Trojans Fall In Pac-10 Championship Game To No. 2 Stanford
March 15, 2009
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team came up against a hot top-seeded and No. 2 ranked Stanford squad in the Trojans' first-ever Pac-10 Tournament Championship appearance. The Cardinal won the title and the automatic NCAA bid with an 89-64 victory over USC on Sunday night at the Galen Center. The Trojans were led once again by Pac-10 All-Tournament Team selection Camille LeNoir, who had 13 points for USC. The senior guard was joined in double figures by Kari LaPlante with 12 and Briana Gilbreath with 10. With the loss, USC moves to 17-15 overall on the year, while No. 2 Stanford goes to 29-4.
Stanford's manpower on the boards put the guard-laden Trojans at a disadvantage as the Cardinal outrebounded USC 48-25 in the game. Stanford finished the game shooting 49 percent to outpace USC's 42 percent effort.
USC got the first leads of the game on scores from Kari LaPlante down low before Stanford scored some trips to the line and hit three 3-pointers to help build a 21-8 lead for the Cardinal at the 7:50 mark of the first half. LaPlante worked her way into double figures with 10 of USC's 14 points in cutting the score to a 25-14 Stanford lead at 4:55. USC mounted its first string of points with a 7-0 run sparked by a steal and jumper from Hailey Dunham and a three and take from Aarika Hughes that made it 27-21. Stanford stopped the run, but Heather Oliver drained another three for the Trojans, and it was a five-point game at 29-24 Stanford in the final minute of the half. Stanford would manage a pair of buckets before the buzzer, however, and the Cardinal had a 33-24 lead going into halftime.
USC got a couple buckets to go - including Briana Gilbreath's first points of the night - during the first three minutes of the second half, only to see the Cardinal capitalize on the Trojan shots that didn't go and work ahead 42-28 at 17:10. Camille LeNoir's first points of the game came at 15:50 on a 3-pointer that made it 47-33 Stanford. Meanwhile, Stanford's Jayne Appel also began tallying her first points and got to 10 points and a 20-point Cardinal lead with 12:05 on the clock. As Stanford's shooting stayed hot and its rebounding remained strong, the Cardinal pulled farther ahead of the Trojans. LeNoir joined LaPlante in double digits, as did Briana Gilbreath on the way to an 89-64 Stanford victory.
GAME NOTES:- Camille LeNoir scored in double figures for the seventh consecutive game.