USC Women Pull Off 53-50 Win At OSU

Feb. 27, 2010

CORVALLIS, ORE. - The USC women's basketball team snagged a tense road sweep by staving off a comeback push from host Oregon State to tally a 53-50 win over the Beavers on Saturday afternoon in Corvallis, Ore. The Women of Troy had only one player finish in double digits with Heather Oliver's clutch 18 points as USC secured a key Pac-10 victory. The win improves USC's overall record to 16-11 and its Pac-10 mark to 10-6, while Oregon State's 16th straight loss puts the Beavers at 9-18, 1-15.

The Trojan defense clamped down on the Beavers and held OSU to just 15.6 percent shooting from the floor in the first half while USC hit at a 40-percent clip. The Beavers had almost half their points from the free-throw line at halftime, going 8-of-10 as USC led 28-19 at the half. Things changed in the second half as OSU made a couple pushes, tying it up near the 10-minute mark and closing in again to make it a one-point game with 28 seconds left before Ashley Corral stepped to the line and sank a pair to get the Trojans an edge. USC finished out the game shooting 42 percent to OSU's 24 percent effort. Heather Oliver led all scorers with four 3-pointers to finish with 18 points for the Trojans, while OSU got 11 each from Talisa Rhea and Haiden Palmer.

Oregon State opened the game with a three out of the gates, but it was Trojan threes from Ashley Corral and Heather Oliver that later carried USC ahead 18-10 as the teams crossed the 10-minute mark of the first half. The Beavers were shooting 17 percent from the floor with 7:45 remaining in the half, but would cut it to 18-14 at 6:15 with a putback from El Sara Greer. Oliver answered with a three on USC's next trip down, however, and USC went up 21-14 with 6:00 on the clock. After a single Beaver free throw, Oliver continued her run with a steal and a score, then assisting on a three-point play by Christina Marinacci as the Trojans jumped ahead 26-15 with 4:09 on the clock. The teams would go into the locker room with USC leading 28-19 as OSU would get another score from the floor and a pair of free throws before the final buzzer sounded.

OSU doubled its 3-point count in the first few minutes of the second half as Julie Futch nailed two threes for the Beavers as OSU cut into USC's lead to make it a 30-27 USC edge at 16:50. The foul count tipped against the Trojans as USC picked up its fourth foul in just over four minutes with Haiden Palmer going to the line for OSU at 15:55 for a chance to cut further into USC's lead. She missed both, but would convert on a layup a minute later to make it a one-point game. OSU got tagged with its first foul of the half at 14:08, while USC got its seventh at 11:53. Oliver had nailed a three for the Trojans to get a little padding on their lead, up 33-29, but some more OSU free throws and a bucket from Talisa Rhea tied it up 35-35 at 10:18. Oliver stepped up again for the Trojans next, hitting a pair of free throws and then slamming home a key three. USC pieced together a 12-2 run to move ahead 47-39 with 6:30 remaining.

It was far from smooth sailing to the end for the Trojans, however, as that eight-point lead melted away once again. A 6-0 OSU run - four points coming from the free-throw line - made it a two-point game with 1:15 to go. Marinacci buried a key baseline jumper to make it 51-47 USC with 55 seconds left, but Rhea buried a three to cut it to 51-50 USC with 28 seconds on the clock. USC ate up some clock before the Beavers fouled her to put her on the line, and the sophomore sank both with 15.2 ticks to go, lifting USC ahead 53-50. OSU got two chances at game-tying threes in the final moments, but more were off the mark and the Trojans had their 53-50 victory in hand.

USC's final two regular-season games will come at home next week as the Trojans first host Arizona at 7 p.m. on Thursday (March 4) and then celebrate Senior Day in a 12:30 p.m. game against Arizona State on Saturday (March 6) at the Galen Center.

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