), Amanda Livingston (12 points) and Latimer (11 points). Along with Kerr, Murphy (18 points), Hagiya (13 points) and Medlock (11 points) scored in double-figures for USC.
'We look to Noelle Quinn to carry us,' said UCLA head coach Kathy Olivier. 'Amanda (Livingston) played well early, and Ibekwe was very aggressive offensively for us. I thought our defense hurt us today. We gave up too many easy baskets, and we didn't hit our free throws.'
USC improves to 10-7, 4-3 in the Pac-10, while UCLA drops to 9-10, 3-4. The Bruins will next face Arizona State on the road on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 11 am MT.
Notes: The crowd of 7,134 was the eighth-largest home crowd in UCLA women's basketball history ... It was the sixth-straight game in the series to be decided by four points or less.