USC Drops Pac-10 Finale To ASU 65-57

March 1, 2008

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team had a strong showing against Arizona State in the Trojans' home finale, but came up short of the Sun Devils, falling 65-57 on Saturday at the Galen Center. The Women of Troy were without leading scorer and rebounder Nadia Parker for the game, but got a game-high 19 points from Camille LeNoir. USC moves to 17-12 overall and 10-8 in Pac-10 play with the loss, while Arizona State improves to 20-9, 14-4.

The teams battled through eight lead changes in the game and each hit six 3-pointers on the day. Shooting percentages also were evenly matched, as USC came away with a 41.2 percent effort from the floor and ASU hit at a 41.8 percent clip. LeNoir was USC's only player in double figures, and Morghan Medlock had a game-high nine rebounds for the Trojans. Arizona State got 14 points from Lauren Lacey - including a 3-for-3 effort from 3-point range - and had 11 points from Jill Now and 10 from Kirsten Thompson. ASU held a 10-board rebounding advantage at halftime, but USC picked up the pace and cut the final count to 37-32. USC moved ahead 37-33 with 13:50 left in the game, but Arizona State manufactured an 18-2 run to force the Trojans to try for a late comeback. LeNoir scored 10 points in the last three minutes of the game, but the Sun Devils held on to keep control in the win.

The first half see-sawed through six lead changes and four ties, as USC closed in on a pair of four-point leads by the Sun Devils. The Trojans took a 13-11 lead at the 11-minute mark on a 3-pointer from Camille LeNoir, but ASU's rebounding advantage helped the Sun Devils work ahead later in the half. ASU got up 29-23 with 1:43 to go after a pair of low scores from Kirsten Thompson, until Brynn Cameron drained a pair of free throws to stop the run. A 3-pointer from Dymond Simon followed, though, getting ASU ahead 32-25 just 42 seconds away from halftime.

After trailing on the boards 23-13 at halftime, USC picked up the pace on rebounding in the first five minutes of the second half, cutting ASU's rebounding advantage to 24-19 while moving up to tie the game 33-33 thanks to a long two from LeNoir and a three by Heather Oliver at 16:50. A pair of free throws from Aarika Hughes bumped USC into its first lead since midway through the first half, as the Trojans went up 35-33 at 15:08. A runner from Dunham got USC ahead 37-33. An 8-0 ASU run followed, however, as the Sun Devils capitalized on USC misses and got back up 41-37 with 11:21 on the clock.

Arizona State's lead grew to 12 on a 10-0 run capped by threes from Jill Noe and Reagan Pariseau. Oliver nailed her second of the day to stop the streak and make it 51-42 ASU with 6:15 to go, but Lauren Lacey hit her third of three 3-pointers next with 5:55 remaining to become ASU's second player in double figures. LeNoir joined them in double digits with a nice runner and the ensuing free throw to take 12 points on the game and bring the score to 58-47 ASU with under three minutes remaining. She blasted in a three and then another bucket soon after to cut things to 58-52 at 1:30. The Sun Devils got two Simon free throws and a three-point play from Lacey next to take ASU ahead 63-52 with 50 seconds remaining. LeNoir followed with a take to make it 63-54, but the Sun Devils went back to the line next with 37.8 seconds left. Pariseau missed both, and USC went back the other way, getting some acrobatics from LeNoir leading to a three from Jaskowiak as USC made it a six-point game at 63-57 with just 18.9 ticks to go. Forced to foul for a shot at getting the ball back, USC put Noe on the line and she made both to get ASU to a 65-57 win.

USC now turns to the Pac-10 Tournament, held March 7-10 in San Jose at HP Pavilion. The Trojans will open in the quarterfinals against UCLA at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday (March 8).

Arizona State 65, USC 57
ASU 32 - 33 -- 65
USC 25 - 32 -- 57

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