Women of Troy Take Loss To Bruins
Jan. 11, 2009
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team took its first loss at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion since 2004 on Sunday afternoon, falling 87-75 to the Bruins in the teams' first Pac-10 clash of the year. The Trojans got a season- and game-high 20 points from Camille LeNoir along with 16 from Ashley Corral and 13 from Nadia Parker, but UCLA won out on the boards to help key the Bruins' advantage down the stretch. Outrebounded 55-38 in the game and 23-9 on the offensive boards, USC moves to 8-6 overall and 2-1 in Pac-10 play while UCLA goes to 11-3, 2-1.
Senior center Nadia Parker was sidelined after four minutes of play with an ankle injury, leaving the Trojans short-handed on the boards. The Bruins took advantage of it in the first half, out-rebounding USC 33-22 in the half and getting 16 points off of second-chances thanks to 15 Bruin offensive boards. Parker would return for the second half, while Hailey Dunham would not be back after a foot injury took her out of the game after six minutes of play.
USC had a strong effort from the floor with a 44-percent outing compared to a 37-percent effort by the Bruins, but it was 28 UCLA points off second chances that was crucial in giving the Bruins the edge. UCLA also hit eight 3-pointers - four from Doreena Campbell, who finished with 20 points - for a slight edge over USC's six threes hit in the game.
USC opened things up with a 7-0 scoring run and held its largest early lead up 10-2 after Nadia Parker finished off a pass from Camille LeNoir and hit the ensuing free throw at 17:48. UCLA would close back in and keep things tight, tying the game twice at 10-10 and later 17-17 before USC got a slight upperhand. A 9-0 UCLA run late in the second half worked the Bruins ahead of the Trojans for UCLA's largest lead of the game at 32-27. Camille LeNoir knocked down a pair of free throws to end the Bruin run at the 4-minute mark. Ashley Corral later followed a Heather Oliver layup with her first 3-pointer of the day to get USC back on top 34-33 with 2 minutes to go, only to see UCLA manufacture a late push. Seven straight points in the final stretch carried the Bruins to a 40-34 halftime lead.
USC came out of the lockerroom with a more ambitious effort on the boards helmed by four early boards from Aarika Hughes that helped cut down on early second chances for the Bruins. Meanwhile, the Trojans generated a 10-1 run to get back into the lead. A jumper from LeNoir locked it up 40-40 at 17:40, and after two missed Bruin free throws, LeNoir hit Gilbreath for a baseline jumper to lift USC into the lead at 17:05. Hughes knocked down a three after a single UCLA free throw to take USC ahead 45-41 at 16:35, and later delivered a fast-break-stopping stuff to squelch a Bruin scoring opportunity. At the 10-minute mark, USC was up 58-55 on a pair of Gilbreath free throws, but UCLA answered with a three and then two quick scores to take back a lead with some padding. Parker got into double figures for USC with a putback at 7:55, but that was followed by a 10-0 UCLA run that put the Bruins up 72-60 with 5:00 on the clock. UCLA's seventh and eighth 3-pointer came during that run, although Gilbreath snapped the streak with a three-point play next. LeNoir nailed a three later to get USC within nine at 2:50, down 77-68, but UCLA stayed a step ahead down the stretch and came away with an 87-75 victory over the Trojans.
USC returns to Pac-10 play next week with a journey to Arizona. The Trojans will first visit Arizona for a 7 p.m MT game on Thursday (Jan. 15). Then, USC heads to Tempe for a televised clash at Arizona State at 4 p.m. MT on Saturday (Jan. 17). That game will be broadcast by FSN.