Winning Run Continues For USC Women, Topping Washington 81-72
Jan. 11, 2013
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC women's basketball team put up a season-high 81 points - the most by the Trojans in a game in almost a full year - to tally its third straight win and stay undefeated at 3-0 in Pac-12 play with tonight's 81-72 win over visiting Washington. USC had four players finish in double figures for the second game in a row, led once again by Cassie Harberts with 24 points. USC improves to 6-8 overall to go with that 3-0 conference mark, while Washington moves to 10-4, 2-1. It's USC's first 3-0 start to conference play since the 2004-05 season, when USC opened up 7-0.
USC led by as much as 14 in the first half, but that was trimmed to a 38-31 lead at halftime. Washington pulled even with 6:50 to go in the game, only to have the Women of Troy hold strong and push out ahead for the win. USC's Ariya Crook would finish with a career-best six threes to tally 23 points on the night, while teammates Cassie Harberts (24 points, 11 rebounds) and Kate Oliver (12 and 13) registered double-doubles for the Trojans. USC freshman Brianna Barrett, too, delivered double figures in the form of 10 assists. Washington, meanwhile, got over half its points from Jazmine Davis, who also hit six threes to wind up with 37 points for the Huskies. Washington also had Talia Walton in double digits with 15 points.
In all, USC was effective from the floor, going 40 percent to outpace Washington's 34 percent in the game. The Trojans also commanded the boards to the tune of a season-high 53 rebounds to lead Washington's 38. The assists count, too, was heavily in USC's favor, 22-8, while the teams finished even with 10 threes apiece down the stretch.
A 4-for-4 three-point effort from Ariya Crook helped ramp up a 14-1 USC surge out of what had been an eight-point deficit. That Trojan lead would grow to 26-15 as the Huskies hit just one bucket from the floor in an 11-minute stretch. By the halftime buzzer, USC was up 38-31, having shot 37 percent in the half to Washington's 29. USC had also upped its efforts on the boards, leading 27-22.
An early 9-0 run by the Huskies put the Trojans on their heels with a 12-4 deficit before Ariya Crook landed three straight 3-pointers to provide a lift to the USC efforts and get the Trojans on top 13-12 at 14:15. A bucket from Cassie Harberts made it an 11-0 answering surge by USC that paired with an 0-for-9 stretch from the floor by the Huskies. Crook dumped in one more three for good measure to extend USC's scoring run to 14-1, and the Trojans were up 20-13 with 11:10 on the clock. With 5:42 to go, Desiree Bradley got in on the scoring action and blasted a 3-pointer of her own to bump the Trojans ahead 29-15 as UW's offense continued to sputter. Jazmine Davis provided a spark for Washington in hitting a three next with 5:20 to go to end almost six minutes of scoreless basketball by the Huskies, making it 29-18. Davis slipped in the next four points to cut the score to 29-22. Thanks in large part to 17 first-half points from Davis, that seven-point margin would hold up, and USC took a 38-31 lead into the locker room at the break.
Davis would cut further into the USC advantage with her fourth 3-pointer of the night, taking the Huskies to within two, down 45-43. But Harberts had the hot hand next, getting a couple buckets to go down low and taking a successful trip to the free-throw line in an 8-0 run supplemented by a jumper from Kate Oliver. Alexyz Vaioletama's second 3-pointer of the night boosted USC ahead 56-45 to create a little more breathing room for the Trojans with 12:52 on the clock. Again, Washington was there for an answering run, striking back with a 7-0 spurt before Harberts dumped in two more free throws as the teams crossed the 10-minute mark with USC ahead 58-52. Davis continued to shine for Washington as she worked her way up to 31 points on a take that trimmed it 58-56 USC with 8:45 to go.
Washington tied it up at 6:50 on a three from Kristi Kingma - the Huskies' eighth of the night - but Harberts kept up her free-throw efforts for two more, and Oliver scored from the floor to register her double-double and keep USC on top. Davis would nail her fifth 3-pointer at the 5-minute mark, only to see USC strike off on a 6-1 run to lead 73-65 with 1:37 remaining and stay focused down the stretch for the 81-72 victory.
USC now turns to host Washington State on Sunday (Jan. 13) in a 2 p.m. matchup for the chance to extend the Trojans' win streak out to four.