Huskies Can't Dig Out From First-Half Hole, Fall At USC 78-58

Jan. 28, 2007

Box Score

LOS ANGELES - Senior forward Shay Murphy scored a game-high 25 points, including 15 in the first-half, to lead USC over Washington, 78-58, in Pac-10 women's basketball action at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, Sunday.

The loss was the second-straight for a Husky team (13-9, 6-5 Pac-10) that has lost five of its last six Pac-10 games after opening the league slate 5-0. In turn, the Women of Troy (13-8, 7-4) have won seven of their last eight conference contests after an 0-3 Pac-10 start.

UW senior guard Cameo Hicks and senior forward Jill Bell each scored 13 points and junior guard Dominique Banks contributed a season-high 12 points off the bench, but it wasn't enough to dig the Huskies out of a huge first-half hole.

USC's 22-point halftime lead (48-26) was Washington's largest halftime deficit of the season. The Huskies fought back in the second half, outscoring the Women of Troy 32-30 in the second period, but it was too little too late for UW.

USC opened the game with a 9-2 run and led by as many as 10 points just four and a half minutes into the contest. The Huskies clung to what would be their last single-digit deficit of the game with 11:46 until halftime after Bell provided a spark off the bench with six points. The Women of Troy went on a 9-0 run to build a 19-point lead (29-11) and finished the half with four consecutive three-pointers - three from Murphy - to lead by 22 at the intermission.

Needing heroic efforts to get back in the game, the Huskies started out flat as USC opened the second-half with an 8-2 run to lead by as many as 28 (56-28). Despite the deficit it was facing, Washington wasn't about to fold. The Huskies went on a 9-0 run, sparked by back-to-back three-pointers from Banks and Bell, and actually outscored USC 20-8 during a five-minute span.

UW trailed by 16 with 10 minutes to play, but the Women of Troy took over, sparked by Muphy and forward Chloe Kerr.

Washington was outrebounded 41-35 and committed 19 turnovers, while managing just seven assists. The Huskies struggled from the field, shooting 32.3 percent (21-for-65), while USC coasted to a 54.4 clip (31-for-57) - including a 65.5 percent effort in the first half.

Murphy - who also had seven rebounds, four assists and three steals - received help from Kerr who scored 15 points and point guard Jamie Hagiya who contributed 12 points, five rebounds, nine assists and five steals.UW's Bell and Banks shared top-rebounding honors with senior forward Breanne Watson who each recorded four boards, while junior point guard Emily Florence grabbed a team-high five steals.

The road doesn't get any easier for the Huskies this coming week. Washington will return home to host 10th-ranked Arizona State, Thursday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m., and Arizona, Saturday, Feb. 3, at 1 p.m. at Bank of America Arena.

Saturday's game against Arizona will mark Washington's annual celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day that includes a silent auction benefiting the women's basketball program.

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