3-Points: Women of Troy 65, UW 61

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Written by Whitney Blaine, USC blog contributor

USC women's basketball completes the regular season with a sweep of the Washington schools to finish 18-11 overall and 10-8 in the Pac-10. 

  • Just before tip-off, this year's seniors, Kari LaPlante and Michelle Franco, were honored for Senior Day. The two Trojans and their parents took a stroll on the hardcourt where they received plaques of their jerseys.  In her junior year, LaPlante won Pac-10 All-Defensive Honorable Mention. Franco joined the team as a walk-on in 2007 and appeared in eight games last season.
  • Joining the ranks of female Trojan basketball greats Cheryl Miller and Lisa Leslie, Cynthia Cooper saw her No. 44 jersey hung up on the Galen Center rafters today.  UNC-Wilmington's head coach was a two-time national champion at USC in 1983 and 1984.  She said the honor meant a great deal to her, and she got "emotional because, had it not been for the opportunities that USC gave me, I would have never been a coach or a hall of famer."
  • The Trojans came out cold until guard Jacki Gemelos lit it up beyond the arc, and the Women of Troy ran with the momentum heading into the second half.  The unit, which was without starting guard Ashley Corral because of a two-game suspension for a rules violation, locked down defensively and increased the lead to double digits in the second half, but that margin slowly whittled down to four thanks to silly turnovers, careless fouls and shaky low-post play.  Eventually, the Huskies grabbed a 49-48 lead, until a huge Gemelos' three-pointer led the Trojans into overtime tied at 53.  In the extra period, it was a possession-for-possession battle, but USC made more shots when it counted most.  Gemelos led the Women of Troy with 15 points and Briana Gilbreath posted 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks and a steal.
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  • Michael Cooper on the ladies' biggest improvement heading into the Pac-10 tournament: "Our team. The chemistry of our team is coming around. I think people are finally starting to identify and realize what one another can do.  And trust, I think that's the biggest thing. We're starting to trust each other now."
Here's Gemelos' summary of the big win...

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