No. 5 UCLA 73, No. 4 USC 52
March 8, 2008
Fifth-seeded UCLA blew out fourth-seed and rival USC in the last game on Saturday at HP Pavilion. The result, albeit in a 4-5 matchup, marked the first time a lower seed won a game in this year's tournament. Freshman guard Darxia Morris scored a game-high 19 points off the bench for the Bruins, who will meet Stanford in Sunday's semifinal round. The Bruins avoided a season sweep by the Trojans, who beat UCLA twice during regular-season conference play.
In the second half, USC got within five points of UCLA at 35-30 when sophomore guard Aarika Hughes hit a pair of free throws with 16:44 left. But the Bruins stretched their lead to 20 points when freshman forward Nina Earl converted a fast break layup with 6:16 remaining. The lead stretched to 28 points when freshman forward Christina Nzekwe hit a jumper with three minutes left to make the score 70-42.
The Trojans were missing junior center Nadia Parker, the Trojans' top scorer (12.1 ppg) and rebounder (6.5 rpg) who recorded double-doubles in both of the earlier games against the Bruins. The 6-3 Parker hasn't played since suffering a partial MCL tear on Feb. 28 in a loss to Arizona.