Corral's Three Nets USC 67-64 Win Over Cal
Jan. 10, 2010
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- Ashley Corral drained a 3-pointer off the glass with just over a second to go in regulation to lift the USC women's basketball team to a 67-64 win over visiting California on Sunday afternoon at the Galen Center. USC sophomores Corral and Briana Gilbreath came through in the clutch for the Trojans (9-6, 3-1 Pac-10) with a combined seven points in the last minute of play, helping USC answer a 30-point outing from California's DeNesha Stallworth.
Stallworth got the job done for the Bears (6-8, 0-3) in the paint, with Alexis Gray-Lawson providing 20 points for California, including a game-tying three with six seconds left. Gilbreath led USC in scoring with 19 points, followed closely by Corral with 18 as four Trojans finished in double figures.
The Trojans trailed by 10 at halftime, but made a game of it with an early second-half push that gave USC a slim lead, up 40-39 with free throws from Kari LaPlante at 15:32. California would go up by five thanks to more points from Stallworth down low, and was up 59-54 with 4:40 to go. Three trips to the line for Gilbreath saw the sophomore knock down all six of her free-throw attempts down the stretch.
After another Stallworth score in the paint, Gilbreath got USC back into the lead with two tosses with 55 seconds remaining. She knocked down two more with 17 seconds left to make it 64-61 USC, only to have Gray-Lawson equalize with six seconds left. That brought up a heroic effort from Corral, who tossed up her winning shot with 1.5 seconds to go.
USC and Cal seemed matched up in the first half until a scoring slump struck the Trojans. USC went cold from the floor for the last 8:20 of the half while Cal moved ahead 37-27. The Bears were shooting at a 48-percent clip in the first half to out-pace the Trojans' 35 percent. The Women of Troy upped their game in the second half, however, shooting 43 percent to finish the game at 39 percent, although Cal stayed strong and finished at 46 percent on the day. The rebounding game again was in the opponent's favor, with the Bears pulling down 37 to USC's 28. But it was 40 second-half points from the Trojans and 10 second-half turnovers by the Bears that helped the USC cause down the stretch.
After trailing by seven four minutes into the game, USC managed to work ahead by four thanks to a set of threes from Ashley Corral, Heather Oliver and Aarika Hughes. Hughes' 3-pointer at 8:50 got the score tied at 21-21, and then a bucket from Hailey Dunham lifted USC ahead 23-21 at 8:20. That would be the last basket to fall from the field for the Women of Troy through the rest of the half, however, as Cal powered past USC. The Trojans dropped two sets of free throws down the stretch, but no field goals would fall for USC. Cal, meanwhile got eight more points from DaNesha Stallworth and more points from Alexis Gray-Lawson to take a 37-27 lead by halftime.
The wild second half gave way to nine more lead changes and six more tie-ups. After Cal went up by five with 4:40 to go, Gilbreath stepped to the line and drained both to make it 59-56 Cal at 3:53. Corral then dumped in a score to cut the lead back to one at 3:30, and then Gilbreath threw up a stuff against the Bears next. Corral would send a long pass to Kari LaPlante for the go-ahead score at 1:35, with USc leading 60-59, only to see Stallworth strike again to make it 61-60 Cal at 1:10. USC stayed calm - thanks to Gilbreath's next set of free throws to make it 62-61 USC at 0:55. Gilbreath then snagged a defensive board and was sent back to the line for another pair of strikes to get USC ahead 64-61 with 17 ticks left. Even after Gray-Lawson locked things up on her impressive three with 6 seconds left, the Trojans persevered and got Corral's game-winning blast to pocket an important Pac-10 win for USC.
The Women of Troy now turn to face crosstown rival UCLA in a heated battle at the Galen Center next week. USC hosts the Bruins in a 2:30 p.m. televised game on Sunday (Jan. 17).
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