Feb. 3, 1997
Thompson, Clark Lead USC Past Oregon
LOS ANGELES -- Speedy sophomore Guard Kristin Clark scored 20 points, 16 in the second half, and made the defensive play of the game as USC (14-4 8-1) defeated a pesky Oregon club 73-65.
Winners of 5 in a row and 8 of the last 9, the 2nd place Trojans are now headed to a showdown with first place Stanford Thursday at Palo Alto. SC lost to the Cardinal by a point, 77-76, three weeks ago.
Leading the Ducks by a point, 62-61, Clark burried one of her 3 second-half 3-pointers with 2:10 to go. About :10 later she stole the ball at midcourt, flashed between a pair of Duck defenders for a driving lay-up and foul. The crowd-pleasing 3-point play made the score 68-61 with 1:49 remaining.
For the Trojans, Naismith Player-of-the-Year candidate Tina Thompson scored 20 and grabbed 14 boards. The double-double is her 5th straight and 11th of the season.
Teammate Michele Campbell added 13 points and had her hands full on defense with massive 6-5 Oregon center Jenny Mowe, who totaled 14 points and 9 rebounds. The Ducks (13-5 6-3) were led by forward Adrianne Boyer with 20.
The first half was evenly played until Campbell, the Pac-10's top shot blocker, asserted herself defensively.
Down 25-21, the Trojan's 6-5 center swatted shots on consecutive defensive stands triggering a run of 10 straight points. Only a succesful halftime buzzer-beating shot by the Ducks prevented a complete shutout over the last the last 6:42.
Thompson's double-double at halftime, 10 points and 10 rebounds, was a major reason why USC lead at the break 31-27.
USC Coach Fred Williams On Kristin Clark
"Kristin Clark has been doing that all season. She's a big play person. She's making all the right decisions and moves on defense. I lay it out there, the X's and O's, and she's out there responding. The main thing is that she's finishing. She's going down and scoring on those big plays that she makes.
I go back to the term again. She's like a middle linebacker in football. She gets the big hit and then a lot of things happen. It was a defensive game.
On the first-place showdown at Stanford: We just want to go up there and play good SC basketball. We're just gonna lace up our shoes a little tighter and get after it. We're one game behind Stanford in the conference and we just want to have a shot at the end like we did last time."
USC Guard Kristin Clark "Coach was saying in the second half we've got to make plays and step it up on defense. He said this was going to be a defensive game. And it was. They kept going to their big girl (Mowe) down low and she kept getting buckets.
Those were key shots we hit. Everybody came through for us us. It was not just one person. It was the whole team today.
I came out and hit my first two shots and it felt good coming off of my hand...rotation. They were going to leave me open....so I'll keep shooting until they respect my outside shot."
USC All-America Tina Thompson "They are a very defensive team. So we expected a very tough game. Kristin plays aggressive and intense all the time. When we need a big play, she was always there. And we're thankful for that.
On Playing at Stanford: We feel good. We're going to go in and play them the same way we did at home and hope for a better result. I think there (Maples Pavilion) and Washington are...the toughest places to play. "
USC President Steven Sample and Athletic Director Mike Garrett were courtside.
USC has already won one more game than all of last season.
Tina Thompson leads the Pac-10 in scoring and rebounding while averaging a double-double (22pts & 10 rbs).
Her career stats are also impressive. With 10 games remaining in the regular season, Thompson has already become the Pac-10's all-time leader in free throws attempted and made. She is currently fifth on the conference all-time scoring and fourth on the career rebounding lists.
T2 has recorded 11 double-doubles this season, and has already been named Pac-10 Player-of-the-Week three times.