USC Comes Up Short At Oregon, Falls 73-63

Feb. 3, 2007

EUGENE, ORE. -- The USC women's basketball team suffered a tough night at the free-throw line in Oregon, falling 73-63 to the Ducks on Saturday night at McArthur Court. Oregon shot 48 pecent from the floor and 90 percent from the line with four players in double figures, while USC shot 36 pecent and was 58 percent on free throws. USC moves to 14-9 overall and is 8-5 in Pac-10 play. Oregon improves to 13-9, 5-7.

Oregon came out of the gates with a sharp offensive output, shooting 57 percent in the first half compared to USC's 38 percent effort from the floor. The Trojans also were behind on the boards at the half, with the Ducks outrebounding the Trojans 17-11. USC upped that mark to lead on the boards 35-31, but couldn't up its shooting percentage enough to pass up the Ducks. What may well have ended up plaguing the Women of Troy the most, however, was a poor showing from the free-throw line. While Oregon went 27-of-30 (90%) from the line, USC was just 15-of-26 (58%). Jamie Hagiya and Chloe Kerr both finished in double figures with 12 points apiece, but Oregon had four players in double digits led by Tamika Nurse's 16 points -- 14 of which came from the free-throw line. For the first time in 48 games, USC senior Shay Murphy missed hitting double digits, finishing with seven points for the Trojans as a result of a solid defensive effort by the Ducks against USC's leading scorer.

The teams went basket for basket through the first five minutes of play, with a 3-pointer from Simone Jelks answering a three from Oregon to get the Trojans up 9-7 and then a Shay Murphy layup off a pass from Morgah Medlock putting USC ahead 11-9 at with 15:00 on the clock. Chloe Kerr had two blocks in the first five minutes. Aarika Hughes was next to sink an answering 3-pointer for the Trojans to keep a four-point lead intact at 12:30 before Jamie Hagiya was tagged with her second foul of the half at 12:00. Taylor Lilley then hit her third of three 3-pointers next for the Ducks to cut the lead to 18-17 with 11 minutes remaining. A basket and then two free throws from Carolyn Ganes pulled Oregon into a lead 21-18 before Kerr delivered her third block of the game and then Murphy sank a long 3-pointer to tie it back up 21-21 at 7:50. As the final five minutes of the came around, USC trailed 27-23 with the Trojans shooting 45 percent from the floor to Oregon's 56 percent mark. A layup from Lilley put USC behind 29-23 and got the freshman into double figures, but Hagiya cut that in half with a three at 4:10. A shot-clock violation by Oregon next gave the ball back to USC with 3:14 on the clock and the Trojans mad euse of that with a layup from Murphy that made it 29-28 Oregon. Kerr made good from the line to bring the score to 31-30 Oregon, but Jamie Funn was dealt her third foul of the game on the next inbounds, sending Tamika Nurse to the line for Oregon. She hit both, and USC was behind 33-30 with 29 seconds left and Murphy's 3-point shot before the buzzer was just off the mark as the teams hit the locker rooms for halftime.

Two Ganes free throws put USC back by five to open the second half, but Hagiya cut it back to two with a three at 18:20, and Funn tied it up 35-35 with a fast break layup. Funn then gave USC the lead at 16:40 with a jumper in the paint. USC then enlisted a full-court trap, forcing the Ducks to call a timeout after Hagiya drained a pair of free throws to hold USC ahead 39-37 at 15:17. Kaela Chapdelaine knocked down a three for Oregon but picked up two quick fouls to hold four as Nadia Parker hit the second of two free throws at 13:10 to tie the game 42-42. Medlock got USC up 44-42 with a score in the key before Jaskowiak went 2-of-4 from the line and Hailey Dunham drained a jumper to put the Trojans ahead 48-43. Oregon scored low next to make it a three-point USC lead entering the 10-minute mark. A three from Ganes and four free throws from Nurse took over the lead for Oregon to make it 52-48 with 8:40 remaining, however. A three-point play from Medlock cut the Oregon lead to 54-51 at 7:30, and a three from Hagiya following another two Oregon free throws cut the game to two before Ganes answered with a 3-pointer for Oregon to make it 61-56 before Nurse took another trip to the line for the Ducks. She hit both, giving Nurse 10 points in the game -- all from the free-throw line -- as Oregon went ahead 63-56 at 5:11.

USC trailed by seven, 68-61 after the Ducks put away their 20th free throw of the night. Kerr hit two of her own with 2:09 on the clock to make it 68-63. Up against the shot clock, Nurse hit her first basket from the floor with a fall-down two that put USC behind 70-63. She went to the line next with 50 seconds remaining, missing the first but making the second for an eight-point lead. USC's next offensive series rendered no points, and Nurse again went to the line for two and a 73-63 Oregon lead that USC would not cut back into.

USC now returns home to face crosstown rival UCLA for an 11 a.m. game on Saturday (Feb. 10) at the Galen Center.

Oregon 73, USC 63
USC 30 - 33 -- 63
ORE 33 - 40 -- 73

• Jamie Hagiya scored in double figures for the 10th straight game.
• Shay Murphy's double-digit scoring streak ends at 47 games.

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